Dr. Annalise Fonza is a Lecturer in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at the California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. She is a writer, a womanist, an atheist, and she is a full-time federal civilian employee. Currently, at Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Fonza teaches URP 1051, Ethnic Communities, Places, and Urban Planning, which is cross listed in the Department of Ethnic and Women’s Studies. Dr. Fonza continues to present and publish her work in urban planning as a womanist scholar. In November 2022, she will be a roundtable presenter at the annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) held in Canada in Toronto, Ontario. In 2016, she was the first Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Neighborhoods, which is an arm of the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design (AUPD) at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). She has designed and developed course curricula in urban planning and public administration for many students and institutions of higher education, including her alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Conducting oral histories and thus preserving the cultural and collective histories of black communities are dominant features of Dr. Fonza’s research, teaching, and professional profiles. In 2007, she established her own digital collection of oral histories of black residents, black state lawmakers Commonwealth of Massachusetts staff at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History in Massachusetts. Wherever she is, Dr. Fonza is committed to and active in public service. Her professional work in urban and government administration began in what is now the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Dr. Fonza’s approach to academic scholarship is interdisciplinary and intersectional in orientation, and she believes that the published work of planning scholars is something that should often be accessible to all, not just to those in college or exclusively to academics. That said, in 2019, Dr. Fonza published a short electronic/digital proposal, which is available on most digital platforms entitled Rebuilding Black Communities, With Love; and, presently, she is collaborating on a project with Dr. Jerry Rafiki Jenkins (Palomar College) to examine the brave stories, poems, art, and essays of “Black Nones,” also known as black atheists, freethinkers, secularists, and humanists. Without a doubt she believes that not only is there power in embracing who you are, but this power is amplified when we speak out and give voice to affirm our identity and thus insist upon a shared humanity!