Thanks for joining us for Facing Race 2022. See you in 2024!

Christopher Coes

Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in the Office of Assistant Secretary for Transportation | US Department of Transportation

Christopher Coes serves as the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. Coes previously served as Vice President for Land Use and Development at Smart Growth America (SGA), Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, Professor at George Washington University, and Deputy Director and Senior Advisor for the Transportation for America campaign.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Paving the Path towards Justice: Implementing more Equitable Infrastructure Investment

The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color. This session will focus on how a transformative justice framework can be applied to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.

Breakout Session Long Description (250 words)*

The Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to advancing racial equity and addressing the climate change crisis through executive order, equity action plan, Justice40 initiative, and magnitude of recent federal funding represents a major catalytic moment for communities of color.

The passage of the historic $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal presents a once-in-a-generation investment to embed community-led solutions, equity, and climate priorities in our Nation’s infrastructure. The infrastructure funding combined with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the broader flexibility guidance granted for the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) becomes one of the most significant federal investments to U.S. cities, states, and tribal lands. The magnitude of funds and incentives, if implemented equitably, could transform the role public infrastructure plays in shaping just and thriving communities.

This interactive practical session will focus on how to unlock these federal resources using a transformative justice framework to dismantle structural racism, strengthen accountability practices, and address the way public infrastructure investment has been historically used to harm communities of color and low-wealth communities. Panelists will highlight emerging practices, programs, and initiatives that support community-driven solutions, foster institutional change, and support more equitable outcomes in public investment.

Moderator(s): Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins Speakers: Christopher Coes, Christina Cummings, April Brown