NYC Mayoral Candidates: Issues and Solutions in Equity
19 October, 2020


13:45 & 17:00


19:45 & 23:30


23:15 & 2:00 (+1)


03:15 (+1) & 7:00 (+1)
To kick off the Design for Equity | Conscious NYC | Conscious Cities Festival 2020 event series, will be: Equity Ideas for the Next Mayor of NYC. Tickets are valid for both sessions

Series of Presentation – Addressing racial inequity in NYC | 1:45 to 3:00pm

At Conscious NYC, we believe equity is a critical component of urban infrastructure. In the first day of the 2020 NYC Conscious Cities Festival, speakers will address: How can we design NYC to promote racial equity that not only enables local communities to thrive through challenges, but also that individuals aren’t left behind?

Feedback and discussion – Addressing racial equity issues in NYC | 5:00 to 6:15pm

Community members, activists, and subject experts will participate in a collaborative brainstorming session, along with attendees, to deconstruct and reimagine a more conscious NYC, by illuminating challenges, solutions, and key metrics in equity. _____ Design for Equity | Conscious NYC | CCF 2020 | Monday October 19th-22nd “Equality does not see colour, therefore, contributes to privilege. Equity sees colour, recognizes systemic forms of racism and actively provides resources to level the playing field” ― Sope Agbelusi “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”― James Baldwin These quotes help us frame the dialogue and the flow of ideas we will explore in this year’s festival: How to recognize, discuss, and ultimately address racial equity issues in different experiences: governance, education, healthcare, and neighborhoods. We intend to use this festival as a live experiment, to abstract key metrics and work towards the first real indicator of socio-economic equity.

Founder and CEO DC Design

Durell Coleman is the namesake founder and CEO of DC Design. He has worked to redesign aspects of the foster care system, develop new approaches to criminal justice reform, reimagine healthcare service models, create apps that connect communities, and develop new 21st century educational models for youth and adults. Trained in mechanical engineering (B.S) and sustainable design (M.S.), he is a two-time alumnus of Stanford University and its famous Institute of Design (the Stanford 

As an educator, Durell regularly lectures on social impact design, innovation, and leadership at Stanford University. He has taught design thinking to refugees designing solutions to challenges in refugee camps, school leaders seeking to redesign the culture of their schools, and corporate executives from Sony, Oracle, and Santander. He is an expert in Multi-Stakeholder Human-Centered Design; creator and Director of Design the Future, an award winning STEM program run in collaboration with top universities that teaches high school students to design products for individuals with physical disabilities; and recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service as a result of his work.

Retired Brigadier General
Founding Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

Loree Sutton, MD is a lifelong public servant and retired Brigadier General who, as the Army’s highest-ranking psychiatrist and Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services, has devoted 35 years of service to the nation and New York.

Loree’s decorated Army career includes earning a Bronze Star for her actions in combat while deployed to Operation Desert Storm. Selected as a White House Fellow, the nation’s premier leadership program, Sutton also commanded the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood,TX during the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom hostilities. Serving as the Founding Director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Loree’s visionary leadership yielded transformational change for generations to come.

In New York City, Loree served as the Founding Commissioner for New York City’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS.) Under Sutton’s leadership, DVS, the nation’s first municipal agency devoted solely to improving the lives of veterans and their families, pioneered numerous groundbreaking policy and innovative program successes. Select DVS actions include achieving a 90% decrease in veteran homelessness; establishing veterans as a protected class in NYC human rights law; and pioneering the city’s first social impact bond for veteran employment (a full report on DVS achievements can be found here.)


I grew up in a working-class family. My father was an MTA bus driver, and my mom was a homemaker and worked part-time. The youngest girl in a family of 9, my parents raised me to be self-sufficient, tough and independent. Simply put, there was no silver spoon.


I come from a close-knit family. When my sister became ill, it was only natural that I tried to help her manage her healthcare issues, and her children. When my sister passed away, I stepped in again to take care of my nieces and nephews. When I was a single mother with my own son, I went to night school to obtain my Master’s degree in Business Administration. While attending LIU, I worked at AIG, a Fortune 500 company as the Operations Manager in their Corporate Legal department. I worked hard at AIG, and while I faced many challenges, I was never deterred. Eventually, after years of hard work and dedication to others, I decided to open a general contracting firm, TaylorMade Contracting.


Being a woman in a male-dominated field was never easy, but I was never deterred. I continued to work to grow my firm, and when I started pursuing opportunities on the city level, I realized that many minority and women owned businesses were not obtaining access to opportunities and capital. In response, I formed a non-profit organization called the NYC MWBE Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to assist minority and women owned businesses with access to opportunities and also work with city, state agencies, and elected officials to remove the barriers to entry.

Criminal Justice Committee of the NYC Community Service Board
Public Accountant and Mental Health Advocate

Christina Sparrock, a Certified Public Accountant and Mental Health Advocate, has always been a staunch advocate for racial and social justice. Her works include participating in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program, where she educated law enforcement on de-escalation techniques and crisis communication skills when dealing with those in emotional crisis. As a member of the Criminal Justice Committee of the NYC Community Service Board, Ms. Sparrock offered suggestions on improving outcomes for justice-involved individuals.  On Mayor De Blasio’s Crisis  Prevention and Response Task Force,  Ms. Sparrock offered recommendations on enhancing the City’s public safety and public health policy in relation to mental health.

With the increased violence towards mentally ill by law enforcement, Ms. Sparrock partnered with Correct Crisis Intervention Today - NYC (CCIT-NYC) to advocate for non-police responses to mental health crises.  As a board member of Citizen Action of New York,  Ms. Sparrock continues to play an integral role in not only promoting city and statewide mental health policy but holding elected officials accountable in New York.

For her steadfast commitment to the cause of improving the lives of those living with mental health conditions, Ms. Sparrock received the 2018 Health award from the NYS Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, Inc.

Director @ Integrate NYC

Sikirat Mustapha is an Equity Warrior. She sits on multiple Department of Education student advisory boards and Independent Organizations, which includes but are not limited to The Chancellors Student Advisory Council, The Welcoming Student Advisory Council under the Department of Equity and Access, and she serves as a Director at IntegrateNYC. She champions equity and access as well as the continual inclusion of underrepresented groups, particularly black and brown students.

She's an agent of change and is taking big steps towards revolutionary change in our Education System as we know it!He believes that people from all different backgrounds and ideologies can cooperate to make a better world, and that every unique problem has a distinctly unique solution to match it. He is currently working on a climate change forum and hopes to one day serve in politics.

Urban planner and Community organizer
Housing Fellow for the New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Housing Development Corporation (HDC)

Francis Yu (they/them) is an urban planner/community organizer and serves as a Housing Fellow for the New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Housing Development Corporation (HDC). They research a myriad of affordable housing policy and development issues specific to programs managed by the two agencies. They are an M.S. Urban Planning graduate from GSAPP at Columbia University and a double B.A. in Communication Studies and Urban Studies and Planning from University of California San Diego. Francis co-founded DefundVallejoPD (Vallejo, CA), a grassroots research advocacy organization with a mission of shining light on injustices brought on by oppressive systems, perpetuated by local policing, and democratizing the ways in which people resist these structures. In their spare time, they enjoy New York public spaces and also urban homesteading back in California.