STUDENT PLANNING ASSOCIATION
SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT | COMMUNITY OUTREACH | ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT | PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Georgia Tech Student Planning Association (SPA) is a volunteer organization comprised of graduate students in the School of City and Regional Planning. Throughout the year, SPA conducts a variety of social, academic, career development, and community outreach events. We are affiliated with the Georgia Planning Association and the American Planning Association.
Membership is open to all interested graduate and undergraduate students, regardless of major.
World Town Planning Day is an international event dedicated to current planning topic. Each year, SPA hosts a public panel to discuss to encourage dialogue around a planning topic.
We are aware of how our profession as city planners has worked throughout history to forward the ends of white supremacy and systemic racism.
We, the Student Planning Association, support those protesting systemic racism around the country. Institutional racism is visible not only in the racist murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and countless others at the hands of law enforcement, but also in the deaths of so many Black people who never receive a hashtag, because their deaths from lack of medical care and environmental hazards are so ingrained in complicit normalcy. We also recognize the racist system that does not hold law enforcement accountable for violence against Black bodies. This is the same system that has created and continues to perpetuate the income inequality, wealth gap, and poor health outcomes that plague Black communities.
We stand with our fellow Black students and community members. We stand with those fighting against racism and actively working to dismantle the systems that perpetuate disparate treatment and outcomes. We stand with the collective movement to achieve equity. The Student Planning Association here at Georgia Tech acknowledges that we are a body of students who are actively learning how to shape communities and cities here and abroad. As the next generation of planners, we carry an important responsibility to create spaces from which anyone and everyone can benefit. We are committed to educating ourselves further on the ways we can incorporate equity into our academic, professional, and personal lives.
SPA is committed to taking steps to achieve racial justice, and we encourage all members of the SCaRP community to join us as we work to effect change. First, SPA is reviewing and identifying ways to follow the American Planning Association’s Planning for Equity Policy Guide. This important tool clearly outlines ways we can incorporate equity in the professional world we will soon join. Second, SPA is developing mechanisms for students to share their concerns and ideas for supporting Black students in this program. We want to hear from you what we can do to make a space that exemplifies inclusion, support, and equity. Third, SPA will be actively learning, advocating, and engaging in the fight for change by hosting learning opportunities, organizing groups to attend and support local events, and building and sustaining relationships with local organizations that fight for equity. All these steps will inform SPA’s continued work of advocating student needs to the department to improve curriculum and experience.
Planning is not a silver bullet for equity, but it is a tool through which individuals can push the needle towards a more just, fair, and healthy future. We urge the members of our SCaRP community to stand up against racism and discrimination in all forms it takes: personally, academically, and professionally.
Student Planning Association 2020-2021 Board