Biography

Hilary Malson is an urban geographer and planning scholar who studies race, space, and community development in American exurbs. In her current research, she draws from the wider fields of diaspora studies and black geographies to explore how scattered black and brown communities navigate the expanded regional geographies of everyday life.

Hilary has worked at the intersection of community development and public history for the past decade. She has conducted original research, written exhibit scripts, and developed digital content for an array of public audiences and community-based organizations, including: the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum, the Urban Humanities Initiative, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Here in Los Angeles, Hilary has worked in solidarity with the Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action, the Thomas Mann House, and a host of scholar activists in the local fight for housing justice. From documenting and amplifying the work of community organizers, to coordinating coalition-building conferences, she has worked on the ground to support the local movement to build tenant power.

Hilary is currently a PhD student in Urban Planning at UCLA, a Graduate Student Researcher with the Institute on Inequality and Democracy, and a Fellow at Monument Lab. She holds a BA in the Growth and Structure of Cities from Haverford College and a MSc in Urbanization and Development from the London School of Economics, where she earned the dissertation prize for her research on insurgent planning and spatial politics in a majority-minority Virginia suburb.