A Black City Planned By Whites?

African-Americans are the majority of residents in Richmond, Virginia, but a new master planning effort has been criticized for attracting little participation from non-whites.

"Richmond's "master plan" - a street-by-street, lot-by-lot map of the city's current and future development - needs to be updated. The city planning department enlisted the help of private consultants, the Florida-based firm Dover, Kohl & Partners. Nonprofit downtown boosters Venture Richmond helped foot the bill."

"...planners were criticized for not reflecting the makeup of the city's majority African-American population. The Richmond Free Press ran a front-page story July 26 headlined "Sea of Whiteness." Consultant Victor Dover included an image of the page as part of his presentation.

"Before the ink is dried" on this draft of the plan, he said, "everyone here should redouble their efforts to reach new populations." The crowd's ethnic makeup had diversified slightly since the event's kickoff a week earlier."

"Frustrated by what he saw as the intentional exclusion of minorities, former Assistant City Attorney Michael Sarahan worked to get the word out in the black community, making calls and hand-delivering invitations to business leagues and civic associations. He also planned a protest for the final meeting."

Full Story: Master Plan Sessions Confront Race, Push Details

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