HBCU Student Researchers Attend“Research Incubator 2022: The Future of Cities”sponsored by CBRE,and win $20,000 in Scholarship Prizes

November 3-5, 2022

From November 3-5, 2022, graduate and undergraduate student researchers from 11 different HBCUs came together for a new, immersive program to empower the next generation of HBCU-educated researchers. The participants worked with leading HBCU faculty and CBRE professionals to generate innovative ideas and equitable solutions for the future of urban centers. They envisioned new ways to address some of the most pressing challenges around commercial real estate, urban infrastructure, and economic advancement for Black communities.

Over the course of two days, participants engaged in research methods workshops, heard from keynote speakers from federal and city government agencies, and were mentored by professionals from the commercial real estate industry. Student participants put their knowledge into practice in a Team Challenge, during which they worked together in small groups to develop and present a cutting-edge and social-justice focused proposal in response to a realistic urban development problem.

The winning team, “CODE Catalyst,” presented a plan for a mixed-use development that would “help bring positive change to our built environment and improve our quality of life.” Their presentation included impact-focused ideas such as youth and senior centers, corporate coworking spaces, and a historical memory site. They proposed “investing in a water treatment system to clean the water in the harbor to be suitable for fishing, boating, and other recreational water activities like a ferry system” and developed a site plan and rendering to convey their vision.

The student winners of the Team Challenge, who took home $2,000 each in scholarship prizes, are: Kashif Alston, a junior studying Mechanical Engineering Technology at Bluefield State College; Issamar Kirby, a sophomore studying Criminal Justice at Virginia State University, Larry M. Smith, Jr., a junior studying African-American Studies and Political Science at North Carolina A&T State University; Maya Toland, a senior studying Architecture and Environmental Engineering at Morgan State University, and Elijah Washington, a master’s candidate in Community Development at Prairie View A&M University.