Diversity: Initiative 3 | Diversity Platforms

Initiative 3 | Diversity Platforms

2018-19 Diversity Platforms Awards Program

Opening party for fall 2016 at CED

The fall 2016 opening slam at CED

Fall 2018 Activity Update:

The Diversity Platforms Initiative at the College of Environmental Design (CED) is a unique opportunity for staff, faculty, students and alumni to explore and celebrate the value of our diverse community while simultaneously calling attention to systemic injustices that are detrimental to us all. In the 2015 academic school year, CED initiated its first ever grant program designed to support, highlight, and celebrate the diverse student body at CED and to communicate a strong commitment to inclusivity and equity in Wurster Hall.

Thanks to philanthropic funder, the Arcus Foundation, CED awarded its first group of Diversity Platform awards to faculty, students, and staff in the 2016-2017 school year. Through this program, multiple critical projects have now been funded since (see examples below).

This year, CED is showcasing five 2018-19 current projects. In addition, the Diversity Platforms Committee will release its next Call for Proposal (CFP) in September 2018 to fund additional awards in the 2019-20 school year.

2018-19 Current Projects


Coordinated by Laura Belik, this film series puts a spotlight on cities, urban democracy, public space, housing and contemporary Brazilian conflicts through an exploration of iconic documentaries and faculty lead discussions. Soon to take place in the fall of 2018, each documentary has been carefully selected to consider different points of view on urban rights and housing in San Paulo and Rio de Janerio. Guest speakers will facilitate post-film discussions and the speaker line-up includes: Teresa Caldeira, Chair of the CED Department of City and Regional Planning, James Holston, Department of Anthropology, and Candace Slater, Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Organized by Laura Belik 


The Low Income and First Generation (LIFG) Advancement Initiative, coordinated by Jessie Wesley and members of the CED Students of Color (CEDSOC) organization, seeks to celebrate the contributions of LIFG students at CED and support their academic and professional success in the upcoming school year and beyond. Funding for this award will create a platform for sharing the experiences of this vital student group and will help to link them with professionals who have faced various forms of dispossession but have found ways to excel in their fields without compromising their backgrounds and identities. The initiative also aims to address gaps in knowledge that these students might have around areas like financial literacy and wealth-building. Further, it promotes advocacy and visibility within CED so that these students feel empowered and actively supported by the community as a whole. Various gatherings will be coordinated throughout the year to include and support LIFG students at CED, which make up 41% of incoming freshman, the highest number of LIFG students amongst all colleges on campus.

Organized by Jessie Wesley 


The project Community Acupuncture, coordinated by Dean’s Executive Assistant Grace Moon, seeks to increase awareness at CED about this holistic healthcare methodology and how it can contribute to community building. Over the next school year this effort will provide the CED community with information on how the practice can reduce stress (which is exorbitantly high on college campuses) while also providing context about the deep cultural origins of this modality. This project aims to offer insight into an alternative to prevailing western medicine while including the CED community as a whole in a broader discussion of its benefits.

Organized by Grace Moon 

Confronting the Path of Least Resistance: Power and Privilege in the Built Environment

As students, we study the impact that race and racism have had on the design and planning of our cities. But how can we work to undo the effects of structural racism once we leave CED and begin our careers in the built environment? Join us to hear from a diverse array of panelists and participate in an interactive workshop to engage with problems you might encounter in the professional world. The panelists will be: 

Regina Davis, CED MArch alum and consultant specilazing in community development, urban planning and real estate development services

Mashael Majid, Program Director of Equitable Development at Urban Habitat from Urban Habitat  

Danielle Harris, Emerging Mobility Policy + Innovation Strategist at SFMTA's Office of Innovation SFMTA 

Organized by Eli Kaplan 


This project occurred in the Spring of 2018 and proved to be an important way to engage the hundreds of prospective students who visit UC Berkeley’s campus on Cal Day each year. The Collective Chemistry Exhibit, organized by Imani Haupt and Vincent Agoe, played a key role in reflecting the values of CED to the outside community through the work of CED students of color. Through this exhibition and complimentary design charrette, prospective students saw the diverse attitudes of current CED students, who are grappling constantly with what it means to build environments that are equitable and just.

Organized by Imani Haupt + Vincent Agoe  

2017-18 Projects


This exhibit of original materials from the Environmental Design Archives will showcase a nexus of design and diversity in a number of ways. One section of the of the exhibit will “surface” the diversity within CED’s History, particularly during the anti-Asian exclusion laws in the first half of the 20th Century. Despite these laws, there was a surprising number of Asian students in the architecture program; photographs of students and examples of their work will be featured. Another section will address gender and power and investigate the projects that women designers have created for powerful men and corporations, such as Julia Morgan for William Hearst, Geraldine Knight Scott for early Silicon Valley corporations, Cathy Simon for Terrapin Station the Grateful Dead Museum, and May Arbegast for Steve Jobs. The last section will serve as inspiration through examples of significant work created by a diverse group of designers whose papers are held in the CED Archives. These designers include Architects Don Hisaka, Roger Lee, Terry Tong, and George Rockrise; Landscape Architects Mai Kitagawa Arbegast, Walter Guthrie, Walter Hood, and Casey Kawamoto; and renderer Carlos Diniz. This exhibit aims to provide professional models and inspiration as well a narrative revealing the context between designer, client and project.

Organized by Waverly Lowell 


“Queer/Urban” is a student-led initiative that includes a working group responsible for developing original work for conference presentation and publication around queer issues in relation to the contemporary city. The culmination of this initiative will be a symposium in Wurster Hall on April 28, 2017. Students have confirmed the participation of two junior scholars, Christina Hanhardt from the University of Maryland and Natalie Oswin from the University of Toronto, as well as a New York City filmmaker, Sara Jordenö. The students have been in contact with the Pacific Film Archive with plans to show Jordenö’s documentary at a public event the day before the symposium.  As the group finalizes the participation at the symposium, they will extend an additional invitation to one senior scholar experienced with the themes of queer and urban in their work to provide a keynote address. The main goal of the initiative will be to update the terms of the discussion of sexuality in relationship to the build environment as well as to create a broader dialogue on these issues within the CED community.

Organized by Efstathios Gerostathopoulos


Eddy Zheng is a formerly incarcerated individual who has been rehabilitated through the advocacy of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. The screening of “Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story” and the panel discussion with the formerly incarcerated Eddy Zheng will illuminate how planning and architecture has impacted him before, during and after his incarceration. Additionally, this project will explore how mass incarceration has shaped the built environment with the objective of raising awareness among planners through direct engagement with people within the American incarceration system. Specifically, this project will raise awareness on how the built environment serves as a barrier to re-entering populations as it sustains structural, spatial and economic discrimination against marginalized populations. Roger Chung, a professor and educator with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, will be participating in this project and will provide insight on his work with rehabilitation programs, particularly leveraging resources to prepare formerly incarcerated individuals as they navigate policy, urban planning and public health issues in reentering society.

Organized by Bo Chung


The Town is group composed of outstanding Bay Area artists, including choreographers Latanya D. Tigner and Colette Eloi, poet Marvin White, composer JooWan Kim, members of Ensemble Mik Nawooj and DDT dancers and drummers. The elements of classical music, Hip Hop, and spoken word in their performance will portray the complexity of Oakland by providing several cultural perspectives and by celebrating the history and underrepresented voices in the Bay Area. Their performance will take on the subject of Oakland's gentrification as an invitation for meaningful dialogue. It will explore class, status, and race during a time of transformation as well as the candid truth of life and survival in urban settings. Through artistic expression and a panel discussion, this collaboration will offer neighborhood strategies, encourage participation, and stimulate understanding as well as dialogue needed to build community relationships. The ultimate goal of this project will be to broaden the participants understanding of the impacts of rapid change on the neighborhoods, diversity and individuals of our cities.

Organized by Kim Suczynksi Smith 

2016-17 Projects


This seminar uses disability as a resource to generate new design methodologies, formal innovation, and spatial experience. Through guest lecturers, readings and discussions, students will expand design thinking beyond functionality to the sensory, ceremonial and celebratory possibilities of difference.            

Organized by Wanda Katja Liebermann (CED Alum; Visiting Scholar, Institute of Urban & Regional Development).


This workshop will equip members of the CED community with tools to teach about power and privilege and heighten awareness about inequality and the struggle for social justice across disciplines within the College and the built environment.      

Organized by Juan Sebastian Arias (MCP Student), Erin Lapeyrolerie (MCP Student) and CED Students of Color (CEDSOC)


The (Re)thinking South discussion series aims to inquire about current modes of production of urban space informed by translocal flows of knowledge, material resources, and consumption, with case studies from Latin America, South-Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Organized by Marianela D'Aprile (Architecture M.S. Student) & Giuseppina Forte (Architecture Ph.D Student).


This award supports the creation of a vibrant new mural in Wurster Hall that will be a visual representation of Chicanx/Latinx history within the CED.

Organized by Itzel Torres (B. Arts in Architecture Student) and the Chicanx/Latinx Architecture Student Association (CASA).


In collaboration with the Restorative Justice Center and the Center for New Media, CED will serve as a hub to screen and support critical documentaries that examine pressing social, political and environmental issues to the CED community.

Organized by Desiree Valadares (Architecture Ph.D Student) with Ann Dennis (Architecture M.S. Student) and Stathis Gerostathopoulos (Architecture Ph.D Student).


This initiative will launch a semester-long working group and day-long symposium to connect students and scholars working on research related to sexuality and identity as it relates to urban landscapes, and on alternative ways of theorizing the city through a queer lens.  

Organized by Eric Peterson (Architecture Ph.D Student) & Stathis Gerostathopoulos (Architecture Ph.D Student).


This award supported the fourth annual symposium by the Society for Radical Geography, Spatial Theory and Everyday Life (SRGSTEL) which focused on the politics of sovereignty and its relationship to social difference and social justice. This year’s forum asked how the spatiality of sovereignty is felt, practiced, embodied, inhabited and imposed at different scales.

Organized by Divya Sundar (DCRP Ph.D Student).


An art installation/exhibition and symposium in Wurster Hall will bring attention to the issue of gendered bathrooms, and their historical and theoretical entanglements with homophobic and sexist policies and conceptions of space.

Organized by Is Angieri (M.Arch graduate) & Julia Havard (Theater Dance & Performance Studies Ph.D Student).