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Intersections: Mobility, Equity, and the Built Environment - Keynote Panel

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Graphic By: Horton Iconic Designs

This year's Intersections symposium will explore Mobility, Equity, and the Built Environment, as a means of physical and representational participation. Panels, presentations and site tours will explore the full range of what it means for the built environment to be accessible and inclusive - physically, economically, environmentally, and beyond. This is an invitation to look at how mobility operates in design, and how it can become a force in dismantling structural social inequities.

Lily Linke—Municipal Engagement Program Associate, Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (Moderator)

Lily Linke is an artist, educator, planner, and community organizer. After working as a performer and arts educator, she received her Masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. She developed her Master's thesis on the intersection of walkability and race into a five episode podcast, Foot Notes. Lily currently works for the Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) in their Municipal Engagement Initiative. In this role, she supports the creation of affordable housing coalitions in communities across the state. Lily believes strongly in the power of storytelling to create a better world, because if we can't imagine it, how can we build it?

Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield—Principal, Deaf Space and Disability Justice Lab, MASS Design

Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield is a principal at MASS Design Group and the director of MASS’s Deaf Space and Disability Justice Lab, which focuses on uplifting the lived experience and cultural memory of Deaf and Disabled communities. Jeffrey is also an inaugural recipient of the Ford and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Disability Futures fellowship and is a John W. Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress. He has taught design studios at the University of Michigan and Harvard Graduate School of Design and co-authored The Architecture of Health, published by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. His current research explores the formation of Deaf and Disability spaces as expressions of cultural resistance in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Jeffrey has been deaf since birth.

Patricia MendezArchitectural Access Specialist, the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities

Patricia Mendez is the Director of Architectural Access for the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities. In this role, she oversees accessibility and compliance of the built environment throughout the City of Boston. She provides technical assistance and code review for all new development in Boston, working closely with property owners, architects, consultants, and municipal agencies. Patricia currently serves as the vice-chair of the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board, and participates in ongoing City initiatives.

Patricia has been a Registered Architect since 2001 and has worked in Boston-area architectural firms for 25 years on a wide range of project types, including corporate interiors, multifamily residential, commercial, higher education, athletic, historic, hospitality, and health care. She is a graduate and former faculty member of the Boston Architectural College and a LEED Accredited Professional (BD + C). Patricia was recipient of the Employee Development Scholarship from the City of Boston and earned her masters degree in Leadership from Northeastern University. She is a native Peruvian, speaks Spanish and currently resides in Hyde Park with her husband and two sons.

Allentza MichelProgram Director & Visiting Practitioner, Tufts / Founder, Principal & Creative Director, Powerful Pathways

Allentza Michel is an urban planner, artist, public policy advocate and researcher with a background in community organizing, youth development and human service. She has 22 years of diverse experience across community & economic development, education, food security, public health and transportation in local, national and international settings. Such experiences, both professional and personal, inform her current work in civic design, community and organizational development, and social equity.

Allentza is passionate about equitable and sustainable community development, inclusive co-designed processes, and social justice from coalition building and community planning to policy focused on mobility and neighborhood revitalization. She is the founder and creative director of Powerful Pathways, a civic design lab and social practice which leads urban- investigative projects with deep community involvement and media arts integration. Through community planning and placekeeping projects, Powerful Pathways has served over 2 million people across the nation, from Boston’s Fairmount corridor, Southside Chicago, to Fresno, CA.

She previously served as the Program Officer for Humanities, Arts and Culture with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where she is worked with a national arts commission developing research to promote quality access to arts education and the creative workforce policy. Prior to the Academy Allentza worked in local and state government, the Fairmount Indigo Corridor Network, at mytown Inc, Dudley St Neighborhood Initiative, the City School, aswell as in the Boston and Cambridge Public School systems.

Ms. Michel has held several public leadership roles, including founding and co-founding non-profit organizations and civic initiatives. She has served on many boards, civic groups and coalitions including Boston’s first Public Participatory Budgeting Project, the award-winning Beantown Society youth leadership program, the Network of Arts Administrators of Color Boston, and Boston’s Arts Music and Soul Festival (BAMS Fest). Her activism and civic work have been recognized by Boston and Cambridge City Councils, the Princeton Prize in Race relations, and the Perez Prize in Civic Design and Public Art.

Allentza Michel received a Master's in Public Policy from Tufts University’s Department of Urban & Environmental Planning and Policy as a 2013 Neighborhood Fellow. She has training in Civic Media and Art Practice from Emerson College, and Design and Public Policy from Rhode Island School of Design. She has BAs in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College, and a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from the Institute of Non-profit Practice. She was the inaugural fellow of the Association for Community Design, and 2016 fellow with National Arts Strategies. Ms. Michel is multi-lingual, speaking English (native), Haitian Creole (native), Spanish, moderate French, and conversational Japanese.

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Lily Linke

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Jeffrey Yasuo Mansfield

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Patricia Mendez

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Allentza Michel