Publication Date

February 2021

Document Type



Problem, research strategy, and findings African American/Black and Hispanic/Latin/o/a/x practitioners are underrepresented in the planning profession. In this study we examine these practitioners’ experience with the climate for diversity in their workplaces. Drawing from a survey of 3,005 APA members, we show that African American/Black and Hispanic/Latin/o/a/x practitioners experience significantly higher rates of bias and discrimination than other groups. Interviews with 24 African American/Black and Hispanic/Latin/o/a/x planners across the United States reinforce the narrative that these racial and ethnic groups working in the planning field continue to face racism, discrimination, and microaggressions in the workplace, which affects the impact of their work in planning practice. Takeaway for practice Given the potential negative consequences of the lack of diversity and inclusion at work along with the presence of discrimination/microaggressions, our study shows that it is necessary not only to increase diversity in the workplace but also to create inclusive work environments. Practicing planners concluded that cross-cultural communication and antiracist training can help planners to plan with ethnically and racially diverse communities and practice inclusivity, both in the workplace among their colleagues and in communities of difference. But trainings will not be enough; for substantial change to occur, major shifts are needed in the profession as a whole, including in APA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).

Publication Title

Journal of the American Planning Association





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