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About the Contributors

Published onOct 18, 2023
About the Contributors

Alex Britt (Nansemond/White)

Alex Britt is a mixed Indigenous (Nansemond Indian Nation descendant) and white artist based in Seattle, WA (Unceded Duwamish land). Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah (Ute and Shoshone lands). They are a mixed media artist who works primarily in Photography, Fiber art and Beadwork. Their artwork celebrates Indigenous and queer communities and focuses on heritage as a way of reclaiming identity.


Social Handles

@husquamun, @alexbrittphoto (Instagram)

Olivia Casagrande & Philipp Horn

Olivia Casagrande and Philipp Horn are white, European, non-indigenous scholars based at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield (UK)working collaboratively with Indigenous communities. We believe in the critical questioning of our research practice, and in the need of decolonizing Academia. Following this aim, and a joint effort toward more equal and relational ways of knowledge production, we have been working collaboratively with urban Indigenous people in Bolivia and Chile for the last decade. This article presents findings from an ESRC-funded project (, involving Indigenous youths as co-researchers in all stages. While written by ourselves from our own situated positionality, all contents will be discussed, reviewed and agreed with our four Aymara youth collaborators (Estela Maldonada, Eliana Cordero, Soledad Tancara, and Helen Marisol) from El Alto, following their priorities.

Mia Charlene White

Mia Charlene White, MIA, PhD, is co-convener of the BIPOC Planning Collective. She is Assistant Professor of Urban & Environmental Studies in the Schools for Public Engagement at The New School. Mia has been engaged in multiple conversations linking land and housing justice for a new social contract and serves as Associate Director of both the Tishman Environment and Design Center, and the Housing Justice Lab at Parsons. Mia is Vice-Chair of the Black Geographers Specialty Group (AAG) and is a locally elected official of the South Orange Village (NJ) Zoning Board of Adjustment.  She works with several community-based organizations in NJ and NYC to deliver political education on affordable housing, environmental justice, and racial justice.  Mia received her BA in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook, her Master Of International Affairs in Environmental Justice and Human Rights from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, and her PhD in Urban Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT.

Leilani Chow (Kanaka Maoli)

Leilani Chow, is a kuaʻāina (country Hawaiian) from the island of Molokaʻi. Like all Molokaʻi youth, she was fortunate to be brought up in close relationship with ʻāina and community, reiterating in her the kuleana (responsibility) to use her expertise to return a similar love and support. 

Epiphany Couch (spuyaləpabš/Puyallup, Yakama)

Epiphany Couch is a multidisciplinary artist exploring generational knowledge, storytelling, and our connection to the metaphysical. By re-contextualizing traditional mediums such as bookmaking, photography, and sculpture, she looks to present new ways through which we can examine our pasts, the natural world, and our ancestors. Couch’s work is unapologetically personal, drawing from family stories, her childhood experience, archival research, and her own dreams. She utilizes the book not only as a format through which to share these stories but as a precious object — intimate and heirloom-like. Couch is spuyaləpabš (Puyallup), Yakama, and Scandinavian and grew up in caləłali (Tacoma, Washington). She lives and works in Portland, Oregon. 


Social handle

@epiphany_couch_art (Instagram)

Denise Emerson (Skokomish, Navajo)

When Denise was six years old, her teacher gave the students “coloring pages” of holiday scenes. She was to color the pictures with color crayons.  But she saw what she wanted to do, she added objects (Easter eggs, patches on rabbits' overalls, Christmas gifts under the tree, more ornaments to the Christmas tree) to the coloring pages. 

The teacher saw what she was doing and asked her, “Denise, what made you think of doing that?” Denise's reply was "I don't know, I just did it". Of course, her six-year-old self couldn’t explain at that age but knew the coloring pages needed more objects than the simplicity of the original coloring pages.  Her teacher asked if she could share them with the class, and Denise replied yes.

Her teacher was only the first person who noticed Denise creating her own composition.

Denise creates beadwork and prints inspired by Native designs and ancestral photos, and uses modern technology to create beading patterns, paintings and digital art.

Art is in Denise’s body and her gut tells her when an art piece is finished. It’s good medicine for her spiritually.


Social Handles


Daniel L. Engelberg

Daniel L. Engelberg is a scholar interested in how communities imagine more just futures and what planning professionals can do to support bringing those futures about. His current research, as a post-doc at Northeastern University, examines how environmental justice practitioners and community members in greater Boston can combine their established practices for visioning the future with participatory modeling and environmental sensors to build coalitions for climate justice. Daniel also persists with related research project on planning under uncertainty (dissertation) and socio-environmental modeling (Journal of the American Planning Association). Daniel grew up in occupied Piscataway lands in Columbia, Maryland. Driven to advance just futures for all because of his family history, and guided by Jewish, Quaker and Buddhist influences, Daniel is eager to learn from and elevate the imaginaries of Indigenous peoples. 

Leora Gansworth (Anishinaabe)

(kristi) Leora Gansworth is Anishinaabe kwe, a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and a postdoctoral fellow at the Osgoode Hall Law School at York University. 

Aaron Gregory

Dr. Aaron Gregory is a member of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community, with bi-racial ancestry traced to Indigenous communities in Western Africa. Drawing upon Indigenous Studies, Science & Technology Studies (STS) and Critical Infrastructure Studies, Dr. Gregory develops collaborative research projects with Indigenous communities in Africa, South America and North America to advance critical scholarship and activism related to the applications of scientific practice and infrastructural planning. Their current research projects in the Pacific Northwest (USA) builds upon multi-generational connections to Native and BIPOC communities throughout, examining the articulation of Indigenous knowledges and politics within the Euro-Western practices of infrastructural planning and engineering.

Clint Jacobs (Anishinaabe)

Clint Jacobs is a member of Walpole Island First Nation and the supervisor of Nin.Da.Waab.Jib (Walpole Island Heritage Centre), where he has been working since 1998. 

Eileen Jimenez (Ñätho/Otomi)

Eileen's mother is Maria Cruz, her grandmother is Eloisa, and her great grandmother is Isidora, matriarchs of the Ñätho (Otomi Peoples). As an Indigenous leader, community member, educator and as an artist, everything she does and creates is influenced by her many intersecting identities and lived experiences. She creates the art, the structures, the programming and the educational experiences she wishes she and her community would have seen and had access to growing up. Eileen uses linocut and mixed-media techniques to develop her own ways of telling stories in the complex layers that they exist in, as well as to demonstrate the ways that we are connected to the Land and to each other.


Social handles (Instagram)

Layla Kilolu

Layla Kilolu claims her ancestral roots from various parts of Polynesia and Southeast Asia. Her PhD dissertation focuses on the equitable design of compensation models as they relate to renewable energy developments. 

Lehuauakea (Kanaka maoli)

Lehuauakea is a māhū Native Hawaiian interdisciplinary artist and kapa maker from Pāpaʻikou on Moku O Keawe, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Through a range of traditional Kanaka Maoli craft- based media, their art serves as a means of exploring social and biological ecologies, cultural and environmental resilience, and Indigenous identity. With a particular focus on the labor- intensive making of kapa (bark cloth), ʻohe kāpala (carved bamboo printing tools), and natural pigments, Lehua is able to breathe new life into patterns and traditions practiced for generations. They have participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, and recently opened their first curatorial research project, DISplace, at the Five Oaks Museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist is currently based between the continent and Pāpaʻikou after earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with a minor in Art + Ecology at Pacific Northwest College of Art. 

Medium: Earth pigments, plant dyes, gouache, embroidery floss, ceramic beads on mixed mulberry papers

Year: 2018


Social handle: @_lehuauakea_  (Instagram)

Kevin Lujan Lee (Chamoru)

Kevin (Chamoru, familian Capili) is broadly interested in state-society relations in comparative and global context, with a substantive focus on Indigenous politics and low-wage work. His research has been published in urban planning (Environment and Planning F: Philosophy, Theory, Models, Methods and Practice, Planning Theory & Practice), political science (Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics) and Indigenous Studies (The Contemporary Pacific). He is currently a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Political Science, and an incoming Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies (Fall 2024) at the University of Buffalo. 

Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation)

Brenda Mallory lives in Portland, Oregon. She grew up in Oklahoma and is a citizen of Cherokee Nation. She received a BA in Linguistics & English from UCLA and a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art.  Mallory has received grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.  Awards include the Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Native Art Fellowship, Native Arts and Culture Visual Arts Fellowship, Ucross Native Fellowship, and the Hallie Ford Fellowship. Texture and repeated rhythmic forms are instrumental to Mallory’s abstract compositions. Using mainly reclaimed materials, she explores ideas of disruption, repair, and interconnections in long-established systems in nature and human cultures.

Medium: Deconstructed thread spools and cores on panel, 70 x 34 x 4 inches

Photo Credit: Mario Gallucci

Year: 2019


Social handles

@brenmallory (Instagram) (Facebook) 

Fran Nededog Lujan (CHamoru)

Fran Nededog Lujan (CHamoru, Bittut clan), Museum Director and Curator of the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM), is the first CHamoru (the Indigenous people of the Mariana Islands) to hold the position of museum director in the continental United States. She is the guardian of the Pacific Islands’ beloved ancestral pieces at PIEAM. Her practice of care is rooted in re-Indigenization, radical joy, and intergenerational curation. She holds space to illuminate the multiplicities of Pacific Islander artists and cultural practitioners' presence and practices in roots and in routes. She is known among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities as Aunty Fran. In 2022, she received the Ernest M. Pon Award from the Association of Ethnic Studies, which recognizes Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations dedicated to human rights and equal justice.

Byron A. Nicholas

Byron Nicholas, PP, AICP is the Chief of Hudson County, NJ’s Planning Division and a co-convener of the BIPOC Planning Collective, an affiliate of Planners Network. He has over a decade of experience covering a wide range of multi-modal planning, policy, funding, and design at the regional and municipal level. Prior to this role, Byron served as Supervising Transportation Planner for Hudson County, New Jersey, where he was the County’s sub regional representative to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) MPO. In this role he served as the Vice Chair of the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee, managed the transportation planning program, and advised County leadership on equitable transportation matters, including the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, the County’s Ferry Assessment, and the County’s Trucking Study. Byron is also the creator of Blackandurban, an online platform for POC planners and forward thinkers to document solutions to problems facing our communities. Byron is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, holds a Master of Urban Planning and a BA in Environmental Design from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is currently the Planning Accreditation Board’s Vice-Chair as the AICP Young Planner Appointee.

Sean I. Robin (Tuscarora)

Sean I. Robin, MCP, is co-convener of the BIPOC Planning Collective.  He is a musician, writer, and planner. He serves as Assistant Commissioner of Co-op Readiness & Technical Services at the NYC Department of Housing, Preservation & Development.  He was founding editor of Indigenous Planning Times, a magazine presenting multicultural perspectives on community transformation, and was an officer and editor for the Indigenous Planning Division of the American Planning Association.  He has worked for many years in the community development sector to combat homelessness and generate healthier communities.  He studied Mathematics and English at Cornell University and earned a Master of City Planning at MIT, with his thesis Performance as a Means of Youth Empowerment.  He is of Afro-Indigenous (Tuscarora) and European Ancestry.

Sebastien Selarque

Sebastien Selarque, is a French-American with Japanese and Jewish heritage. Although local to the island of Oʻahu, he considers Molokaʻi a part of his extended home community for which he holds a strong sense of responsibility toward. His master’s capstone research is on the topic of community-based renewable energy planning and he works professionally as a community energy planner.

Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation)

yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective is a community of intertribal Indigenous artists rematriating 1.5 acres of land in South Seattle, on Coast Salish territories. Their mission is to help improve Indigenous well-being through art-making, community building, and equitable creative opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Asia Tail is yəhaẃ Indigenous Creatives Collective’s Director. She is an artist and community organizer based in Tukwila, Washington. She attended the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2014. Asia was the recipient of the first Vadon Foundation Native Artist Fellowship in 2019, and was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People by Seattle Magazine the same year. In 2022, she was selected to serve on the City of Seattle’s inaugural Indigenous Advisory Council. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, born and raised within the diverse urban Native community in the Pacific Northwest.

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