New Webinar Series: Walking Towards Justice

Too often discussions in walking and walkability happen without the benefit of historical facts, community precedents and cultural awareness. This unfortunately results in a lack of knowledge and understanding in the systematic and socially-constructed creation of past and present inequalities in neighborhood walkability—particularly in low-income and communities of colors.

To provide an open platform for discussion and aid in identifying potential solutions to improve walkability for ALL, America Walks has launched a new social equity-inspired online discussion series titled: Walking Towards Justice. Walking Towards Justice is a webinar series that integrates literature into a discussion regarding the intersectionality of mobility, race, class, gender, and politics. The quarterly webinar will include an interactive panel of leading scholars, activists, practitioners, America Walks Board members, and policymakers, who will discuss and explore connections between walking and other key topics such as social equity, residential segregation, gentrification, police brutality, and etc. Participants will also be able to engage and ask questions of panelists via chat during the live webinar.

Each discussion will be facilitated by Charles T. Brown, MPA, an America Walks’ board member who created this series in partnership with America Walks.

Click Here to Watch a Recording of Episode 1

Click here to Register for Episode 2

Episode 1: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America

Date/Time: September 27th, 2017 at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific
Register Here

The first discussion will explore the intersection of walkability and residential segregation. It will include special guest, Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Government Segregated America. Also joining the panel are nationally-known experts, Tamika Butler, Sahra Sulaiman, and Sonia Jimenez, JD.

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About the Author

Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California-Berkeley.


About the Panel

Charles Brown 

Mr. Brown is a senior researcher with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) and adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, both at Rutgers University. He has 15 years of public and private sector experience in transportation planning, policy, and research. He is considered a national thought leader and a leading voice in encouraging social equity in active transportation. He served as an instructor for twelve deliveries of the New Jersey Department of Transportation Complete Streets Course, and trained chronic disease coordinators throughout NJ on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Health. He currently serves as an instructor of a course on advanced environmental justice (EJ) for the National Transit Institute (NTI) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and is part of course faculty at the Walkability Action Institute, funded by the CDC.


Often invited to present and deliver keynote addresses at many international and national conferences/ summits, his work has been published in several international journals as well as featured by or quoted in the New York Times, Streetsblog, CityLab and various other national and local media outlets. He is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Pedestrian Safety Committee, Board Trustee with America Walks and the Urban League of Essex County (NJ), and serves on the Franklin Township (NJ) Planning Board. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.


Photo by: Serena Liu

Tamika Butler

Tamika is the Executive Director of the LA Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles. Prior to her role there, Tamika joined the Los Angeles Count Bicycle Coalition staff as the Executive Director in December 2014. Prior to leading LACBC Tamika was the Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s boys and men of color program and the foundation’s LGBTQ grant strategy. Before Liberty Hill, Tamika worked at Young Invincibles as the California Director. As the CA Director, she was responsible for the development of all of Young Invincibles’ programs in California. Tamika was responsible for building out Young Invincibles’ operations on the West Coast and grew the office to the largest regional office outside of their DC headquarters. She transitioned to policy work after litigating for three years as an employment lawyer at Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.

She received her J.D. in 2009 from Stanford Law School, and in 2006 received her B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Sociology in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Tamika currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Literary, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, and New Leaders Council – Los Angeles, and is an advisory board member for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Fair Play for Girls in Sports program.

Sonia Jimenez, JD

Sonia Jimenez is the business operations manager and a lead consultant for Ximenes & Associates, Inc., a public involvement, facilitation, and strategic planning firm based in San Antonio, Texas. She has been a facilitator and public involvement consultant for nearly 20 years. The majority of her work is with government agencies to engage stakeholders and the general public during the decision-making process regarding public policy, tax-funded projects, and civic planning. Sonia has also worked with corporations and non-profits to facilitate citizen boards and strategic planning sessions, moderate panels, and lead community-based events.

Sonia’s interest in promoting the need for more walkable communities comes from the understanding that walking as active transportation promotes community, health, sustainability, and an overall better quality of life. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from University of Texas at San Antonio and her J.D. from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.

Sahra Sulaiman 

Sahra is Communities Editor for Streetsblog L.A., covering the intersection of mobility with race, class, history, representation, policing, housing, health, culture, community, and access to the public space in Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles.