Urban Planning Students Named Diversity BIPOC Scholars

By Maggie Haslam / Dec 3, 2021

BIPOC Scholarship winners
Image Caption
(Left to right) Asia Jones and Redowan Kabir Kaushik.

Two graduate students from the University of Maryland have been awarded 2021 Diversity (BIPOC) Scholarships from the American Planning Association National Capital Area Chapter (APA-NCAC). Asia Jones, a dual degree student seeking master’s degrees in Public Health and Community Planning and Redowan Kabir Kaushik, a first-year graduate student in community planning, were among six students recognized by the APA-NCAC for scholarship in planning-related fields.

"I am thrilled to have Asia and Redowan recognized by the APA-NCAC," said Urban Studies and Planning Program Director Clara Irazábal. "Diverse voices and experiences are critical for building equitable, just communities, and require the support of every facet of the discipline. This scholarship will certainly encourage these two students to follow their passions." 

Spurred by inequities she witnessed in her Anacostia neighborhood as a child, including food deserts and lack of health care, Jones first earned a bachelor’s degree in public health from George Washington University before enrolling as a dual degree graduate student at UMD. Through her dual degree program in public health and urban planning, she is exploring the enduring relationship between health, opportunity and zip code, leveraging her knowledge and skill to building equitable, healthy communities. 

An architect from Bangladesh, Redowan Kabir Kaushik spent years working closely with marginalized communities to elevate living conditions through design. Kaushik joined UMD this fall to earn his Master of Community Planning, bringing important perspective to conversations on equity and inclusion, sustainability and the international landscape. He hopes to bridge his two disciplines to advocate for equitable, energy-efficient affordable housing.

The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) scholarship was founded in 2020 as part of the chapter-level commitment to dismantle institutional racism, including the planning profession’s role in creating and perpetuating disparities in health and wealth in the United States. The scholarship reflects a chapter-level commitment to increased BIPOC representation in the region’s next generation of planners and broader planning field.

Program / Center Affiliation