MUP student aspires to bring integrity to planning and development in the Global South

MUP student Kennedy Alexis is working toward a career in international development consultancy to "show the world that development can be ethical and mutually beneficial for investors and communities alike." She's pictured here on the left with fellow MUP students on a recent travel studio to Karakulam, India.

MUP student Kennedy Alexis (left) is working toward a career in international development consultancy to "show the world that development can be ethical and mutually beneficial for investors and communities alike." She's pictured here with fellow MUP students on a recent travel studio to Karakulam, India.

Published February 11, 2020

Kennedy Alexis is a first-year Master of Urban Planning student at the School of Architecture and Planning who is also pursuing a Master of Arts in Economics in UB's School of Management. As an aspiring international development consultant, she is interested in creating "conscious infrastructure" that will support the economic, human and social sustainability of undeserved communities, particularly in the Global South.

At UB she also serves as a research assistant with the Community for Global Health Equity under the direction of associate professor of urban planning Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah. She also recently traveled to India with fellow MUP students and Food Lab director Samina Raja to assess the food infrastructure in the village of Karakulam.

She comes to UB with a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College in philosophy with a concentration in business management. 

In celebration of Black History month, the School of Architecture and Planning is lifting up voices of Black students across our programs. Follow the campaign on social: #BlackExcellence #BlackHistoryMonth #InclusiveExcellence

How do you aspire to make a difference in the profession of architecture/urban planning/real estate development?

Kennedy Alexis.

Kennedy Alexis

As an aspiring international development consultant, I hope to make a difference in planning and development in the Global South by improving and promoting integrity within the planning process.

Within the profession of international development, there are many flaws in the planning process- consultants creating plans for communities they have never visited, plans being implemented without any considerations for how it may affect a community in the future, blatant disregard and corruption by governmental authorities to the needs of disenfranchised communities, etc. I aspire to be in a position where I can manage this process for a development bank or non-governmental organization to show the world that development can be ethical and mutually beneficial for investors and the communities alike. 

Name an African American/black professional, community advocate, or scholar whose contribution to the design and planning professions inspires you - and how?

New York City's Public Advocate Jumaane Williams inspires me with his pure dedication to the people of NYC. Jumaane and I come from similar backgrounds. We are both children of West Indian immigrants, Brooklyn College alums and we both grew up in the community of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY. 

To see someone from my community elected to one of the highest-ranking positions in city government is very inspiring. It shows me that I, too, can beat the odds to be in higher positions, where my decisions have the impact to make positive changes across communities. It gives me more confidence in my ability to be an impactful development consultant.