Miguel A. Vazquez, AICP, receiving the 2018 APA President’s Award from Cynthia Bowen, FAICP, to honor his work to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. Photo by Riverview Photography.

Diversity within the profession is essential to finding a common and encompassing community vision. APA is committed to promoting more inclusive, just, and equitable communities through a planning profession as diverse as the communities we serve.

New Diversity and Inclusion Mission, Vision, and Strategy

APA reached a milestone in April 2018 when the APA Board of Directors approved a Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This sets forth an association-wide plan for how we better promote the understanding and practices of diversity and inclusion, both within and outside the planning community and profession.

This strategy is the result of years of conversation and dedication among our members and leaders, and APA thanks the many voices that paved the way for this organizational transformation and fostered the roots of meaningful change.

Read the APA Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Next Steps

Achieving a culture of diversity and inclusion is an evolutionary process that will require ongoing renewal of our commitment. It will take all of us to move forward in the right direction, and we encourage you to get involved and let your voices be heard. The plan should be considered a living document requiring regular reviews and updates to ensure it remains relevant to our goals.

The goals in the strategy will be carried out on many fronts over time by various levels of leadership, component groups, and member volunteers, including a strategic assessment of partnership organizations that focus and advocate for historically marginalized groups to advance diversity and inclusion goals. This webpage will be updated regularly to describe how this will come to life.

How Can YOU Get Involved?

  • Volunteer as an APA Ambassador to educate and empower youth and communities about the power of planning and planners. Reach audiences of diverse backgrounds. Model activities are created for you.
  • Partner with your chapter to speak at local universities or community colleges to promote our free APA student membership. Students enrolled in any degree are welcome and encouraged to belong.
  • Volunteer on your local chapter diversity committee or take the lead in creating new programs and initiatives.
  • Lend your voice to the development of a new Policy Guide on Social Equity and Inclusive Growth.
  • Volunteer to help the APA Diversity Committee as it advances the strategies. Email getinvolved@planning.org to add your name and area of interest.

APA Chapters and Divisions

APA Chapters and Divisions are actively committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity within local communities and the broader planning field.

APA Divisions and Diversity

APA Divisions connect you with other planning professionals who share your passions, challenges, and experiences. Although all APA divisions are committed to promoting diversity and equity within local communities as well as the field, four APA divisions and one interest group specifically focus on planning issues that concern special populations. Explore what Divisions have to offer (students can join up to five for free).

APA Chapters and Diversity

Chapters get you involved in APA close to home. They're your local source for networking and professional development. You'll share experiences with colleagues and broaden your perspective beyond your commission or office. When you join APA, you automatically become a member of your local chapter.

A number of chapters are engaged in addressing diversity and social equity. Chapters are hosting their own diversity summits, offering mentoring programs, and cultivating diverse chapter leaders. The following APA Chapters have active diversity committees:

Visit your local chapter's website to learn more about its diversity efforts and to catch up on the latest planning information in your region.

Diversity Blog Posts


Contact diversity@planning.org.