Tim Stallmann Sava Labs
Matt Wilson University of Kentucky
Panelist #4? Southern Environmental Law Center
Mapping for Social Justice
• Big paper & markers for each small group to note-take/doodle/map
• Set up room with a large empty space in the center
• Agenda on big paper or powerpoint
10:30 – 10:40
Introduction/ice-breaker: Stand in a place which is important to you. Center of the room is
Minneapolis, MN (or maybe somewhere further South?). Arrange yourselves N/S/E/W towards the 4
walls of the room according to where your place is – making a human map. Quick go-around: names,
place you chose, why.
– Break into small groups. Ideal is 4-6 people –
10:40 – 10:50
Small-group group listening activity:
In small groups, each person tells about a time when a map you made “made a difference,” changed
something about the world around you. Broadly defined. If you don't have a story in mind, can talk
about a map someone else made. Each person takes 2 minutes to talk, everyone just listens. Then
switch to the next person.
10:50 – 11:00
Small-group discussion: What are the takeaways from these stories? What do they have in common?
What worked, what didn't?
11:00 – 11:15
Small-group report-back & collective discussion (brief)
11:15 – 11:20
Small-group discussion: What is “social justice” / “spatial justice”? How is it defined? (skip this if
we're running behind or if the previous discussion is good)
11:20 – 11:30
Large-group discussion: What is “social justice” / “spatial justice”?
11:30 – 12:15
Case studies – what does this look like in practice?
• Matt Wilson & Laura Greenfield
• Shannon Groff
• Chris Henrick or Tim Stallmann (depending on Chris' availability)
12:15 – 12:30
Q & A
Social Justice Mapping
10:30 – Intro & ice-breaker activity
10:40 – Small-group storytelling & discussion: When have you made a map which has made a difference?
11:00 – Report-back from small groups
11:15 – Discussion: What is social/spatial justice?
11:30 – Case studies
• Matt Wilson & Laura Greenfield – UKY Mapping Lab
• Shannon Groff – Coal Ash Mapping
• Chris Henrick – NYC Housing Justice
• data is really important – hard to collect; collection process informs authoritative data source
• importance of the map itself – way to share message and think about other perspectives
• dual side of digital world – powerful but also can turn away ppl who aren't part of the digital world – can obscure
or hide the author
• map itself as a mode of empowerment & inclusion – groups had an active part in design of the tools & maps; or
map gave viewers answers they were looking for. exposed to new tech.
• power asymmetries – who has access to knowledge & data. how data is produced can propagate undesirable
dynamics (e.g. Census data)
• how do map-makers function as gatekeepers
taking the time to look for alternative sources – recognizing your own role as gatekeeper (example of racially
insensitive place names)
using walking papers or other tools that make it easier to draw data
using power in an appropriate way
teaching map-making (through Maptime, other organizations)
overcoming language barrier to demystify mapping without oversimplifying it
recognizing that there is a gate at all – “view from above” is not the way most folks see it necessarily
meeting people where they are – recognize the lean towards a certain aesthetic that is hard to attain. “slower”
mapping, “ugly” mapping as part of an iterative process
• maps that “get the job done” vs. necessarily focusing on attaining perfection
• Examples for curriculum/teaching
FixWikiMaps tumblr, going through them as a group and talking about possible improvements
Find your house, draw your daily routes, tell some stories using the mapping tool before getting into the tech
specifics. At every single session – always start with “where are we at”
Walking around together with a copy of the map
Making it clear each time how you're wanting & using feedback
Gathering your own data
Using Google Map / Google Earth – e.g. taking screenshots of google maps, plotting on Google Earth, super-
Mapping “undermapped” areas as a type of outreach