Equitable Development

Equitable Development: Tools and Strategies for Making a Visible Difference in Communities

Thursday, January 29th, from 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Accredited by:  CM 4.5

Equitable development is increasingly included in the spectrum of place-based activities for creating strong and livable communities. Today, there are clear initiatives, tangible examples, and award-winning projects that demonstrate the application of the approach as a means to rebuild America’s communities.  The outcomes of equitable development are the result of clearly set expectations; collaborative problem solving; and persistent leadership.  In an era of rapid change, funding constraints and not learning from past failures could be obstacles to implementation.  As a result, there is demand and urgency for tools, strategies, and best practices for improving the proficiency of practitioners.

The 6th installment of the annual equitable development workshop will increase collective understanding about the implementation and accomplishments of the approach.  Through meaningful dialogue and instruction, the workshop will reposition the conversation of how to make our communities more sustainable and viable now and for generations to come through active promotion of equitable development.  This workshop will be held on the first day of the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference.

The workshop is being organized by the U.S. EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, with support from the U.S. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities and the Local Government Commission. Morning coffee and lunch are included. Preregistration and a $28 fee are required.

Thursday – Workshop Program

8:00 – 8:15 AM Workshop Welcome


Matthew Tejada, Director, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. EPA

Matthew Dalbey, Director, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. EPA

8:20 – 8:30 AM Morning Kick-off


Mustafa Ali, Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice, U.S. EPA
Presentation PDF

8:30 – 9:30 AM Morning Plenary: Community Ownership Strategies and Organizing

Equitable development is an investment that stabilizes communities and provides vulnerable populations with a pathway out of poverty. Rather than divide the pie into more pieces, equitable development strives to expand the size of the pie through wealth-building strategies, entrepreneurship, accumulation of assets, and financial intelligence. This session focuses on how to expand independence within communities by creating cooperatives and leveraging buying power to enable residents to enter the economic mainstream. Attendees will learn the organizing back story behind successful projects. Also, experts will disclose how successful organizing efforts are built, mobilized and sustained.


Bob Giloth,Vice President, Center for Community and Economic Opportunity,
Annie E.Casey Foundation


Ted Howard, Executive Director and Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative (Cleveland, OH)
Presentation PDF

Chanchanit (Chancee) Martorell, Founder and Executive Director, Thai Community Development Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Presentation PDF

9:30 – 9:45 AM Break
9:45 – 11:00 AM

Concurrent Sessions

Session A: How to Manage Gentrification

It is a fair assessment that gentrification has benefits and impacts. Focusing exclusively on the benefits or impacts is not sustainable, and the social stalemate gives limited attention to the fact that all citizens share a common interest in having a better quality of life. Learn how to actively manage gentrification rather than passively subscribe to letting the market solve the problem.


Vernice Miller-Travis, Senior Associate, Community Planning and Revitalization Group, Skeo Solutions (Bowie, MD)
Presentation PDF


Mel Freeman, Executive Director, Citizen Planning and Housing Association (Baltimore, MD)

Session B: Working in Partnership for Equitable Development

As sustainability initiatives gain traction, it is increasingly apparent that the pathway to a sustainable future will require strategies for equitable development. Sustainable community initiatives and efforts to meet the needs of underserved populations need not be mutually exclusive. This session explores the power of partnerships among allied professionals, grassroots leaders, and established stakeholders for the purpose of encouraging equitable development as well as expanding opportunities for everyone to have a safe and healthy environment in which to live, work and play.


Timothy Fields, Senior Vice President, MDB, Inc. (Washington, DC)
Presentation PDF


Nora Liu, Community Development Manager,City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development (Seattle, WA)
Presentation PDF

11:00 – 11:15 AM Break
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM


Session A: Making Equitable Development Work Even When You Have Limited Resources

Looming budget cuts to community programs tend to cause anxiety. However, funding reductions aren’t an acceptable excuse for inaction. Doing more with less isn’t comfortable; however, this possible reality is just another day in the office for many communities who strive to advance equitable development and/or environmental justice. This session explores how local leaders are remaining productive, being creative, and stretching dollars further. Learn how the nation’s leading equitable development experts have been successful navigating financial hurdles.


Denise E.Gilmore, President and CEO,Heritage Preservation LLC (Kansas City, MO)


Tony Salazar, President of West Coast Operations, McCormack Baron Salazar (Los Angeles, CA)
Presentation PDF

Angel Rodriguez, Vice President for Community Economic Development, Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (Philadelphia, PA)
Presentation PDF

Session B: My Elected Official Gets It: Advancing Policy which supports Equitable Development

Elected officials have a critical role to play for advancing policy that encourages communities that are healthy, safe, equitable, and prosperous. Their leadership contributes to the progress of efforts for improving quality of life. This session gives elected officials an opportunity to share the actions they have undertaken to restore the primacy of existing communities as well as encourage parity within communities.  Elected officials will share how they positioned themselves to succeed as well as how they leveraged the support of local constituents.


Mike Sesma, Council Member, City of Gaithersburg, MD


State Representative Harold Mitchell, Jr., District 31, Spartanburg County (South Carolina)

State Representative Dwight Evans, 203rd Legislative District, Philadelphia County (Pennsylvania)

12:15 – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 – 1:30 PM
Closing Plenary – Wrap Up and Review of Logistics


Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Policymaker Workshop

Special Features

Get details on optional workshops, networking activities, special events, and other conference features.

Equitable Development

Healthy Food Systems

Speacial Features

It’s exciting that Baltimore is the site of this year’s New Partners conference because in many ways it is the embodiment of the long evolution of equitable development and the inclusion of environmental justice in these important disciplines – a fitting setting to continue that work by focusing on real-world implementation of equity and justice in the development of our communities.

Matthew Tejada
Director - Office of Environmental Justice Environmental Protection Agency