Equity at TSUSP
Equity and social justice are core values within the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning (USP), and within our main programs of Community Development, Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Studies.
We continuously engage with equity and social justice-related issues. It is embedded in our research and teaching in many ways. Here are a few highlights we are proud of:
- Our MURP program is the leading program in the United States for equity planning and racial justice. Equity and social justice is one of the primary MURP student learning outcomes and embedded across the curriculum. Equity and social justice are also key values in the Community Development and Urban Studies programs.
- Our Portland Planning Diversity Award (including the Tony Lamb Racial Justice Fellowship Fund) supports students from under-represented backgrounds to attend our MURP program.
- We have perhaps the most racially diverse faculty in US planning schools. Check us out.
- Our faculty pursue research that focuses on equity and social justice, including on the theory and approach of equity planning, and on issues of houselessness, gentrification, climate justice, food justice, and more. Check out some of our recent publications here.
- Our faculty lead research centers, like Dr. Marisa Zapata at the Homelessnes Research and Action Collaborative and Dr. Jennifer Dill at the Transportation Research and Education Center, that have equity and social justice as core research motivations and values.
- We engage with local community leaders and organizations to advance equity and social justice. Our faculty serve on advisory boards, like Dr. Matthew Gebhardt on Home Forward and Dr. Megan Horst on the Portland Clean Energy Fund Advisory Committee, on nonprofit boards, like Dr. Kacy McKinney at Sisters of the Road, and as partners, like Dr. Lisa Bates who regularly collaborates with Community Alliance of Tenants. Check out our individual faculty pages.
- Our students engage in community collaborations and research that advance equity and social justice, too- check out past CD student field experiences , MURP Workshops, and MUS theses and PhD dissertations.
- We have had, for years, a working committee- now called the Belonging, Justice and Dignity Committee- to lead diversity, equity and inclusion-related goals and strategies in our school. See more about the committee below.
- See our June 2021 letter to the TSUSP community with an update on our efforts on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
About the Toulan School Belonging, Justice and Dignity (BJD) Committee
The Belonging, Justice and Dignity (BJD) Committee (formerly known as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee) is a collective of faculty and students that collaborate to identify, contest, and dismantle systems, practices and policies that perpetuate oppression (including white supremacy, anti-Blackness, colonialism, ableism and sexism, and the intersections among these) as they show up in our School and broader community. We cultivate shared accountability, and we make efforts to repair and remediate harm.
The main areas in which this committee works include: recruitment and support of students from systemically oppressed backgrounds and identities, enhancing faculty capacity and accountability in advancing equity and social justice, collaborating with program committees to deepent attention to equity and social justice in curriculum and other student-facing activities, prioritizing equity and social justice in school administration, budgeting, and decision-making, and engaging with other university actors such as CUPA, Admin, GDI, Faculty Senate and AAUP. Check out our current priorities and recent efforts here.
The committee includes faculty and student representatives. The committee operates in a hub and spoke model to facilitate connections.
Members of the Core (“Hub”) Committee for the 2020-2021 Academic Year are:
- Dr. Megan Horst (Faculty member)- CHAIR, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr. Kacy McKinney (Faculty member)
- Dr. Ozcan Tunalilar (Faculty member)
- Dr. Aaron Golub (School Director and ex-officio)
- Minji Cho (Student representative, Urban Studies)
- Natalie Chavez (Student representative, MURP)
- Valeria Tapia (Student representative, CD)- fall and winter
- Isaiah Jackman (Student representative, CD)- winter and spring
Faculty Committee liaisons (“Spoke” members) for the 2020-2021 Academic Year are:
- Dr. Jenny Liu (Undergrad Executive Committee)
- Dr. Corbin (Masters of Urban and Regional Planning Executive Committee)
- Dr. Julius McGee (Urban Studies Executive Committee)
Faculty, staff, and students are welcome to provide feedback on their experiences or their ideas related to the committee’s work by communicating with one of the committee members or scheduling time to join us at one of our bi-monthly meetings. Email us at: email@example.com. Students are especially encouraged to contact their student representatives. The BJD committee will also host several feedback opportunities for students during each school year.
See the resources and reporting page for other resources (such as and reporting options).