ULI Washington Announces 2022 Leadership Awards Jury Panel
ULI Washington is proud to introduce the revitalized 2022 Leadership Awards and the panel of member jurists supporting this program!
February 14, 2022
Molline "Molly" Jackson, Fairland / Briggs Chaney MP Co-Lead with Montgomery County Planning Department
The passage of time is permanently marked with the ebbs and flows of history. History teaches us how things are connected and provides a stable foundation to grow.
As I grow and develop as a leader in this industry, I’ve started to pay close attention to the significant details that indicate patterns of behavior, common themes, shared experiences, and signs of progress along the way.
In my mission to develop comprehensive strategies, the historical details help me to understand oral histories, analyze qualitative data points, and find the best approach to development. As I continue to grow from the mistakes of the past, I cannot help but recall the significant impact that our present-day historical events have had on my ability to be a proactive leader in 2022. It’s easy to ask the question, “How did we get here?” The harder question to answer is, “Where should we go from here?” Perhaps, history can help me to answer both questions, and perhaps the answers to these questions will teach me about the circular nature of the human experience.
Reflecting on present-day historical events (e.g., 2020 US. Census, COVID-19, the death of George Floyd in addition to countless other deaths, the Black Live Matter protests, the 2021 Presidential elections, followed by an attack on the US Capitol), I pause to recount the significant details of the civil rights movement and draw strength from the greatest leaders. Fierce leaders like Fannie Lou Hamer (civil rights and community activist), Pauli Murray (scholar and activist), James Baldwin (writer and activist), Elijah Cummings (U.S. House of Representatives [Maryland]), John Lewis (U.S. House of Representatives [Georgia]), Angela Davis (scholar and activist), and Maya Angelou (author and activist) to name a few, were forward thinking and unapologetically called out patterns of racist and sexist behavior and signs of oppression. Despite mistreatment, they dared to be vulnerable and sacrificed their lives to continue the fight for justice. Their thirst for justice is contagious and serves as a beacon of hope for me in my personal struggles to advocate for racial equity and social justice in the realms of urban planning, landscape architecture, and real estate development.
My passion for art and learning about history gives me the vigor to spring forward with a more focused agenda toward building resilience and restoration. At the start of my career, I pursued a bachelor’s in landscape architecture to understand the land from the ground up. After gaining 10 years of work experience (both in private and public sectors), I graduated with a masters in real estate development. Today, I’m co-leading the Fairland and Briggs Chaney Master Plan in Montgomery County, Maryland. I’m developing best practices for community engagement strategies that incorporate a racial equity and social justice agenda in urban planning. I volunteer as a Commissioner on the Maryland State Arts Council to encourage the use of public art as a resource that benefits the entire community and brings people together. I also teach (at the graduate level) about planning policy, politics, and the entitlements process at the University of Maryland College Park – Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development.
My unique personal experiences have taught me the importance of leading conversations about the economic impact of real estate development on BIPOC communities. Like the fierce leaders of our generation, I aspire to empower people to share their personal stories and create space for personal contributions of diverse perspectives at the same table. I’m also determined not to be the only person of color sitting at the decision-making table. Learning from past mistakes, my purpose in life is to collaborate with brilliant people to dispel myths, breakdown barriers, brainstorm creative solutions, strengthen working partnerships, and avoid unintended consequences.
Molline “Molly” Jackson
Fairland / Briggs Chaney MP Co-Lead, Montgomery County Planning Department
ULI Washington Prince George’s Local Product Council
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