If you haven’t already heard the news, we are excited to present our Keynote Speaker for the 2020 NY Statewide Preservation Conference: Equitable Development Strategist, Lauren A. Hood.
Born and raised in Detroit, Lauren A. Hood brings double consciousness to the practice of community development. Being both a trained practioner and a lifelong resident, Hood serves as a translator/negotiator between development entities and citizen stakeholders. Through her work as an Equitable Development Strategist, Hood develops engagement frameworks, facilitates dialogues, and creates platforms that allow for the emergence and inclusion of often unrecognized place based expertise in city planning and neighborhood development processes. Through her consultancy Deep Dive Detroit, Hood produces workshops and events on community engagement, equitable development and racial justice for civic, philanthropic & institutional clients. Passionate about preserving the city’s cultural heritage, Hood regularly writes and delivers keynotes on the value of placekeeping, preserving black spaces and how to authentically engage community. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the City of Detroit Planning Commission and on the board of directors for Detroit Sound Conservancy, MoGo, and on the advisory board of the Urban Consulate. She holds an undergraduate business degree and Masters Degree in Community Development, both from the University of Detroit Mercy.
At the Conference, Lauren will be speaking on, Decolonizing Development: A Restorative Approach to the Practice of City Change. The conversation will center around how preservation and community revitalization can occur in an equitable and inclusive manner, without displacing and ignoring existing communities, particularly communities occupied by people of color.
A few Landmark Society staff were able to attend an informal discussion led by Ms. Hood during a Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists event in Detroit in 2017 and were impressed with her experience advocating for historically marginalized neighborhoods and communities. We can’t wait to bring her perspective to New York State!