What’s in a (Division’s) Name? APA-NYM members make headlines at APA National

APA interviewed Fiona Akins, AICP, and Tracey Corbitt, AICP, both APA-NYM members and former APA-NYM Executive Committee members, about changing the names of their respective divisions, and what specific challenges women and LGBTQ people face in the planning world.  Excerpt from planning.org:

Two of APA’s divisions — the Women and Planning Division and the LGBTQ and Planning Division — recently changed their names to better articulate and communicate who they are and what they do.

Fiona Akins, AICP, chair of the Women and Planning Division, and Tracey Corbitt, AICP, chair of the LGBTQ and Planning Division, share their thoughts on their divisions’ new names, major issues facing female and LGBTQ planners, and how planning can promote social equity.


Fiona Akins, Chair, Women and Planning Division: Our executive committee noticed that prospective and even existing Division members often fumble the name of the division, from “Women in Planning” to “Planning with Women” or “Women’s Division.”

We have an incredibly passionate membership — planners who are deeply committed to supporting women in the profession and in our communities. We wanted a division name that came quicker to mind and made it easy for others to describe our purpose and mission.

Simply put, we wanted to emphasize the unique subject of our division — women — in the first word of our name.

Tracey Corbitt, Chair, LGBTQ and Planning Division: The LGBTQ and Planning Division (formerly known as Gays and Lesbians in Planning, or GALIP) was founded in 1998 by a group of persistent and professional planners who fought hard against opposition to establish the division. Our division has always been welcoming to the bisexual, transgendered, and queer community. This is clearly evident by programming put forth, which has been continually inclusive of the entire LGBTQ community.

Over the last several years, there has been a push for the division to change its name to be reflective of all the division’s existing and prospective members. This issue of the name change had been the topic of discussion at the Division’s Annual Business Meetings. The division had basically come to a point where students — today’s new professionals — were in grade school when the division was founded. In today’s environment of acceptance, they see the term “GALIP” as their grandfather’s Oldsmobile and not reflective of the spectrum of sexual identity.

Read the full interview at planning.org!