Reflections of the LA Uprising 30 Years Later

Still image from “Reflections of the LA Uprising” 30 Years Later

The 1992 Los Angeles Uprising began thirty years ago today — April 29, 1992.

I was interviewed for “Reflections of the LA Uprising” 30 years later. This is a collaboration by JOVRNALISM, USC Annenberg, KCET, and LA Times.

I shared how the unrest led me on a path toward urban planning in/for South Central LA. And I testified this path would inspire me to create Embedded Planning as an LA County planner on the ground in Florence-Firestone.

Rightfully, this interview was done at the landmark Roosevelt Park pedestrian bridge over the Blue Line.

Many community voices are part of this project. Check out the immersive video “Echoes of the Uprising” where we share our memories and oral histories.

Three decades later, we still have work to do.

Echoes of the Uprising

Mike The PoeT Sonksen at Cal Poly Pomona Urban & Regional Planning

Guest speaker Mike the PoeT Sonksen at Cal Poly Pomona Urban & Regional Planning. Photo by Jonathan Pacheco Bell

On March 5, 2022, Mike the PoeT Sonksen was the guest speaker in my Advocacy Planning course at Cal Poly Pomona. He taught us about geographic literacy and the power of place. Mike opened with poems, transitioned into a vivid slide deck lecture, then led our class through two writing exercises connecting personal memory and action to planning praxis. He stayed to co-facilitate our week’s discussion of Latin@ Urbanism.

Mike bleeds LA. If you’re looking for your next guest speaker, tour guide, essayist or poet, Mike is the one.

Embedded Planning in Job Interviews

Infographic by Jonathan Pacheco Bell

The latest instance of our Embedded Planning movement coming up favorably in a job interview.

We are everywhere.

We cannot plan from our desks.

Background image: The book I recommend to every critical planner and embedded planner — especially the Fortress LA chapter — is City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, by Mike Davis.

Photo by Jonathan Pacheco Bell

Embedded Planning at Whittier College

My guest speaker role at the 2021 Environmental Justice Enforcement Symposium connected me with Dr. Rebecca Overmeyer-Velazquez at Whittier College.

Earlier this month, I joined the professor’s class sharing #EmbeddedPlanning with students in the “Jobs for Justice” series.

We didn’t stop there.

Next month, I’m at the campus Sustainability Club talking career pathways into city planning and Embedded Planning praxis.

We cannot plan from our desks 📢

Embedded Planning at SUNY Buffalo

This week I joined the SUNY Buffalo classroom of Wes Grooms, Ph.D. for a lunchtime chat on #EmbeddedPlanning praxis. It was one talk in a 2-part conversation about equity, with Carlton Eley, MSURP delivering the companion talk on equitable development.

Shout out to Dr. Grooms and students for the discussion. Dialog helps this praxis grow. I appreciated Dr. Grooms’ observation that while planning theory typically develops in the academy, Embedded Planning is a product of the community.

Cal Poly Pomona Seeks Dean of College of Environmental Design

Cal Poly Pomona seeks a Dean of the College of Environmental Design

The new Dean must be an innovative, strategic, and collegial academic leader who embraces the mission of Cal Poly Pomona, is committed to student success, and will be a champion for CPPENV. Ideally, the new Dean of ENV will take office in the spring but is expected to do so no later than June 2022. Review of applications will begin December 6, 2021.

Academic Search is assisting Cal Poly Pomona in this search. Please see the profile for the position here:

To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications (PDF preferred) should be submitted electronically, in confidence, to: CPPENVDEAN@academicsearch.org

Nominations are encouraged. If you have a nomination for the position, please send the name, position, and institution along with an email address if you have it, to: CPPENVDEAN@academicsearch.org

Nominators and prospective candidates may also arrange a confidential conversation about this opportunity with the senior consultant leading this search, Cynthia M. Patterson, at: Cynthia.Patterson@academicsearch.org

Embedded Planning at AARP Livable Communities Workshop

I spoke about #EmbeddedPlanning praxis at the 2021 AARP Livable Communities Workshop on engaging older adults. Shout out to my co-panelists. And big up to AARP organizers for the session transcript and video. Check it out.

Transcript and video together: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/about/info-2021/2021-Livable-Workshop-Collaborating-With-Community.html

We Said Goodbye to Mary Rose Cortese of Florence-Firestone

2015 launch of the “Everyday Heroes” LA County Library project, Florence-Firestone Constituent Service Center, 7807 Compton Avenue, LA 90001. Featured: Mary Rose Cortese, Joseph Titus, and Jonathan Pacheco Bell [Photo by author]

Thank you to AARP Livable Communities Workshop organizers and my fellow panelists for this week’s conversation on engaging older adults.

On September 13th, we lost Ms. Mary Rose Cortese, one of our community elders in South Central LA’s Florence-Firestone community. Mary has joined her brother Joe Titus in the next chapter. I know they’re up there still advocating for Florence-Firestone.

Mary and Joe welcomed me into the community on Day 1 in 2009. They were honorary abuelitos to me and many others. Hug your elders. Ask them to tell you stories. Document their lives. Cherish them every day.

At the end of this #AARP session, I dedicated my presentation to Mary Rose Cortese 🙏🏽💛