Justice, Equity, and Community Development

Justice, Equity, and Community Development

Explore how we are working to actively increase our involvement in justice, equity, and community development efforts.

As regional planners, our responsibility is to all of our community members.

Whether it is through economic and community development, planning for safer streets, improving access to affordable housing, or strengthening coordination for a healthier environment, SRPEDD's regional planning mission is about building community and enhancing quality of life for everyone.

As planners, it is our responsibility to do the best work we can that serves everyone equitably. To better do so, SRPEDD created the Justice, Equity, and Community Development Task Force, with a long-term goal of increasing our community development efforts and actively incorporating just and equitable practices into all of our work.

If you would like to learn more about our work, join our network of partners, have a general question, or would like to provide feedback, please fill out the form here. If you have a question related to a specific topic of study or concern you may reach out to one of our principal points of contact accordingly.

Taskforce Members

Sara Brown
Senior Comprehensive Planner
Lilia Cabral-Bernard
Senior Transportation Planner & Title VI Coordinator
Lizeth Gonzalez
Principal Comprehensive Planner
Gregory Guertin
Senior Transportation Planner

Kevin Ham
Homeland Security Project Manager, Comprehensive Planner, & FAA Certified Drone Pilot
Jackie Jones, AICP
Principal Transportation Planner
Grant King, AICP
Comprehensive Planning Manager
Bill Napolitano
Rivers, Trails, and Watershed Coordinator

Taylor Perez
Senior Comprehensive Planner & Community Engagement Specialist
Helen Zincavage, AICP, CFM
Manager of Environmental Programs

Featured Posts

Juneteenth 2022: History and Regional Events

June 16, 2022

Juneteenth 2022: History and Regional Events

In June 2021, Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday. A combination of the words “June” and “Nineteenth,” Juneteenth celebrates the arrival of Union troops in Galveston Bay, Texas on June 19th, 1865, where over 250,000 enslaved black individuals were declared free by executive decree, over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It is viewed by many as the United States’ “second independence day” or “Black Independence Day.” 

It is important to acknowledge that while the recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday is a step in the right direction, there is much work to be done to address systemic racism and the challenges Black Americans face, including a lack of access to safe, stable housing, adequate healthcare, and economic development/wealth-building opportunities, as well as the ongoing consequences of environmental injustices. We strive to continue to serve all of our community members and work to redress these issues through thoughtful, community-led local and regional planning. 

One of the many ways Juneteenth is celebrated is through art exhibits, festivals, and historical storytelling. We’ve compiled a list of some upcoming regional events occurring in celebration of Juneteenth: 

  • Mansfield Juneteenth: Mansfield’s inaugural Juneteenth celebration will take place on Thursday, June 16th at Harry Chase Park beginning at 6pm. The event’s theme will be exploring Mansfield’s history regarding slavery and subsequent anti-slavery history. The event will feature a research presentation, several speakers including Debra Britt, President of the National Black Doll Museum, and a performance from the Mansfield School Choir. This event is presented by the Town of Mansfield and the Mansfield Democratic Town Committee. 
  • Safe Station: New Bedford’s Underground Railroad Exhibit: Safe Station: New Bedford’s Underground Railroad is an exhibit featuring local artists’ stories of self-emancipated people, the history of the Underground Railroad, and the New Bedford abolition movement. Presented by Design Art Technology Massachusetts (DATMA) and in collaboration with the New Bedford Historical Society and New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park, the exhibit will also feature walking tours and local history. The exhibit will be open to the public from June 16th to September 12th on the YMCA green.
  • Attleboro Juneteenth Festival: The town’s third annual Juneteenth festival takes place on Saturday, June 18th from 11am-6pm at Capron Park, 201 County Street, Attleboro, MA. This event is hosted by the Attleboro Juneteenth committee in conjunction with the National Black Doll Museum.
  • Fall River Juneteenth Festival: Fall River’s Juneteenth Festival: Celebrating Freedom will take place on Saturday, June 18th at the Kennedy Pavilion Park from 12pm-6pm. Presented by D’H.O.O.D. Inc. (Doors of Hope Opportunity and Open Diversity), the festival will feature vendors, food, prizes, and live music. 
  • Buy Black New Bedford: The 2nd annual Buy Black New Bedford will take place on Sunday, June 19th at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House from 10am-3pm. Hosted by Buy Black NB, the event will feature a selection of black-owned businesses from across the South Coast. 
  • Taunton Juneteenth Festival: The lawn at First Parish Church will be transformed to celebrate Juneteenth on Monday, June 20th from 12pm-3pm. This event is organized by Josephine Dwuye, Gloria Palmer and Alison Rosa with special participation by the Taunton High School African American Club.

Resources

COVID-19

As part of SRPEDD’s efforts in assisting our communities, especially during these challenging times, we are offering resources to address the needs of local officials and residents, including our experience, knowledge and resources.

Environmental Justice

The quality of localized environments matters significantly to public health and individual well-being. SRPEDD supports Environmental Justice work and principles that seek to reverse legacies of environmental inequities across neighborhoods, create equitable access to environmental resources, and that center communities coping with disproportional environmental impacts that are also on the frontline of the worst effects of climate change.

Title VI

The Southeastern Massachusetts Metropolitan Planning Organization is committed through its Title VI Program and Public Participation Plan to conducting all of its programs and activities to ensure that protected populations have equal access to the benefits of, and have meaningful opportunities to participate in, the SMMPO’s transportation planning process.

How to Get Involved

Contact Us/Join Our Network

SRPEDD is actively looking to collaborate with local community groups and non-profits within our region. Please leave a name and contact information below if you or your organization would be interested in joining our network of partners. You may also use this form to ask questions, voice concerns, or provide general feedback.

ADA Transition Plans

The American Disability Act is a federal law that requires municipalities to review all their programs, services, and activities for compliance. The Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan are authorized by the ADA Title II regulations and 28 C.F.R. section 35.

Arts & Culture and Placemaking

Arts, culture, and creative placemaking are powerful symbols of community creativity, interests, and values. Together, these can establish and strengthen community and regional identity, shaping our built environment. SRPEDD's work includes everything from transportation planning to community and economic development planning. Arts, culture, and creative placemaking can inform our design and planning decisions, providing better outcomes for our built environment and quality of life.