Born and raised in Harlem, New York, Mariah Williams is an urban planner, storyteller, and researcher dedicated to highlighting the experiences of Black people and spaces in cities.  She received her B.A in Sociology from the University of Richmond and Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the founder of Finding Homeplace, a platform that highlights the work of Black women in community development, discusses the history and legacy of inequity in Black communities, and reflects on black expression and resilience in urban landscapes. Her work on Black joy, Black women, and community has been featured in Next City, For Harriet, and the Third Wave Urbanism Podcast. Mariah considers herself a “pracademic” and believes that being in the field as well as understanding theory and research around community development provide a crucial lens to her work. In 2018, she began adjuncting at VCU where she guided students in learning more about the history of community development in the city of Richmond. She has since designed and taught curricula at the University of Richmond on the connection between health and housing. In the future, Mariah hopes to create a think tank dedicated to exploring the intersection of race and place in the built environment.  

In her free time, Mariah enjoys taking long walks, being by the ocean, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with her friends and family. 

Learn more about Mariah’s work by visiting: 

Instagram: @findinghomeplace 

Mariah Williams 2022 ROWA