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Joint Collaboration Meeting between NOMA and PBCD
On Monday, April 28, 2014, the Atlanta Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) hosted the first ever Joint Collaboration Meeting between the leadership of NOMA and Planning and the Black Community Division (PBCD) of the American Planning Association (APA) during the APA National Conference in Atlanta.  The PBCD mission is to provide a forum for planners, administrators, public officials, students and other APA members to address issues of significance to the black community; and to promote knowledge exchange between members and other organizations; encourage and support professional development among black planners and provide career information. 
The joint meeting was attended by NOMA National President, Kathy Dixon; PBCD President, Patrice Dickerson; PBCD President-Elect, Zunilda Rodriguez; NOMA Atlanta President, Garfield Peart; NOMA Atlanta Treasurer, Latisha Beard; and PBCD Advisor, Carlton Eley.  The meeting was part of a series of collaborative events at this year's conference, which included jointly hosting a Mobile Workshop with the City of Atlanta titled “Preserving African American Historic Districts” and a professional networking dinner/social for both organization members.   The goal of all of these events was to solidify the bond between the two organizations and create opportunities to serve both our memberships and communities of color around the country.
Both  organizations share the same goal of  achieving a better understanding of each other's mission and exploring opportunities to collaborate.  Meeting attendees discussed a variety of topics that will provide technical assistance to communities of color, offer professional development opportunities for their memberships and enhance mentoring opportunities for the next generation of minority planners and architects.  This meeting represented a culmination of nine years of partnering on a host of successful community and professional events/workshops for the two organizations.  Kathy Dixon commented, "I am encouraged that [both organizations] can build significantly on the foundation of partnering activities that we've completed to date. I believe there is plenty of opportunity for NOMA and PBCD to directly impact the communities whom our memberships represent." 
The next steps for both organizations will be to develop a formal partnership and identify opportunities for organization members to collaborate on both the national and local levels. To learn more about PBCD and their mission, please visit their website at http://www.planningandtheblackcommunity.org/.
by Garfield Peart, MBA, NOMA, AIA
2014 NOMAtlanta President