The Marsha Ritzdorf Award for the Best Student Work on Diversity, Social Justice, and the Role of Women in Planning

I’m announcing the award both here and at the Awards lunch in Salt Lake City, largely because I think young people can use all the (good) exposure they can get in the coming years of academic markets.

The Marsha Ritzdorf Award for the Best Student Work on Diversity, Social Justice and the Role of Women in Planning Recognizes superior scholarship reflecting concern with making communities better for women, people of color and/or the disadvantaged.

This year’s panel consisted of Professor Deborah Howe from Temple University and Assistant Professor Smita Srinvas from Columbia University and me. I am so grateful that I had such a distinguished, engaged, and insightful group to help with selecting the winner out a pool of really great submissions this year.

Please see the abstract below from the winning submission by Isabelle Anguelovksi, nominated by Professor JoAnn Carmin at MIT. If you have a chance, please congratulate Ms. Anguelovski, and I am sure she would be happy to disseminate copies of her manuscript to those interested in the topic.

Isabelle Anguelovski
PhD Candidate,
Department of Urban Studies and Planning Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
US Email: ianguelo@mit.edu

Title: Understanding the dynamics of community engagement of corporations in communities: The iterative relationship between dialogue processes and local protest at the Tintaya Copper Mine in Peru

Abstract: Corporate social responsibility refers to businesses’ efforts to improve their social and environmental performance. Generally, corporations implement universal standards and codes of conduct or publish reports on their activities. However, in controversial instances, such as environmental conflicts between corporations and communities, some companies have engaged communities and NGOs through deliberative processes. Despite the goal of achieving consensus among stakeholders, dialogues do not always resolve conflicts. This paper examines the dialogue processes between the company BHP Billiton and communities around the Tintaya mine (Peru) in order to understand why residents resisted deliberative spaces created to address their concerns. Through interviews and focus groups with protesters, I show that resistance was not intended to undermine deliberation, unlike what democracy theorists have previously asserted, but rather, foster openness and understanding among the corporation and residents. Findings suggest that an iterative relationship between dialogue and resistance can improve inter-cultural relations and mitigate power differentials.