Corinna J. Moebius
Principal, Bordercross Experiences
INCLUSIVE PLACEMAKING: Engage Diverse Constituencies to Build Capacity for Inclusive Placemaking
- Civic leader focused on inclusive planning and community development in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.
- Promote critical awareness of the privatization of public space, the racial politics of planning and urban development, and the urgency of participatory placemaking through Little Havana tours and fieldtrips.
- Served on the advisory committee for the Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan, winner of the 2019 Honor Award for Excellence from the Making Cities Livable Conference.
- As co-founder and Vice Chair of the Little Havana Merchant Alliance, launched a community weekly breakfast series and organized the neighborhood’s first Open House, which brought together more than 100 community leaders, merchants and residents, as well as representatives from local organizations, to learn about various projects taking place in the neighborhood.
- One of ten local personalities featured by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in its “Little Havana Me Importa” exhibit based on community advocacy. Local planning committee member for the Trust’s national PastForward Conference in 2020.
- Interviewed by All Things Considered (NPR), the Miami Herald, CityLab, the New York Times and other outlets (see media mentions).
- Subject of a documentary for the PBS “Women and Girls Lead” series, which aired nationwide.
- Directed a countywide (South Florida) civic engagement and city visioning initiative (Imagine Miami) launched by the nonprofit capacity-building organization, Catalyst Miami (formerly the Human Services Coalition).
- Proposed and directed Imagine Miami Changemaker Conferences aimed at building the capacity and social capital of grassroots community leaders in South Florida. National partners included PolicyLink and Project for Public Spaces. Attendees learned from local and non-local case studies and built skills in placemaking, dialogue facilitation, asset mapping and equitable community development. Facilitated community dialogues at each event.
- Developed programs and designed participatory processes for expanding cross-sector, multiracial collective action.
- Developed key aspects of inclusive and transparent decision-making processes for city and community planning projects, including revision of the DC Comprehensive Plan.
- Developed a model for constituency development foundational to the DC Comp Plan’s public engagement process.
- Profiled in the textbook, Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design, for its chapter on public participation.
- Proposed a collaboration between the DC Office of Planning and DC’s Office on Latino Affairs. Spearheaded the city’s first roundtable of local Latinx leaders and outreach workers to discuss strategies for building meaningful Latinx engagement in local planning efforts.
- Planned and wrote the curriculum for a youth civic engagement program piloted in after-school programs nationwide: “Youth Visions for Stronger Neighborhoods.”
- During the six-month program, youth analyzed media representations of neighborhoods and residents, conducted interviews, and crafted proposals for building on local assets. Participating youth met with mayors, organized community planning meetings, and formed youth councils.
EDUCATOR & TOUR GUIDE: Out-of-the-Box Educator & Tour Guide Using the Built Environment to Teach Histories of Racialization
- Create and lead Little Havana walking tours that teach about (a) the role of placemaking and public memory-making in reproducing ideas about racial hierarchies and racial difference, and (b) the role of race and racialization in shaping placemaking practices. Tours confront racist stereotypes and myths, reveal silenced histories and invisibilized practices, uncover (trans)national relationships, expand cultural understanding, and spark critical thinking.
- Teach students about environmental racism, the privatization of public space, and the racial/spatial wealth gap through projects that combine digital mapping and archival research with mini-ethnographies of local neighborhoods.
- For the 2019 annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Washington, DC, designed and co-led (with Afro-Latinx community leader Roland Roebuck) a field trip focused on remembering black history and black placemaking in Adams Morgan and Malcolm X Park.
- Graduate Teaching Fellow and Advisor for “Civic Engagement & Neighborhood Revitalization: Issues and Options for Miami’s Little Havana,” a graduate level course in urban planning at Florida Atlantic University (Fall 2015-Summer 2016). In addition to classroom teaching, connected students to local stakeholders, led field trips, and offered guidance for student research projects, which were shared in convenings with community members.
- Co-authored A History of Little Havana (The History Press, 2015), a “people’s history” of Little Havana that recognizes people of African descent (including Afro-Latinx), Central Americans, LGBQT residents, and others often excluded or marginalized from dominant histories of the neighborhood and its development.
- Partnered with the late Afro-Cuban photographer Nestor Hernández on a project to document the historic drum circles in Washington, DC’s Malcolm X Park and Dupont Circle (“Rhythms of Place, Rhythms of Identity”). One of 18 finalists in the national Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor documentary prize competition.
- Panelist on racial equity and tourism at the 2019 National Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism
ARTS & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Arts, Culture & Equitable Development
- Launched Miami’s first Summit on Arts, Culture and Civic Engagement, which connected visual and performing artists with civic, social and environmental organizations. Partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts’ Animating Democracy program.
- Trainer (since 2013) on arts and civic engagement for Broward County’s (FL) Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute.
- Directed Little Havana’s monthly arts and culture festival, Viernes Culturales.
- Directed and coordinated Washington, DC’s largest and most popular multicultural street festival, Adams Morgan Day, and added its Dance Plaza feature, which promotes community-building through participatory dance workshops.
- Doctor of Philosophy, Global & Sociocultural Studies (interdisciplinary Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, cultural geography and sociology), Florida International University, Miami (2019)
- Dissertation: “Commemorative Bodies: (Un)Making Racial Order and Cuban White Supremacy in Little Havana’s Heritage District”
- Graduate Certificates in Afro-Latin American Studies & African Diaspora Studies
- Teaching Assistant
- Certificate in Permaculture, Permaculture Guild
- Master of Arts, Communication Studies, California State University, Northridge (1996)
- Thesis: “Placing and Black Students’ Discursive Construction of Community”
- Teaching Assistant
- Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration (self-designed major), Communication & Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Minor in Geography) (1989)
Awards & Fellowships
- Little Havana Community Champion (2019), Calle Ocho News
- Dissertation Year Fellow, Florida International University
- Certificate of Special Recognition, City of Miami Gardens
- Goizueta Graduate Research Fellow, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami
- Latino Museum Studies Program Fellow, Smithsonian Latino Center
- Spirit of Educational Equity Award, California State University, Northridge
- Local Advisory Committee, National Trust for Historic Preservation’s PastForward Conference (2020)
- Advisory Committee, Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan (2017-2019)
- Technical Assistance Panel Member (Urban Land Institute), for the City of Fort Lauderdale Northwest-Progresso-Flagler Heights Community Redevelopment Agency (recommended strategies for sustainable development based on community assets and residents’ hopes and concerns in the historically black Sistrunk Corridor (2014)
- Public Space Committee, Live Healthy Little Havana (2017-2018)
- Board Member, Koubek Center (Little Havana cultural center) (2016-present)
- Co-Founder/Vice Chair, Little Havana Merchant Alliance (2012-2014)
- Chair, Economic Diversification Committee (assisting small business owners affected by gentrification), Adams Morgan Main Street, Washington, DC (2002-2005)
- Instructor for the CityVisions and Design Apprenticeship Programs of the National Building Museum (2003, 2005
- Principal, Bordercross Experiences (formerly Bordercross Communications), Los Angeles, DC and Miami, FL, 1997 – Present
- Adjunct Lecturer, Global & Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University, Miami, FL, Sept. 2019-Present
- Owner/Tour Guide, Little Havana Experiences, Miami, FL, 2011-Present
- Columnist, Calle Ocho News (2019-present)
- Cuba Tour Leader, Classic Journeys (2016-present)
- Little Havana Tour Guide, Road Scholar (2019-present)
- On-Board Lecturer (Cuba), Pearl Seas Cruises (2018)
- Director of Imagine Miami, Catalyst Miami (formerly Human Services Coalition), Miami, FL, 2007-2009
- Director, Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, Miami, FL, 2006–2007, 2010