Student Speaker Series -- Designing Better Engagement: Reflection on the Black in Design Conference


Friday, November 13, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Ash Center Foyer (124 Mt. Auburn St. Suite 200-North)

The Ash Center cordially invites you to its next Student Speaker Series event, Designing Better Engagement: Reflection on the Black in Design Conference


Shani A. Carter, Master’s in Urban Planning candidate ’16 at the Graduate School of Design, and Courtney D. Sharpe, Master’s in Urban Planning candidate ’16 at the Graduate School of Design

Ash Center Foyer (124 Mt. Auburn St. Suite 200-North), 12-1 pm

Lunch will be provided

About the Event

The Black in Design (BiD) Conference, created by Harvard Graduate School of Design's African American Student Union, was the first student-run conference in a generation devoted to exploring what it means to be black in design and expanding the definition and use of design in academia and practice. While panels and workshops addressed themes of social justice, equity, and building inclusive communities, the format of the event itself revolutionized the conference experience by introducing non-traditional elements to more fully engage participants and inspire an atmosphere for change.

Shani A. Carter is a second-year Master’s in Urban Planning student at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she concentrates in real estate and urban development. Prior to arriving at the GSD, she supported third party distribution sales as a Senior Analyst at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Last summer, Shani joined HR&A’s New York office as a Summer Fellow delivering real estate and economic development strategies for several public and private clients. She continues to offer analytical support for HR&A while at school and will return to the firm after graduation. Shani has also recently held internship positions at the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and Raleigh Urban Design Center. A believer in the power of community to deliver change, her core interests include facilitating innovative methods for community engagement and financing equitable development in US cities and abroad. Shani received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Howard University in Washington, DC, where she served as President of the Executive Leadership Honors Program.

Courtney D. Sharpe was one of the co-chairs of the inaugural Black in Design Conference convened by the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union. As a second-year Master’s in Urban Planning candidate at the GSD her studies focus on Urban Governance and Social Justice. Prior to beginning her studies at Harvard, Courtney served in the Peace Corps in Morocco, implemented programming to bolster civic engagement among new Americans as an AmeriCorps member, and created a business plan to help alleviate the deleterious effects of living in a food desert for Chicagoans. In 2015 she worked in the Philadelphia Mayor's Office as an Ash Center Summer Fellow in Innovation to assist with strategy for the local implementation of President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative to secure its future through a mayoral transition. Currently, she is an Innovation Field Coordinator at the Ash Center and maintains a position within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer at US General Services Administration. Courtney graduated with a double major in Religion and International Studies with a minor in Asian American Studies from Northwestern University.

About the Series

The Ash Center Student Speaker Series highlights and explores the implications and lessons learned from the research projects or applied learning experiences of Harvard University students supported by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Each week, we invite two students to offer brief remarks on their work, or a response to one another’s work, and then open the table for discussion. The series will take place each Friday at noon in the Ash Center foyer, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North. Lunch will be provided.