Michael R. Fisher Jr.

Assistant Professor, San José State University

Department of African-American Studies

Michael R. Fisher Jr. is Assistant Professor of African-American Studies in the College of Social Sciences at San José State University where he is currently on leave. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Dr. Fisher is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in the School of Public Affairs at American University. His current book project, tentatively titled Black Urbanism: Toward an Afrofuturist Vision of Equitable Development, is an analysis and critique of urban revitalization initiatives that disparately impact and displace poor Black urban residents in twenty-first century U.S. cities. Drawing on insights from Afrofuturism and theories of racial capitalism, it casts a vision for equitable development in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement that promotes the wellbeing of poor Black communities.
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Theodore Greene

Assistant Professor, Bowdoin College

Department of Sociology

Greene's research broadly uses sexual communities to understand how the sociocultural and economic conditions associated with the postindustrial city shape and reconfigure how individuals conceptualize, identify to, and participate in local communities. His current book project, entitled Not in MY Gayborhood: Gay Neighborhoods and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen, draws on ethnographic, archival, and interview data collected from iconic gay neighborhoods in Washington, DC and Chicago to develop a framework for understanding how community actors legitimate claims of ownership to a neighborhood community in the absence of residential, network, and material ties (vicarious citizenship).

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Director General Heesoo Kim

Senior Official, Republic of Korea

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

Heesoo Kim is a senior official of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea (MoLIT) with 25 years of work experience in public services. Before joining American University’s Metropolitan Policy Center as a visiting scholar, he was the Director General of the Metropolitan Transport Commission (MTC), since its establishment in March 2019. At MTC, Mr. Kim worked on policy initiatives to help alleviate traffic congestion and promote more efficient intercity transport. Heesoo Kim has held various director positions at MoLIT regarding national land, housing, urban planning, construction, spatial information, and motor vehicle transport. 

Willow Lung-Amam

Associate Professor, University of Maryland

Urban Studies and Planning Program

Willow Lung-Amam, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Urban Studies and Planning Program and Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on the link between social inequality and the built environment. She is the author of Trespassers? Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia (University of California Press, 2017) and has written numerous articles on the topic of immigrant suburbanization, equitable development, gentrification, suburban poverty, and the geographies of opportunity. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she was a visiting Ford Fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Center.

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Samir Meghelli

Chief Curator, Smithsonian Institution

Anacostia Community Museum

Dr. Samir Meghelli is a historian, writer, educator, and serves as Chief Curator at the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, DC. Dr. Meghelli received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Smithsonian Institution, he was a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) and the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris ("Sciences Po"; Paris, France). Dr. Meghelli is co-author of "The Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness" (2006) (with James G. Spady and H. Samy Alim) and co-editor of "New Perspectives on the History of Marcus Garvey, the U.N.I.A., and the African Diaspora" (2011).
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