DRT: Community Engagement & Civic Transformation
Following two years of convening conversations with Seattle’s Office of Community Planning and Development on investment in our communities of need, AIA Seattle’s Diversity Roundtable brings together three women leaders in built environment to talk about how their investment in cultural convening and community spaces provide lessons and perspective for how we might further catalyze communities of color in Seattle to be in control of our own destiny as development continues in our neighborhoods. Greater Seattle is in a time of profound change. As the development community continues to invest here, we must grapple with how that investment is informed by the resident communities, particularly communities of color, that are rooted here and do not want to be displaced. How do we support economic growth and continued densification of our neighborhoods at the same time that we balance the need to celebrate and sustain the historic and cultural roots of the communities that we want to support?
Maisha Barnett is a built environment enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in public space development. She has held leadership roles on Seattle and King County park boards and commissions, and she volunteers regularly for the ROOTS Family Picnic. Maisha is the Project Manager for Jimi Hendrix Park and a Fiscal Technician at the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington (UW). She is the founder of Powell Barnett Legacy Project, the community volunteer group that developed Powell Barnett Park, and successfully integrates community planning, urban design, and finance to deliver meaningful projects.
TraeAnna Holiday is a true Seattleite who has watched her city change in many ways. Through studying abroad and being displaced by gentrification, she’s now fueled to tell her neighborhood’s story through film and education while working on the solutions. Working with Africatown Community Land Trust and producing a film on gentrification in the Central District are two of the ways she’s begun to do just that. As a steward of community with a passion for storytelling, she brings her ideals to life and strives to help others do the same.
Gladys Ly-Au Young
A founding principal of Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects, Gladys Ly-Au Young is driven by social purpose to design earth-friendly, community-based places that function well, create belonging, and promote health and sustainability. Climate change is real, and Gladys believes our job is to work towards a future that is equitable for people and the environment; her firm’s mission is to design buildings that give back more than they take, creating climate change solutions rather than obstacles.