Past Events

Archive of recorded events held at the Bloustein School. Not all events are recorded. If you attended an event at the Bloustein School that was hosted by another organization, please check with that organization for information about whether the event was recorded.

Note: If you click the link to watch a recording and the video does not begin, hit the pause button (two vertical lines, lower left of video screen) wait a few seconds and hit the play button)


4/7 Slavery Reparations and Racial Justice

click to play

Thomas Craemer, associate professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut, traced slavery reparations proposals from the founding of the United States to the present. He also addressed historical precedents for slavery reparations, albeit in the wrong direction–that is, to the descendants of slave owners rather than the enslaved. Various estimation methods have been developed for the outstanding debt to African American descendants of the enslaved, land-based, price-based, and wage-based. Dr. Craemer presented the wage-based method to calculate what the enslaved lost by not being paid for their time. Historical reparations precedents can help us in the design and implementation of future federal reparations policies with the goal of closing the racial wealth gap. 

4/13 “We shall seek social justice”: Moving from aspiration to implementation in Portland’s urban planning

click to play

If you ask most urban planners, they’ll tell you that Portland, Oregon is about regionalism, transit-oriented development, sustainability, and hipsters ‘putting a bird on it.’  For Portland’s Black community, urban planning has been an often-mysterious process by which their neighborhoods have been repeatedly disrupted by first urban renewal and redlining, and then public investment-led gentrification. In the face of impending erasure, communities of color demanded that Portland’s plans and policies do more than just gesture towards equity goals. Due to this organizing, Portland’s latest comprehensive plan includes an anti-displacement agenda for new land-use policy. Planners are grappling with historical legacies of racism and present-day policy implementation, working with community organizations in venues of both conflict and collaboration. In this lecture, Lisa K. Bates, PhD, Associate Professor, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University reflected on the challenges of implementing the planners’ aspiration that “we shall seek social justice” and the possibilities when communities of color take the lead. 

3/22 Racial Memory, Woodrow Wilson, and the Making of the Nation

(recording not available)

Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway presented a discussion of the role that race played in shaping the leadership and political world view of Woodrow Wilson. As the president of the United States, Wilson led the country toward war in order to make the world safe for democracy. If that narrative is embraced as a form of progressive international politics, Wilson’s domestic policies tell a different story. Wilson’s racial views informed his administration’s punitive approach to labor, citizenship, and belonging. As contemporary sensibilities shifted in our new century, Wilson’s legacy came under closer scrutiny, particularly at Princeton University which he once led. The university wrestled over the “racial memory” of Wilson’s ideologies in ways that can inform our current thinking about race, citizenship, and public policy decision-making.

2/25 Integrating Food Justice in Urban Planning for Communities to Become Self-Sufficient

click to play

Food justice in spatial and urban planning should be at the center of discourse. Though food seems trivial compared to other issues such as housing, transportation, and the environment; it is a significant part of our lives that we must constantly make decisions about. Strategies to implement food justice are often carried out at a community level for them to become more self-sufficient. Both the social aspect, such as women’s participation, cultural identity, food pantry policies; and the environmental aspect, such as functions of public spaces, sustainable cultivation methods, and materials are equally important and integrated into our daily lives. The panel aims to create a conversation about the integration of food justice in the urban environment and its multi-functional benefits to the community.” Speakers:  – Jeff Hou, Professor – Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington – Teresa Mares, Associate Professor – Department of Anthropology at the University of Vermont – Sheryll Durrant, Kelly Street Garden Manager & Board President of JUSTFOOD.

2/25 Second Annual CROWN Conference

click to play

Following on the success of last year’s event, the 2nd Annual Crown Conference is a panel discussion on hair, hair discrimination, policies (particularly in light of the new changes of our administration), and how hair influences the health of people of color. Panelists discuss  questions relating to incidents of 2020, hair stigma, hair discrimination, policies, students’ perspectives on career options regarding natural hair in the workplace, updates since the CROWN Act inception, how hair shapes health, and “what to do if” — your rights in hair discrimination. Panelists include Dr. Bernice Rumala, Co-founder of CROWN Campaign; Shemekka Ebony, Co-founder of CROWN Campaign; Karen Thompson, Attorney at law, NJ Chapter of the ACLU; Christina Anderson, MPH Candidate Health Systems/Health Policy, Black Public Health Student Alliance; and Amber Rockson, MPH Candidate Epidemiology, Black Public Health Student Alliance. Moderated by Patti O’Brien-Richardson, Associate Teaching Professor, Bloustein School.

2/11 Art Practice and Urban Planning as a Tool for Social Transformation

click to play

Arts and culture are not luxuries, but central to the central task of urban development: improving people’s lives. Many times artistic expressions are seem separated from the work of urban planners. There is a need to recognize and appreciate the role of arts and cultural expressions in sustainable urban development. In other words, arts and culture as tools that combined with urban planning interventions can foster transformative actions. The Bloustein Graduate Student Association presents a social just panel that specifically aims to recognize how the use of arts/culture in urban planning processes can be particularly transformative for oppressed communities. We reflect on how experimental and participatory art can cultivate community development.  Speakers include Antonio Moya-Latorre, Pianist and Ph.D. student in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University; James Rojas, founder of Place It!; and Sharon Lee De La Cruz, Director of Sustainability the POINT CDC 

12/2 Considerations for Returning to the Office: A 5 Phase Framework

click to play

As businesses contemplate the return to the office, organizations are grappling with a myriad of issues as they attempt to address both employee anxiety and the management of risk. There will be formidable employee engagement, insurance, and litigation challenges for both public and private institutions. James T. Cisneros, President of Lone Pine Consulting will lead a discussion centered around the development of a comprehensive 5 Phase Program Management framework that has been designed to address these issues. The discussion will be moderated by William M. Rodgers III, Ph.D., Professor and Chief Economist, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Bloustein School.

James T. Cisneros, President of Lone Pine Consulting is a Senior Corporate Real Estate Executive with 20+ years’ experience in leading strategy, operations, design, construction, and transactions. He has experience in developing strategic occupancy plans for +5.5 MM sf for a variety of major global corporations.

11/17 Why is Quality of Life Falling in the US?

(recording not available)

The Social Progress Index offers a rich framework for measuring the multiple dimensions of social progress, benchmarking success, and catalyzing greater human well-being. Creating a society with opportunity for all citizens remains an elusive goal that many nations have failed to achieve. Despite its immense wealth, military power and cultural influence, the United States ranks 28th, having slipped from 19th in 2011. The newest data—released in early September—also find that out of 163 countries assessed worldwide, the United States, Brazil and Hungary are the only ones in which people are worse off than when the index began in 2011. And the declines in Brazil and Hungary were smaller than America’s. 

New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof joined a multidisciplinary panel of Rutgers experts from the Bloustein School, the School of Social Work, and the School of Communication and Information to discuss how and why the United States is declining on this measure of well-being.  The index, inspired by the research of Nobel-winning economists, collects 50 metrics of well-being — nutrition, safety, freedom, the environment, health, education, and more — to measure quality of life. These experts examined the metrics where the U.S. scored lowest, the structural problems that have led to this point, and how the choices our communities and elected officials make can reverse this decline in the years ahead.

10/28 Political Advertisement X 1952-2020

click to play

***The film screening is not included as part of this recording ***

Antoni Muntadas and Marshall Reese presented Political Advertisement X ­– almost 40 years in the making – tracing the use and history of political media in a special screening at Rutgers University.  For the past nine general elections, the artists have premiered the latest version of the compilation in a public presentation, followed by a discussion about the impact of campaign advertising. Surveying the American televisual campaign process from Eisenhower to Clinton and Trump, the artists trace the history of television ads as both political strategy and marketing technique.  

10/16 Planning IRL: A Primer on Overcoming Obstacles and Finding Success — Presented by EJB Philly Regional Alumni Group

click to play

As municipal planners in the public and private sectors, Bloustein alums Maggie Dobbs (MCRP ’14) and McKinley Mertz (MCRP ’15) have gained some experience in the ins and outs of planning in real life. Join them for a discussion on what really happens when you apply the theoretical lens of planning to the vagaries of local government, where planning graduate school gets it right, and where you realize how much you don’t actually know.

These professionals will walk you through the first years of life on the job and provide input on what you may expect as a young planner, plus tips on community engagement, coordination with municipal staff and governing bodies, and negotiating with developers. We hope you will take away some good insight into what it means to be a land-use planner and finding success in the important work we do.

9/25 The Future of Planning for Economic Democracy and Self-Determination: Towards a Post-COVID Just Recovery

click to play

Historic urban planning and policy decisions have led to higher impacts of COVID-19 in low-income communities — special attention should be paid to Black and brown women, undocumented immigrant communities, etc. As future planners and policymakers, it is our responsibility to consider how we can un-do these dynamics while working hand-in-hand with low-income communities to fight forward processes of self-determination and economic democracy. This discussion will be of interest to anyone willing to help to create a post-COVID “new normal” that is just for everyone. Presented by the Bloustein Graduate Student Association with community organizers and planners from MIT Community Lab Innovators (CoLab) working with Black and brown communities from the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Bios of guest speakers: 

Presentation (PPT) 
MIT Colab materials on economic democracy (PDF) and community land trusts (PDF)

5/8 How COVID-19 is Affecting Public Transportation

click to play

A diverse group of panelists in the transportation arena discussed their agencies’ responses to COVID-19 on an online panel hosted by the Bloustein School and the Bloustein/New York City Alumni Group. Public transit agencies deliver a vital service every day, especially during times of emergency – providing critical mobility options for millions of frontline health care, public safety, grocery and restaurant workers fulfilling essential roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming months, public transit agencies face a crisis that could result in catastrophic revenue losses that threaten the viability and availability of transit services in the near- and long-term. Our panelists spoke on a range of topics including how the current global pandemic has and might impact travel patterns, service, operations, ridership, and local and regional planning initiatives that they are engaged in.

3/5 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture: The Crises of American Democracy 

click to play

During the Trump presidency, the challenges facing our democratic institutions become clear. Voting restrictions, disinformation, and rampant partisanship pose immense threats to the long-term health of our politics. In his talk, Professor Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, provided historical context to these issues and offer a path forward after 2020. 

02/27 Affordability: The New Innovation Imperative

click to play

Why would a successful health care system change its winning strategies to move toward value-based care?  Brian Gragnolati, President & CEO of Atlantic Health System, offers a real-life view of one organization’s transformational journey in the name of greater access and affordability for every patient and consumer. The discussion focuses on the adaptive change required to mobilize key stakeholders in governance and leadership, build collaborative relationships with former competitors and those who pay for care (employers, private insurers and government), all while experimenting with new payment and physician integration models and innovative care coordination initiatives. Looking at health care through the lens of affordability, this session encourages individuals and organizations to work together to design a more inclusive, equitable health care system that puts patients first.

2/27 – Panel Presentation: Hazard Mitigation and Climate Resilience

click to play

Alumni practitioners working in a variety of organizations, sectors and focus areas discuss the variety of careers in this arena. Kelly Pflicke (MCRP ’14) of FEMA Region II moderates panelists from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), Michael Baker International, Wharton Risk Center at the University of Pennsylvania, NYC Planning and consultant Sea Change Planning Services, LLC.  

2/19 Gov. James J. Florio Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Public Policy Lecture

click to play

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a bevy of ethics reforms that aim to change the culture of New Jersey’s government.

1/30 – The CROWN Conference: Can Public Policy End Hair Discrimination?

click to play

The purpose of this conference was to discuss, educate, and illuminate the need for a New Jersey bill known as the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Naturals) to protect the rights of those who choose to wear their hair in natural (just the way it grows) hairstyles such as Afros, braids, twists, and locs, hairstyles commonly worn by people of African descent in the workplace and schools. Moderated by Patricia O’Brien-Richardson, Ph.D., MS. Ed, Associate Professor of Teaching, Bloustein School. Panelists included Sandra Cunningham, State Senator and Co-Sponsor of the bill; Angela McKnight, Assemblywoman and Co-Sponsor of the bill; Dr. Bernice B. Rumala, Crown Campaign Co-founder; Shemekka Ebony Coleman, Crown Campaign Co-founder.

12/3 Accelerating the Transition to a Clean, Equitable, and Resilient Transportation Future 

2C+and+Resilient+Transportation+Future/1_xgv835j2" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="click to play (opens in a new tab)">click to play

Alan M. Voorhees Distinguished Lecture

Climate change is already affecting our region, the U.S., and the planet, bringing risks to public health and safety as well as to our infrastructure and communities. The transportation sector is now the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, and is also quite vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate. Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Professor from Practice and Assistant Dean, Centers and Institutes, Georgetown University Law Center discusses what’s at stake and the steps that leaders in states and communities are taking to reduce emissions and shift to cleaner transportation alternatives while preparing for climate change impacts, including heat waves, intense storms, and rising seas. Cosponsored with the Rutgers Climate Institute.

11/12 Planning for climate change: building equity into sustainable urban futures 

click to play

2019-20 Stuart Meck Memorial Lecture in Land Use Law and Affordable Housing 

Climate change raises many profound questions about the future of cities. How will cities adapt to more frequent and extreme weather events? How will they change their infrastructure and energy systems to move toward a zero-carbon future? As researchers in planning and allied fields, explore these questions, an emerging, cross-cutting theme is the issue of equity: what will climate adaptation and mitigation mean for less advantaged urban residents and communities? who will have a voice in climate-related decisions and actions? and, most importantly, where are the leverage points for building a sustainable and equitable urban future? This emphasis on equity is not only front and center for urban governments, but is also foundational for a proposed Green New Deal and the climate justice movement more generally. Robin Leichenko, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Rutgers University explores opportunities, synergies, and challenges associated with bringing equity into planning for climate change in cities, drawing from Leichenko’s work on equity-based community adaptation in New York City.

10/30 Implications of the New Jersey Aid in Dying Act for Healthcare Providers and Administrators

click to play

New Jersey joins seven other states in promulgating an Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill statute, sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R16) and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D3), signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy and enacted on August 1, 2019. The law allows terminally ill New Jersey adults who are within 6 months of dying to end their lives peacefully, with dignity, and at their own discretion. In light of its societal significance for New Jersey, the Bloustein School convened a distinguished panel of our state’s healthcare leaders to participate in an open dialogue about the implications this law may have for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare administrators, related healthcare professionals and society at large.

5/20 Fourth Annual Research Conference on Education Reform, Communities and Social Justice: Exploring the Intersections 

2C+Communities+and+Social+Justice+Part+2+5/1_akgczq0r" target="_blank">Part 2 | 2C+Communities+and+Social+Justice+Part+4+5/1_u1mc6y6v">Part 4 | Part 5

2/28 The LULU: A Wider Theory

click to play

From the early 1980s through the early 1990s, Frank Popper wrote extensively on Locally Unwanted Land Uses or LULUs. These are developments society needs but no one wants nearby. Examples are nuclear power plants, hazardous waste facilities, highways, and low-income housing. Planning routinely solves the seeming riddle they present. LULUs quickly became a common term in planning and later environmental justice. Dr. Popper returns to the topic, revealing big gaps in his past work neither he or nor later researchers and policymakers found. He also shows why LULUs do not offer a complete theory of land use but why a broader theory of them might.

11/7 Hospitals in an Era of Tumult

click to play

Hospitals face a chaotic political environment in the wake of failed attempts to repeal the ACA and cut entitlements. Meanwhile others are calling for “Medicare for All.” But this uncertainty also stems from disruptive changes as new private sector actors enter the business of healthcare. Dr. Bruce Siegel, President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, will try to make sense of these trends and assess the opportunities and risks faced by the hospital industry.

11/6 An Overview of The Fourth Regional Plan

click to play

Work on The Fourth Regional Plan began by talking with and listening to people from across the region. What the Regional Plan Association heard was that people loved where they live, but they had serious concerns. Housing was too expensive. Commutes were long and unreliable. The destruction brought by Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy underscored the region’s vulnerability to climate change and raised questions about how prepared we were for the storms to come. Tom Wright, President and CEO of the Regional Plan Association, led the production of The Fourth Regional Plan, released in November 2017, proposes 61 recommendations to improve prosperity and quality of life in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region.

10/10 Building Communities for All Ages in New Jersey: Advancing Local Economies, Quality of Life, and Social Cohesion

click to play

Presented by the Bloustein School, Rutgers School of Social Work, and AARP

New Jersey is a state with many diverse residents of all ages. Baby Boomers, GenXers and Millennials all want to live in towns and cities that are clean, safe and secure, prosperous, affordable and with access to healthy food, transportation options and open spaces. Experts from AARP, the Bloustein School and the Rutgers School of Social Work discussed the benefits of building communities for all ages in New Jersey and provided an overview of efforts already underway in New Jersey to build communities that are livable for people of all ages.

4/18 The Path to 2050: New Jersey’s Clean Energy Economy

click to play

Presented by the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

New Jersey is in the process of transforming its energy sector to develop a clean energy economy. This public forum explores the intersection of clean energy and the economy with a keynote presentation by Laurence M. Downes, Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources, along with a panel of experts in workforce development and energy planning.

3/27 – Place, Race, and Power: Advancing Health Equity in New Jersey and Nationally

click to play

2018 Robert A. Catlin Memorial Lecture

Residential segregation is a powerful root cause of racial and ethnic health inequities because it concentrates health risks in communities of color while limiting access to health-enhancing resources. This talk by Brian D. Smedley, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis, and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity, reviewsr research on the importance of place for health, and discusses policy strategies that can improve equity. In particular, the talk offers a preview of the Health Opportunity and Equity Measures, which offer state-level rankings of health and the major drivers of health equity. It also focuses on how patterns of residential segregation reinforce health inequities, and both place- and people-based strategies to counter the effects of segregation.

2/20 – Leading Their Communities: Exploring Women’s Impact in Entrepreneurial Roles

click to play

2018 Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture

This engaging panel features accomplished, female entrepreneurs, all alumni of the Bloustein School,  who lead diverse businesses in the state of New Jersey. Each discuss their individual experiences, successes, and the challenges faced while developing their businesses, and explain how they were able to find success in the areas of urban planning and related fields. As women leaders, each of these urban planners also demonstrated how their businesses have both influenced and transformed the communities in which they serve.  Moderated by Bloustein School Associate Professor Julia Sass Rubin  (MBA, MA, PhD, Harvard University). Panelists: Christiana R. Foglio, MCRP ’86 (GSNB), DC ‘84, President, Community Investment Strategies, Inc.; Courtenay D. Mercer, MCRP ’02, Principal, Mercer Planning Associates; Jessica Schellack, MCRP ’11, Co-founder, OQ Coffee Co.

2/13 – Walking While Black

click to play

A discussion on the ProPublica/Florida Times-Union “Walking While Black” investigative series. Reporters Topher Sanders and Ben Conarck discussed the series and answered questions about the innovative project which focused on Jacksonville, Fla. Some of the findings included: jaywalking tickets were disproportionally given to black pedestrians; tickets were often used as a means to question and search pedestrians and; the city’s pedestrian infrastructure was poorest in the areas police ticketed.

01/30 – Adapting to Change: Environmental Science and Policy in the Time of Trump

click to play

2018 Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture

presented by Thomas A. Burke, PhD, MPH, Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health Risk and Society and Director, Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Former EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, Jan. 2015-Jan. 2017

11/08 – History and Evolution of Metuchen, 1967-2017

click to play

2017 Isadore Candeub Memorial Lecture in Planning