Kiara Nagel


Kiara Nagel delivers training, consulting, and coordination services to foster collaboration and support equitable community development. She has studied the historical implications of development and patterns of forced displacement and worked to ensure those most affected would be directly engaged in decision-making about how their places would be shaped, understood and represented.

Kiara began organizing as a youth and went on to learn from experiences as a squatter, a city planner, a coalition builder, a project manager, an event planner, a dancer, a fundraiser, a trainer, and an MC. She now holds a Masters in City Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a fellow at The Design Studio 4 Social Intervention in Boston, USA.

Serving as faculty at University of Orange, a free people’s university, and Project Manager of a diverse network of women working to end the genocide in Sudan and build a global peace movement, allows her to connect anti-displacement struggles from New York, to New Orleans, El Salvador to Darfur and beyond.

Mostly, Kiara loves exploring special places people love and treasure or forgot and left behind, and is committed to working with colleagues around the globe who share her commitment to peace and justice.

Workshop: Placemaking and Designing for Social Justice

Places are important. They define our identity, foster social networks, and provide the platform upon which everyday life, love, and health are determined. Yet how much do we pay attention to the politics of place? What tools do we have to analyze issues of justice, power, and decision-making that shapes they places we inhabit? How do we experience removal, restriction or exclusion from spaces? How do we create access or restrict others through our use of space?

This workshop will build a deeper understanding of the politics of place and offer tools for analyzing the spaces we experience and build skills for social justice organizing. Together we will develop a creative framework for designing social change interventions that ensure healthy and sustainable places based on a framework of human rights and ecological urbanism.

In the process, we will be able to make links between such disparate issues as immigration, environmental justice, racism, sexism, and homophobia, youth organizing, HIV/AIDS, war and conflict, culture and media, privatization, and human rights.

By recognizing the complexity of social systems and beginning to design interventions that respond accordingly, we can begin to imagine and contribute to viable future for generations to come.

Contributor Interview

We ask every contributor a few questions about our global challenges, the skills and capacities they think are needed to meet those challenges, their hopes for the future and more.