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[November 2016 Housekeeping Update] Emails, Brand Consolidation and Embracing, and Special Events

Kristen Jeffers writing at Union Station in Kansas City, MO, Spring 2016

Hey everyone! For those of you who are on my email list, you probably noticed one of two things:

  • It didn’t come at all and the link didn’t get posted to social media
  • It came and it was all about stuff  I’m doing, all my new blog posts and no links to any good articles. Also, it came from a Gmail account that I don’t normally send from and if I do, it’s not to get spam from you, it’s to keep in touch on GChat, and it said I had something in it you’d really like.

I hope you did like it, just in case you missed it yesterday, here’s the text in its entirety:

Wow! October has been both a trick and a treat. I’ll be laying low on the costumes this year and getting a blowout. And maybe a new bold lipstick from Sephora.

Those of you following me on social media, you may have noticed that the lights are on over at the blog and on the pages more often.

Also, you may have joined my Facebook group (and I thank you for that!) If you haven’t, you’ll be missing out on all my posts, almost as soon as I hit send on the links.

Another change you’ve probably noticed over the past few months is that I’ve been working on developing actual products, besides my first book, to sell . I’ve noticed that I’ve not gotten a lot of feedback (outside of noting that many of the educational products need to offer AICP and AIA credits, if you can help me with that over phone or email, please reply and let me know).

Also, you may wonder what’s happened or happening with PlantoSpeak. It’s still happening. I canceled the September-October course due to lack of registrations.

I get it, you may not need it or feel like it’s something that adds value to your practice. However, maybe your colleague does. Or, maybe it’s something that can go into next year’s budget.

However, quite simply, I want to make it clear that this is my life’s work. However, it is still after six years a labor of love.

For those of you who have brought me in to speak, to help with your planning projects or to write a paid article, thank you!

What I hope to do with PlantoSpeak, as well as any future books, trainings or partnerships is to bring more value to both you as a practitioner or community member and to all of our communities. And I hope to do it under this banner.

If you like what I say or do please let me know if you don’t mind me sharing that word of gratitude with everyone. Please recommend me to your colleagues and thank you to those who have!

And a special word of thanks to the folks involved with CityWorksXpo and the Roanoke community. I loved my gift box and my handwritten thank you note!

If you don’t want to get weekly emails, reply back and I’ll bounce you back to monthly emails. That’s really easy now in my new email client. Anyway, I don’t have much more to say, besides read my blogs and read my articles. Here’s what I wrote at a glance.

  1. Why All the Development in the World Doesn’t Matter if You Don’t Know Your Soul
  2. The Real Answer to Why I Moved, for the Second Time in 18 Months, to DC.
  3. The One Key Reason Those Scary Housing Discrimination Maps Are Still True
  4. On The Blog at its Sixth Birthday: Reflections on Its Purpose and My Growing Business and Passions
  5. On the Second Presidential Debate of 2016 and Knowing Your Truth About Where You Live
  6. And fresh off the “presses”–How I Get Around the DC Metro Without A Car (And You Can Too!)

For this month, I’ll be sending you stuff related to Plan to Speak. In December, we’ll be back to the regular program. Also, I hope to see you in a few weeks in either Atlanta or Philly!

Oh and let me know if you’re unable to read my logo fonts in the body of my posts, I love that I can make my posts look a bit more like me, but I know that everyone can’t read cursive.

Anyway, what’s going on? I’ll get into more details in next week’s email, but I’ve done a lot of soul-searching over the past year, about my name, why I write and why I do what I do here. I’ve also been getting a calling to just keep things simple and easy, not just for you to understand how I can help you and how we can change the urbanist world together. I also went to a online businesswomen’s conference the other week and it helped me jumpstart a lot of ideas, the first to shift from MailChimp to InfusionSoft, as I grow from just sending out emails, to providing web courses, selling products and keeping up with you and what you’re doing.

The second step in my evolution was to start writing more blog posts, sending out emails weekly again, posting more on Instagram and Twitter, reviving my Facebook Group and also making sure people knew all that I do. But there was one thing missing and that was looking at myself in the mirror and being ok, finally, with the site name.

The site name has been something I’m equally proud of and equally ashamed of. The shame has come primarily from the idea that it makes me look like some radical militant who doesn’t really want racial unity or unity at all. Also, as I’ve balanced both this project as a passion project and working in the mainstream planning, development and nonprofit world, with an eye to corporate and foundation and even educational scholarship, grants and sponsorship, I’ve worried that the name being what it is pushes away prosperity and money.

Also, having already lost my dad, I also feared losing others who otherwise love me, but can’t stomach the name (these are primarily family members and potential business partners and colleagues–if you claim to be a personal friend and can’t rock with the name, then I need you to reconsider our friendship).

Here’s the thing though, there’s nothing wrong with being proud of who I am, and raising valid issues. Sometimes those issues may manifest through anger and frustration. Other times, they may come through as researched solutions and quick-fixes. They may be green painted bike lanes or they may be reparations. Yet, they are all solutions. They are all emotions. And if the intent is to do no harm, and instead do great good, then I’m all for the methods we take to get to that greater good.

And again, as I’ve always said here. I am Kristen Elizabeth Jeffers. I am a slave-descendant Black American North Carolinian (Washingtonian) cis hetero woman. I am a urbanist. Urbanism is an architectural school and a spacial planning practice and a political movement committed to the dignity and the efficiency and the creativity of all kinds of people. It is based on a theory of the urban-to-rural transect, where land is gradually developed and developed in a way that allows everyone a fair chance at making the life they want and need.

And with that, I’m proud again and again to be The Black Urbanist and look forward to working with fellow Black Urbanists, allies and others who are about the mission of making the world a better place. Also, I want to take a minute and express my complete solidarity, not only with Standing Rock, but all those who are constantly under persecution and threat of imprisonment of some kind. Black Lives Matter. Again, none of this should scare you or make you think we don’t care about you. Do know, I and others who share my views and my life experience do note when we feel no one cares about us and all we want is a fair chance.

Anyway, if you aren’t coming to Atlanta in two weeks to talk about what it means to NOT be a token, I hope you change your mind. And if you are, I can’t wait to see you. Also, Philadelphia folks, we are taking our Third Wave Urbanism conversation, to your fair city on Monday the 14th. If you feel like one or a few of the products or services I’m offering would be valid to you, please let me know as well. And if you want to be on the email list, hold off for a bit as I get the kinks out of the new system. If you don’t mind sharing your email in the comments below, you can and I’ll add you manually to the new system. Or you can private message me on any of my social network accounts.

Finally, thank you and I love you all!


I’ll have more details on what some of the consolidation stuff will look like in next week’s email and here on the blog in my next housekeeping note. 

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