APA Virginia strives to provide ongoing professional development and engagement for its members and planners around the Commonwealth.

Your Hour with APA Virginia is APA Virginia's monthly webinar series, sponsored by the Berkley Group. Webinars occur the 4th Monday of each month from noon to 1pm. 

We are always looking for new webinars and presenters. If you know of a topic or presenter please reach out to APA Virginia staff,

January Webinar

Monday, January 24, 2022 12pm-1pm


Richmond Racial Equity Essays: Strategies for Dismantling Racism in Richmond, Virginia (and other US cities)

The Richmond Racial Equity Essays is a multimedia project focused on advancing racial equity in Richmond, Virginia. The project captures nearly 50 dynamic voices to explore what an equitable Richmond would look like and highlights strategies to help us get there. The hope is that this project would be a model of discussion and thought leadership for other cities. 
During this webinar, project curators Ebony Walden and Dr. Meghan Gough will discuss the process of capturing a diversity of voices for this multi-dimensional project. They will be joined by essayists and urban planners from the City of Richmond, Maritza Pechin, and Ryan Rinn to share their visions and strategies for an equitable Richmond and offer ideas for the role planners can play in realizing racially equitable cities.

Speaker Information:

Ebony Walden is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Ebony Walden Consulting (EWC), an urban strategy firm based in Richmond, Virginia. At EWC, she works with a wide range of organizations to design and facilitate training, strategic plans and community engagement processes that explore race, equity and the creation of more just and inclusive communities. Before founding EWC, Ebony worked in local government and for non-profit organizations dedicated to citywide and neighborhood level revitalization. 
She holds a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia and a Bachelors in Business Administration from Georgetown University. Her work has been featured in Next City, The Hill, Richmond Magazine, Richmond Times-Dispatch and on Virginia Public Media. Ebony is also an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she teaches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the City.

Dr. Meghan Z. Gough is an Associate Professor of urban and regional studies and planning at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Her work emphasizes civic capacity building and planning for more livable and equitable communities. Meghan’s contributions to research help to elevate the importance of community-based decision-making and partnerships in the development of plans and policies to support sustainable community development.

Maritza E. Mercado Pechin, AICP is a Deputy Director with the City of Richmond, Virginia where she is leading the Office of Equitable Development, which is focused on working laterally across City Departments and with the Richmond community to create a more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful Richmond. Originally from Puerto Rico, Maritza grew up in Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. She earned an AB in Government from Harvard College and a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Maritza and her family live in Battery Park in Richmond. She has lived in Richmond for 10 years, which is the longest she has ever lived anywhere.

Ryan Rinn is a 21 year resident of Richmond and works for the City.  His career has spanned from community organizing to urban planning to his current role with Parks & Recreation.  He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University and lives with his husband Jason in the Byrd Park neighborhood.

Thank you to our attendees, Speakers and Sponsors who made the 2021 Annual conference a success! 

2021 annual conference

innovation in planning!

TITLE Sponsor of the 2021 annual conference