Grace Kyung

Grace Kyung
Location: St. Loius, Missouri Cohort Start Year: 2017 Project Topic: Built Environment/Housing/Planning Populations Served: At-Risk/Vulnerable Populations, Low-Income Communities
Project Manager
Urban Strategies, Inc.

St. Louis is divided by systemic racism and economic and social inequities that have grown rather than being rooted out over the years. I focus on breaking down these barriers by harnessing the city’s assets and understanding the role of transportation planning in community development. I further develop tools and processes for inclusive, collaborative planning to create healthy communities by using data and people’s lived experiences. I work as a leader in creating a process whereby decisions are made through the lens of racial equity and in providing an opportunity for true progress rather than perpetuating the status quo.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: National Multiracial Collective for Mobility Justice
For too long, dominant narratives in mobility advocacy have drawn from the experiences of the most privileged. In advocacy spaces, questions of equity are often treated as an afterthought or sidebar. Advocates from “diverse backgrounds” are often invited to the table to speak on behalf of an “underserved” population. While lived experiences of marginalized communities are generally welcomed as anecdotal insight or emotional touchstones, that input is often set aside if it challenges the mainstream agenda. My strategic initiative is an opportunity to further build a multiracial collective that works with partners across the country and locally to direct resources and create a shared agenda for mobility justice. Mobility justice is key in building a Culture of Health, as the way people travel to and from places of work, play, and live is key to creating complete communities.

I work as a catalyst in changing the way we plan for our communities by applying a health and racial equity lens to equitable development. To do this in a just way, I work alongside communities to recognize historical circumstances and the current conditions necessary to achieve equity.

Click here to watch Grace’s Legacy Project video.