If intentionally designed, the community engagement process has the power to translate the collective aspirations, goals and needs of a project’s community. At Gould Evans, we believe a new school is the vessel for developing the next generation of leaders and can help heal and reinforce restorative justice through continued positive change within its community. Oftentimes in stakeholder and community engagement processes, the loudest voices tend to prevail. By questioning this, Berkeley Unified School District together with the design team put power back in the hands of the Berkeley community, especially those that have been previously underrepresented. Our common goal has been to deliver a valued community asset through the Longfellow Middle School Improvement Project—a redesign of a school with the highest percentage of students of color at the district’s middle school level. From the start, this design process has focused on providing a safe space for all to “listen to learn” and “learn to listen” to ensure that the new school would be designed “with”—not “for”—the community. Panelists will share an in-depth look at lessons learned on how considerable thought, dedicated time, and a clear shifting of the power dynamic to the users can lead to a more inclusive and equitable design process.
The event will be a 30-minute Panel Discussion with room for dialogue and exchange of ideas followed by Q&A.
Teresa Jan, Project Manager, Gould Evans
Patricia Algara, Founding Principal, BASE Landscape Architects
Milton Reynolds, Founder ,Milton Reynolds Consulting