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Allentza Michel

Founder, Powerful Pathways and Fairmount Indigo Network Coordinator 

Topic: The Future of Transportation

Allentza will discussing challenges and opportunities to engage/include under-represented groups in dialogues and activities in the future of transportation, and, why an equity lens is important in doing so.


Allentza Michel is an urban planner, artist, policy advocate and researcher with a background in community organizing. Her 17 years of diverse experience across community economic development, education, food security, public health and transportation inform her current work in civic design, community and organizational development, and social equity.

Living and working in low-income communities in Boston with limited transit options and transportation infrastructure led Allentza to coalition building and community planning, with a particular focus on transportation planning. As Coordinator of the Fairmount Indigo Network, she works with 36 organizations and coalitions that seek to bring equitable community development and resources to the Fairmount Line neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, which are also some of Boston’s most underserved communities.

Previously, Ms Michel was a consultant on GoBoston 2030, the City of Boston’s transit mobility planning process. She also has supported research on bus rapid transit with MIT and equitable bike share models when she worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the regional planning agency which managed Hubway's expansion into other municipalities. There she pitched the "Prescribe-A- Bike" initiative for Hubway, which was later adopted by the City of Boston.

In 2013, Allentza served as co-chair to the City of Boston's Participatory Budgeting Project’s inaugural year. She was the inaugural fellow for Association for Community Design in 2015 and a 2016 Creative Community Fellows with National Arts Strategies. Her leadership and collaborative work has been recognized by the Cambridge City Council and the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. She founded and co-founded nonprofit-organizations and has served on many boards of community-based organizations, civic groups and coalitions, including her planning consultancy andcivic events planning firm, Powerful Pathways. Ms. Michel received a Master's in Public Policy at Tufts University's Department of Urban & Environmental Planning and Policy, as a 2013 Neighborhood Fellow, with a concentration in Transportation Policy and Community Development. She has BAs in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College and a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.

About Powerful Pathways

Powerful Pathways is a social practice and consultancy that works in policy, urban planning, and cultural arts using design thinking methods and social justice principles. Through our cross sector and intercultural expertise we design “civic hacks” - urban investigative projects and programming - and provide consulting services to non-profit and public agencies and social enterprises to advance solutions that drive innovative and inclusive economic, community, environmental and social change. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Designing strategic events in the areas of Urban Policy & Placemaking;
  • Creative Community Engagement and User Experience Strategy;
  • Equity, Cultural Competency and Diversity & Inclusion trainings;
  • Program Design and Development;
  • Research and;
  • Project Technical Assistance