Planners in Protest

Whether through attending protests, organizing community groups, or coordinating postcard-writing campaigns, the planning students of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of City and Regional Planning have refused to stay silent in response to the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, people of color, women, and the low-income.

Jason Rece, who is an assistant professor of City and Regional Planning at the Ohio State University, wrote in a post for Planetizen that, in the wake of the election, planners “play a critical role in supporting an integrated society in which all members have access to opportunity and the chance to thrive.” The following photos and reflections, taken and written by DCRP planning students at protests around the country, demonstrate how we have and will continue to stand up for equality.

Photo credit: Karla Jimenez, MCRP/MPH ’19
Photo credit: Karla Jimenez, MCRP/MPH ’19

“One of the many amazing things about the Women’s March on Washington was seeing how naturally people took to the streets throughout the city, even chanting ‘Whose streets? Our streets!’ It was incredible to see how powerful we were, simply by taking up space with our bodies in a place normally reserved for cars. Even though I spend a lot of time thinking about how pedestrians can have more rights in our streets, that day really brought home to me what we can accomplish face to face, out of vehicles that can often dehumanize, disconnect, and disempower us.” – Katy Lang, MCRP ’18


Protestors from the Women’s March on Washington, DC walk up 14th St. NW, more than two miles from the original protest meeting point (January 21, 2017). Photo credit: Katy Lang


The Women’s March on Raleigh. Photo credit: Carly Hoffmann, MCRP ’18

“Our government leaders must understand their actions and policies need to serve the over 300,000,000 individuals they claim to represent!” – Shamsa Mangalji, MCRP ’17

Shamsa Mangalji, MCRP ’17 (bottom row, second from left), at the Women’s March on Washington. Photo credit: Shamsa Mangalji
The Women’s March on Raleigh. Photo credit: Christian Kamrath, MCRP ’18
Lilah Besser (center), a PhD candidate in DCRP, at the Seattle Women’s March with her son and mother. Photo credit: Lilah Besser.


About the Author: Carly Hoffmann is a co-editor of the Carolina Planning Journal and a first year master’s student in the Department of City and Regional Planning, focusing on housing and community development. Prior to UNC, she worked as a book editor for Carly graduated from Columbia University in 2010 with a degree in Urban Studies.