Black Visionaries Imagine Cincinnati's Future

Feb 23, 2021

As the country moves toward racial equality, Urban Consulate Cincinnati is partnering with CET to present a televised discussion of ideas and strategies about Cincinnati's future.

Urban Consulate Presents: Black Future City wants to know what a thriving community might look like "through the imaginations of Black visionaries and changemakers."

"The objective is to center Black voices in visioning a more vibrant, equitable and vivacious city life," says Naimah Bilal, program host and co-host of Urban Consulate Cincinnati.

Urban Consulate is a network of salons across the country that host conversations about civic issues and social life. In Cincinnati, the salons (in non-COVID times) are held at the Mercantile Library.

Topics during Black Future City will broadly cover a spectrum of equity issues. Part of the discussion will be framed by the question "What does a vibrant city look like?" Bilal says. "And further, 'How can we apply a universal design principle to city building?' That is, the principle that centers the needs of those who are oft forgotten and often the most vulnerable."

The conversation will be viewed through two lenses: systems and soul, Bilal says.

"Part of what we tease apart on Black Future Cities is 'What does life look like when systems are created and inscribed with justice, with care, with love, with an accounting for what people who are often forgotten or, frankly, oppressed?' When we center the needs of those who are oppressed, the delta increases for everybody - a rising tide lifts all boats. ... And when it comes to soul, we are talking about the human experience."

Bilal says everyone should have the opportunity to contribute their dreams and visions to the conversation about improving life and driving equity within the community. That work is vital, though it can be hard to grapple with, she adds.

The program, which airs Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., includes Eileen Cooper Reed, Angelica Hardee Ph.D., Damian Hoskins, Luna Malbroux, Toilynn O’Neal Turner and Andrew Tudor.

A virtual watch party and follow-up discussion is planned to coincide with the broadcast.