Charles T. Brown

Founder & CEO

Charles T. Brown is the founder and principal of Equitable Cities, a minority- and veteran-owned urban planning, public policy and research firm focused at the intersection of transportation, health and equity. He is also an adjunct professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Charles is an award-winning expert in planning and policy and has been interviewed by several notable outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, VICE and Bloomberg CityLab. He is highly regarded as a keynote speaker and leads workshops on transportation, health and equity for audiences worldwide.

Charles previously served as a senior researcher with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University, where he authored several groundbreaking national and local studies that redefined how experts analyze the role of race and racism in transportation and mobility. In 2020, Charles was part of the inaugural class of the Public Voices Fellowship on the Climate Crisis, which is managed by the Yale School of the Environment.

Charles is a military veteran and a recipient of the Mississippi Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He has a Master of Public Administration degree and graduate certificate in urban and regional planning from the University of Central Florida, where he received the 2020 Alumni Achievement Award for Public Administration. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Management degree from Belhaven College, where he received the James W. Park Academic Achievement Award. He is a certified instructor with the League of American Bicyclists, received a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Professional Designation (CPD) from the National Institute on Crime Prevention and is also a proud and active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.


Priyanshu Sharma

Urban Planner/Designer

Priyanshu is an urban planner and designer at Equitable Cities who specializes in transportation planning, design, data analysis, and visualization. He holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Planning from CEPT University, India. His work and research primarily focus on transportation planning and design, land use, spatial analysis, and data analysis and visualization. Moreover, his academic and professional experience in the planning profession has also inculcated the art value of good communication, which is not limited to maps, visuals, and interactive platforms, but also persuasive and engaging storytelling for our communities. Formerly, he worked with the NYC Ferry team within the Planning Division at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Earlier, he worked for Bloomberg Associates, where he provided technical support for the NewarkGO Bike Share Program’s implementation. Prior to this, he brought more than 3 years of work experience in the realms of planning and design from India, where he worked in various capacities with social entrepreneurs, planning organizations, and academic research institutes.

J’lin Rose

Policy Analyst/Social Justice Fellow

J’lin Rose knew from a young age his passion for helping people, which stemmed from his grandma’s love towards bringing people together and helping them succeed.

He is serving as Policy Analyst and Fellow at Equitable Cities. Currently completing a Master’s in Public Administration along with a Certificate in Social Justice in Public Service from the University of Central Florida, his experience includes community engagement, strategic planning, project/team management, and technology. Furthermore, he previously completed an apprenticeship with AmeriCorp’s Public Allies, a program that develops diverse leadership to help create a just and equitable society.

J’lin has also had roles working in the Central Florida community with the University of Central Florida’s and Valencia College’s Downtown Student Life as well as Heart of Florida United Way as coordinator.

Carmen Kuan

Senior Planner

Carmen Kuan, a Senior Planner at Equitable Cities, has over 7 years of professional experience working in the public and private sectors with an interdisciplinary background in environmental science and city planning. Her wide range of experience from research to equitable public engagement to local government informs her critical, thoughtful approach to her work as a Senior Planner. At Equitable Cities, Carmen focuses on planning, policy, and design. Previously, she assisted with policy development, community engagement, and data analysis at the City of Raleigh. Carmen is based in Durham, NC where she serves as a Board Member and Committee Chair of a local non-profit organization.

Xavier Lofton

Health Equity & Outreach Manager


Xavier Lofton, MPH joins Equitable Cities as the Health Equity and Outreach Manager. His projects include managing the Vermont Health Equity and Community Design Technical Assistance Pilot to support Vermont-based communities as they advance their built environment goals. Xavier also leads the design process for developing new stewardship models for the Watershed Stewards Academy in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Prior to joining Equitable Cities, he spent two years with Prevention Institute – planning and delivering an annual racial justice learning series, facilitating health equity trainings with local health departments, and aiding policy advocacy efforts of community-based organizations in California and nationwide. Xavier has served multiple roles within the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. His work within chronic disease and violence prevention is guided by asset-based community framing. Xavier was a 2018 Health Equity Awakened fellow with Human Impact Partners, which further grounded his systems-based approach to addressing health inequities. In the fight for clean and safe drinking water Xavier has coordinated research projects within the School District of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, further documenting the need for equitable systemic improvements to existing community assets in large cities. Xavier began his 10-year city government career with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, first guiding youth through their transition to the workforce before managing a recreation center near the West Philadelphia community where he was raised. Xavier received his Master of Public Health degree from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations with a minor in Sociology from Hofstra University.

Eric Tuvel

Graphic and Communications Lead


Eric Tuvel is an urban planner and graphic designer who is passionate about making communities safe for biking and walking. He has over 10 years of experience in various areas of planning including bicycle & pedestrian planning, bicycle safety & education, program management, wayfinding, and land use development. Eric utilizes his background in graphic design to translate technical information into data visualizations that help build consensus for projects that impact the community. Before joining Dresdner Robin, he was a Senior Planner with Alta Planning + Design working on bicycle and pedestrian master plans, safe routes to school programs, and project management. He also managed wayfinding for SF International Airport, bicycle parking for the SF Municipal Transportation Agency, and education programs for the SF Bicycle Coalition. Eric received a dual master’s degree from Rutgers University in City and Regional Planning and Public Policy and has over 10 years of experience in graphic design.

Tyra Montour

Social Media Strategist and Marketing Coordinator

As a passionate health communicator, Tyra is dedicated to bridging the gap between complex health information and the general public, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being. With a deep-rooted commitment to public health advocacy, she combines her expertise in communication with a strong understanding of public health to create impactful messages that resonate across diverse audiences. Tyra is currently a health education PhD student at Texas A&M University and has a background in communications and public health. Her research focuses on health communications, health disparities, and socio-economic factors that influence the health literacy, knowledge, and awareness in vulnerable or immigrant

Prior to Equitable Cities Tyra worked as a graduate research assistant working in systems science and community engagement. Working with professionals studying the complex interplay between various systems and their impact on communities. Several projects sought to bridge the gap between scientific research and community needs, driving positive change through collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches.

Tyra earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and New Media from Gardner-Webb University and a Master of Public Health from Morehouse School of Medicine.

Ziwei Liu

Transportation Planner Intern

Ziwei Liu is currently serving as a Transportation Planner Intern at Equitable Cities. She is a recent graduate of Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, where she earned her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning. She brings the skill set to the role, including expertise in data analysis, mapping, and design.

From 2021 to 2023, Ziwei expanded her academic experience by working as a research assistant with the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC). Her focus was on data analysis, visualization, and network analysis using but not limited to ArcGIS for statewide projects. She also supervised, archived, executed data cleaning and weighting for bus survey data in the statewide project, “Analysis of Local Bus Market”. Earlier in 2020, Ziwei served as a GIS assistant at Shanghai Grand Planning & Design Co., Ltd. Her role involved coordinating mapping and strengthening the quality of the housing and land use database for the local government. Less than a year later, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management.

Currently based in New Jersey, Ziwei is driven by her passion for the vision of non-motorized and transit-friendly communities. When not immersed in work, Ziwei is an avid photographer with a keen interest in street, landscape, and aerial photography. Her passion for capturing life through a lens mirrors her dedication to urban and transportation planning.

Nellie Graham, MS

Social Justice Fellow/Planner I


As a Social Justice Fellow with Equitable Cities, Nellie is dedicated to addressing complex issues at the intersection of public health, transportation, and climate planning to enhance living conditions for communities of color. Raised in an agriculturally rich region of California prone to wildfires, Nellie developed an early awareness of health disparities along racial and economic lines. Her lived experiences in these communities shapes her deep commitment to racial equity and human rights for a more resilient, sustainable future.

Nellie holds a Master’s of Science in Community Development from the University of California, Davis, and a Graduate Certificate in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. During her time at UC Davis, she served as a research assistant at the Center for Regional Change, the Institute of Transportation Studies, and the Feminist Research Institute. In these roles, Nellie contributed to climate readiness projects, identifying barriers faced by local governments in implementing zero-emission vehicle readiness, reducing vehicle miles traveled, and building decarbonization policies. She also played a key role in designing and facilitating a transportation equity seminar and a mentorship program for underrepresented students in STEM.

Nellie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate of Arts in Spanish from Santa Rosa Junior College. She currently lives in Berkeley, California, where she enjoys running, watercolor painting, and discovering new crafts.

Valeria Menendez

Social Justice Fellow/Planner I

Valeria joins us with an impressive interdisciplinary background, holding a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Planning. Her comprehensive understanding of environmental and social dynamics, coupled with enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration, makes her a perfect fit for our mission as well. Valeria’s expertise underscores her commitment to creating positive change in our field. She is currently working on the Virginia Walkability Institute in collaboration with Virginia Department of Health, and with various communities around the country through the DOT’s Thriving Communities Program. Outside of work you can find her dancing.



Equitable Cities is a full service consulting firm
striving to improve communities.


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Somerset, NJ 08875

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