Katanya Raby exemplifies commitment to the planning profession and to the communities and residents we serve. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois Chicago, with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master's in Urban Planning and Policy. At UIC, Katanya served as the Graduate School Representative to the APA-IL Chapter Board. Currently, in her role as Associate Outreach Planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Katanya is an important contributor to the ON TO 2050 regional planning effort and to CMAP's Local Technical Assistance Program, which helps communities put plans into action for their residents.
In particular, she helps coordinate and execute the agency’s public outreach, ensuring that those residents' voices are heard loud and clear in the development and implementation of plans. Katanya brings a deep understanding of challenges communities face, including institutional inequities, historical segregation, and economic isolation. Urban planning is a vehicle for Katanya’s great passion: getting people interested in the world around them and in how we might – together – improve quality of life for all.
Katanya also works to promote diversity and inclusion in the field and in the workplace. At UIC, she co-founded the Society of Black Urban Planners to develop programs promoting diversity in the graduate school and to facilitate discussions on urban planning concerns. She now serves on the APA-IL Diversity Committee.
Katanya’s passion includes the next generation of citizens and planners, focusing much of her public engagement work on students and youth as she co-manages CMAP’s Future Leaders in Planning program for high school students. Katanya also developed Exposure, an after-school program for planning in Chicago’s Bronzeville area that is sponsored by UIC’s Society of Black Urban Planners. And she is involved in building support for the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s No Small Plans graphics novel to foster youth civic engagement.
Katanya’s impulse to create discussion about improving public spaces even finds expression in her artwork. In her spare time, Katanya enlists underserved neighborhoods in placemaking and creates interactive public art installations, murals, and beautification projects. Katanya is the recipient of the American Planning Association’s, Illinois Chapter 2017 Emerging Planner Service Award.