Race & Space Conversations

Race & Space Conversations III

Washington, DC

How do cultural landscapes shape our public memory, and how do design decisions affect that process of commemoration? When creating or conserving memorial landscapes, what aesthetic, historical, cultural, social, and political issues are artists, designers, activists, communities, and other stakeholders navigating?

In this Race & Space Conversation, moderator and journalist James Russell will speak with panelists Justin Garrett Moore, the inaugural program officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Peggy King Jorde, cultural projects consultant; and Jha D Amazi, director of the Public Memory and Memorials Lab at MASS Design Group, to engage with these questions. Past and present case studies will illuminate the motivations, design ethos, and community engagement processes behind several significant memorial landscapes.

This thought-provoking, wide-ranging conversation moderated by Mr. Russell will be held virtually.

James Russell (Moderator)

James S. Russell, FAIA, is an independent journalist and consultant who focuses on architecture and urban growth and change. He writes for numerous publications including Bloomberg CityLab, and the New York Times. At Bloomberg News, he was the architecture critic for nine years. He was also a long-time editor at Architectural Record magazine, where he is currently a contributing editor. He has made memorials and commemorative landscapes a special focus of his work. He blogs at www.JamesSRussell.net and Medium. His book, The Agile City: Building Well Being and Wealth in an Era of Climate Change, was published by Island Press.

He also teaches at Stanford University’s satellite campus in New York. He is writing a book about how city culture incubates transformative and influential companies.


Justin Garrett Moore

Justin Garrett Moore is the inaugural program officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  His work focuses on advancing equity, inclusion, and social justice through place-based initiatives and programs, built environments, cultural heritage projects, and commemorative spaces and landscapes.  He has extensive experience in architecture, planning, and design—from urban systems, policies, and building projects to grassroots and community-focused planning, design, preservation, public realm, and arts initiatives.

With over fifteen years of public service with the City of New York, Mr. Moore has led several urban design and planning projects, including the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront, Hunter's Point South, and the Brooklyn Cultural District.  From 2016 to 2020, he was the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission, where he spearheaded initiatives to address social equity and sustainability through improved built environment design and public processes.  His work spanned housing and community development, place and open space design, historic preservation, public art and monuments, and civic engagement.

Mr. Moore holds a bachelor of design from the University of Florida and master of architecture and master of science in urban design degrees from Columbia University, where he now serves as an adjunct associate professor of architecture.  He has also taught at Morgan State University, Tuskegee University, and the Yale School of Architecture.  His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Planners, the National Organization of Minority Architects, the Urban Design Forum, and BlackSpace.  In 2021, Moore received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and was named to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Joseph Biden.


Peggy King Jorde

Peggy King Jorde is a Cultural Projects Consultant combining more than 30 years of experience in planning, architecture, public art, and historic preservation projects in New York City and beyond. King Jorde served under three NYC mayors, including the Honorable David N. Dinkins providing comprehensive oversight of all capital construction projects specific to New York's cultural landmarks, public art, and art museums. Her range of support spanned project planning, development, management & design.

In 1990, King Jorde was thrust into the limelight as a pivotal figure in the fight to protect a 17th century African Burial Ground that was rediscovered during the construction of a federal office building. Under her leadership, King Jorde as project director & contractor to a federal agency, developed and led the nationwide architectural design competitions for the African Burial Ground National Memorial and Interpretive Center. Participating in a panel with art professionals, King Jorde was a leading voice in public art commissioning for honoring the historic site.  

Today King Jorde lends considerable focus to consulting for developers, working with the community and civic-based preservation efforts, and lecturing aimed at building awareness and building advocacy for cultural heritage in marginalized communities in the US and abroad. She has consulted government and community stakeholders on a development project in the British Overseas Territory of St. Helena in the South Atlantic. The project is believed to be 'the largest burial ground of enslaved Africans direct from the Middle Passage.' King Jorde is a film participant and producer in the  British documentary about the project, entitled "A Story of Bones," which premiered in June 2022 at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.


Jha D Amazi

Jha D is the Director of the Public Memory and Memorials Lab, which is an initiative that advances research, training, and built work around a central thesis: spatializing memory can heal us and inspire collective action for generations to come. Projects in the Lab’s portfolio include the Sugar Land 95 Cemetery Revitalization Project, Harris County Remembrance Project and several initiatives with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

At MASS, Jha D has also contributed to the Gun Violence Memorial Project, Franklin Park Action Plan, and the Louise B. Miller Memorial and Freedom Garden at Gallaudet University. Previously, she worked as a Designer at Sasaki Associates. She received her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Northeastern University and her Master of Architecture I from the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, she taught design studios at the Boston Architectural College. Outside of architecture, Jha D is a spoken word artist, event producer, and SpaceMaker for the LGBTQ+ communities of color.


1.5 LA CES™ professional development hours will be available to attendees, pending approval.