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"Planning for Justice: Race, Planning and Power from Liberalism to Neoliberalism"

Taliaferro Hall 2110
Monday, February 15, 2016 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

One of Barack Obama’s first executive orders created a cabinet-level Office of Urban Affairs to implement “a comprehensive approach to urban development.” Not since Jimmy Carter had there been anything resembling a comprehensive White-House-directed urban policy. One pattern is clear: the Obama administration has shifted the priorities of several key executive-branch departments, mostly beneath the media’s radar. While Obama’s education, financial reform, and health care policies have dominated the news, the administration has also substantially reorganized the Department of Labor, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (which is arguably under its ablest leadership in decades). Over seven years into the Obama administration, it is not yet possible to offer a comprehensive overview of the impact of these personnel changes and the programmatic shifts they are undertaking. In this paper I consider the relationship of social movements, policymaking, and implementation in the realm of urban policy, with attention to patterns in urban planning and politics that emerged in the last great moment in the history of urban planning and policymaking—the period from the mid 1960s through the late 1970s. To understand where we are and where we are going with urban policy, it is necessary for a moment to look backward as the first step to moving forward

Thomas J. Sugrue is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at NYU. A specialist in 20th-century American politics, urban history, civil rights, and race, Sugrue was educated at Columbia, King's College, Cambridge, and Harvard (Ph.D 1992). He is the author of Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race (Princeton University Press, 2010), also in French translation, and Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (Random House, 2008). He is currently engaged in a research project on race, ethnicity, and citizenship in France and the United States. His long-term research project is a history of the rise and travails of the modern American real estate industry, from the late nineteenth century to the current economic crisis. Sugrue has just finished editing a book with Domenic Vitiello on immigration and metropolitan revitalization, and is collaborating with Alice M. O’Connor on a collection of essays on the War on Poverty and its legacy.

Wine and cheese will be served. To RSVP  contact us at millercenter@umd.edu or 301-405-4299

Dr. David Sicilia will be providing the comment. A copy of Dr. Sugrue's paper is available below