CO-SPONSORED EVENT | Yodit Mesfin Johnson & Jessica Letaw: Community-driven Planning

March 6, 2023 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Room 2104 Art & Architecture Building (A&AB, Taubman College) 2000 Bonisteel Blvd Ann Arbor, 48109

Sponsored by CEW+’s Frances & Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund and Taubman College’s Radical Planning course at the University of Michigan, local community leaders Yodit Mesfin Johnson and Jess Letaw will guest speak for the Radical Planning course on community driven planning. RSVP to this event to learn from these inspiring activists!

Returning Home: Community-driven Planning, Power, & Vision Building

Yodit Mesfin Johnson (she/her) is a mother, poet, activist and strategist with an abolitionist mind and a visionary heart, holding love as a guiding value, a way of being, an action and a politic. She is a co-founder of FutureRoot, founder of Black Men Read, a member of the Coalition on Re-Envisioning Safety (CROS), and a community partner of Black Washtenaw County, documenting local racism and resistance. She thrives in building community around the questions that matter most; how can we unlock the potential and possibility needed to radically transform our communities, see the ecosystem and the whole, and design and act in ways that bend the long arc of history towards balance and harmony? Yodit uses various mediums, including poetry, writing and storytelling as tools in her organizing, activism and in the rewriting of her own personal narrative. She lives, works and plays on the occupied land of the Anishinaabeg, commonly called Washtenaw County and holds deeply the belief that the upliftment, freedom, and dignity of African people on the continent and in the diaspora is tied to the freedom and dignity of all Indigenous peoples.

Jessica Letaw (she/her) is a local community organizer and advocate for housing abundance and affordability. She is a co-founder of FutureRoot. Jessica also founded Building Matters, an Ann Arbor non-profit devoted to local architecture and the built environment. Jess is an advisory board member of Justice InDeed and educates the community around racially restrictive covenants on housing deeds.

Reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

Yodit Mesfin Johnson smiling on a flyer. She is wearing a black shirt that says "Black is Sacred" and a yellow blazer that she is holding open.Jessica Letaw smiling on a flyer. She is leaning forward, wearing a mauve collared, zippered shirt with the zipper pulled halfway down.

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