Founding Executive Director, Christopher J. Collins will retire December 2021 after 17 years leading the organization.
The organizational leadership team, the Board of Directors, and all staff are grateful for his leadership and hard work over the years and note that he leaves them and the organization well-positioned to carry his legacy and the charitable mission forward, building on the solid foundations he put in place.
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In the years after World War II, car ownership boomed in the United States, and so did the development of urban freeways. In many cases, making it easy for people to drive from suburban areas to downtown business districts came at a severe cost to low income neighborhoods, and especially to places with high concentrations of Black and brown residents.
Today, ambitious climate goals and new considerations of environmental justice are causing some cities to reconsider those long-ago decisions in urban planning, especially since many of those highways are deteriorating and nearing the end of their useful lives.
But plans to remove highways, while potentially offering benefits like cleaner air, less noise and more walkable neighborhoods, also raise new questions about development, open space and exactly who will benefit from these changes.
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Americans who were horrified about the murder of George Floyd and protested police violence and over-policing of people of color throughout last summer breathed a collective sigh of relief when the jury in the Chauvin trial returned a verdict of “guilty” on all three counts on Tuesday. Mr. Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, wrote this moving tribute in the Washington Post that speaks to what so many are feeling: exhaustion, relief, a sense of history moving slowly forward. The verdict is historic and we hope it is a strong first step towards more even-handed and less racially motivated dispensation of justice in the United States.
But there is still much work to be done. Hours before the Chauvin verdict was announced, 16 year old M’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by police responding to a 911 call in Columbus, Ohio. And in December of last year, two other Black citizens died at the hands of Columbus police: Casey Goodson, Jr., 23, and Andre Hill, 47. Many others around the country, including Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile and so many others have had the justice they deserved deferred or denied. We must continue to remember their humanity, the pain of their loved ones in the face of their tragic and unnecessary deaths, and the value to our society that was lost with them.
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