On Saturday, November 21, more than 75 students from planning schools across Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties gathered at the UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs for the 10th Annual APA Los Angeles Student Symposium.
This year a cohort of student planning organizations from UCLA chose to focus on the topic of Social Justice and Community Engagement. Specifically, students were interested in learning how urban planners engage marginalized communities in a wide range of planning arenas, and ways to better strategize for equitable outcomes. There were two thematic panels: “Great Streets: Successes and Challenges” and “The Role of Immigrants in Cities” with representation from the Office of Mayor’s Great Streets Program, LA-Más, Pacoima Beautiful, East Los Angeles Community Coalition (ELACC), Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), and Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN). Panelists fielded questions from student audience and from fellow panelists, creating a rich discussion.
The final panel was a career panel focused on how representatives from the nonprofit, private, and public sectors work with community engagement. After the symposium, students and APA members were invited to APA’s Young and Emerging Planning Professionals (YEPP) networking hap
py hour at Barney’s Beanery. For many planning students, it was the first time that they had an opportunity to meet with students from other planning schools. Feedback from the event was positive and students were excited to have a venue for discussing relevant planning issues with current planners.
Thank you to the students, staff and faculty of UCLA’s Luskin School for hosting this year’s symposium, and to all who participated! We’ll look forward to next year’s event to be held at USC.