An Inter-disciplinary Collaborative
of Faculty and Community Partners

A timely opportunity

In 2016 we saw both a timely urgency and an opportunity. A national conversation about race was opening up to a degree not seen in recent times. At the same time, many of our faculty’s individual and joint research projects and activities have been partnering with grassroots placemakers of color who have been claiming urban space through design, media, the arts and cultural practice.

We gather as a network to explore how to have places in the city where communities of color can thrive. How might we disrupt an intractable pattern in which public and private sector investments intended to redevelop the city often result in disproportionately displacing low-income communities of color? How do we conceptualize and reimagine related topics, including placemaking, community engagement, the design of infrastructure and the integration of emerging media platforms into space, in a manner that defies displacement? How can we expand this conversation beyond the university and make a pertinent contribution to a very real process?

RAP received funding from the USC Provost and Price School of Public Policy from 2016-2022 to support our gatherings, newsletters, courses, and public symposiaBut, more than production, RAP is a collective of diverse partners and friends. We co-wrote a statement of values united in a shared desire to transform the ways in which communities and universities have traditionally worked together. The goal is to learn through dialogue, to develop common vocabulary, and to inspire research and action.