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Remembering Dana Driskell: A Planners Network Memorial

On Sunday, June 6th from 4-5:30pm Planners Network will be hosting an online memorial for Dana Driskell -- longtime PN member and social justice advocate -- who passed away earlier this year.

Dana Driskell, who passed away earlier this year, was a giant among practicing urban planners in New York City. He was one of the few African American professionals in the field and a committed activist and educator. As a champion of communities in the Bronx and beyond, Dana loved the city in all its diversity. For decades he advocated for social, economic and racial justice in the NYC Department of City Planning, in his union, and as a leader of Planners Network, a national organization of progressive planners. Join us as we remember and learn from his wisdom and generosity of spirit. RSVP:

Did you know Dana? For anyone who would like to participate and/or has a contribution to add, please fill out this form: as soon as possible or get in touch with us directly at Beyond the live event, we will also be collecting remembrances, materials and other contributions as a way of documenting and preserving Dana's legacy and this important history for PN and beyond. More about Dana: Dana Driskell was born and raised in the legendary South Bronx; he was the fourth child of Fred and Ola Mae Driskell. A graduate of New York public schools, he attended Bronx High School of Science and Fordham University before securing graduate degrees at both N.Y.U. and M.I.T. As a NYC Urban Fellow, he worked for the Temporary Commission on City Finances during New York’s mid-1970’s near-bankruptcy. He was the first District Manager of Community Board 3 (Morrisania/Claremont Village), welcoming presidents Reagan and Carter, Mother Teresa, and Senator Edward Kennedy to the “burning South Bronx” bus tour. He worked with Paul Davidoff’s Metropolitan Action Institute to develop the Inclusionary Housing concept later adopted by the city government. He joined the NYC Department of City Planning in 1985 as a land use planner, working in Community District 5 (Mt. Hope), 10 (Throggs Neck), and 12 (Williamsbridge). An active union member, he was a delegate to the Civil Service Technical Guild/AFSCME and, at various times, was on the adjunct faculty of Malcolm/King College, Pratt Institute, and the College of New Rochelle. His organizational affiliations included the Student Mobilization against (Vietnam) War, Bronx African-American History Project, the Coalition for Public Education, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Grass Roots Media corporation, and of course, the Planners Network. Most recently, Dana participated on the closing Planners Network 2019 conference panel on "Then and Now, Inside Out: Planning as a Social Movement." He met his wife, Guerline Noel, in 1985 and they married in 1987, going on to have seven children: Zina, Kwesi, Damali, Ramses, Safiya, Jelani, and Chinua. He is survived by all eight, as well as his siblings, nieces, nephews, colleagues and many beloved friends.




We feature stories on inclusive urban planning practices, grassroots organizing, and civic action. Our contributors and readers are activists, reporters, practitioners, academics, and community members.


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