Southface Institute’s Online Visionary Dinner Celebrates Spatial Justice and Regenerative Placemaking

Event to Gather Leaders in Sustainability and Present 2020 Argon Award
Southface Institute’s Visionary Dinner convenes forward-thinking innovators who are committed to building an equitable and sustainable future.

(ATLANTA, GA.) September 4, 2020 – Southface Institute, the Atlanta-based nonprofit leader in the design and implementation of high impact sustainability solutions, is presenting its annual Visionary Dinner online for the first time on September 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. The evening convenes forward-thinking innovators who are committed to building an equitable and sustainable future, bringing them together for a robust program and opportunities for discussion, engagement and networking—this year, all online.

“Visionary Dinner is a chance to reimagine and celebrate the future and those leaders who are paving the way there. Among the many lessons we’ll take from 2020, we’re learning how to rethink the relationship between place, people and the ecosystems around us. Studies have shown that the places where we live and work greatly impact our health, well-being and our thinking about the connection between the natural and built environment,” said Southface Institute President Andrea Pinabell. “This Visionary Dinner we want to come together and consider what feeds us—mind and body—and what keeps us motivated towards the realization of a regenerative economy and how we create a more sustainable future.”

Celebrate the Work of 2020 Argon Award Winner Liz Ogbu

During the dinner, Southface will present its 2020 Argon Award to designer, urbanist and spatial justice activist, Liz Ogbu, a global expert on engaging and transforming unjust urban environments. From designing shelters for immigrant day laborers in the U.S. to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans, Liz has a long history of working with communities in need to leverage the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. She is Founder and Principal of Studio O, a multidisciplinary design consultancy that works at the intersection of racial and spatial justice. She also previously served as the Droga Architect-in-Residence in Australia, investigating urban marginalized populations and community development practices in the country.

Liz Ogbu, Visionary Dinner's 2020 Argon Award Winner.
Liz Ogbu, a global expert on engaging and transforming unjust urban environments, will receive the 2020 Argon Award.

“I’m honored with this award and its recognition of the intimate connection between the environmental and justice conversations. Yes, I design buildings in challenged urban environments, but I prefer to describe my calling as a shaper of the spaces that help enable people to live their best stories,” said Ogbu. “The pandemic highlights that, in a world characterized by multilayered oppression—including that of race, class and gender—we who work in the built environment are caretakers of that environment and have a responsibility to tend to the harm within it. I try to hold myself accountable to that each day and create long-term solutions that include and benefit those most burdened by spatial injustice.”

Liz has written for and been profiled in publications such as The New York Times, The Atlantic’s CityLab and the Journal of Urban Design. Her projects have been featured in museum exhibitions and received numerous design awards globally. Her honors include Global Fellow, TEDWomen Speaker, Aspen Ideas Scholar, Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100.

Cook Alongside James Beard Award-Nominated Chef Asha Gomez

To bring the feel of an elegant meal home through the virtual platform, Visionary Dinner attendees will have the opportunity to increase their culinary acumen alongside our chef, Asha Gomez. Gomez is author of the cookbook “My Two Souths,” which launched in 2016 and was nominated as a finalist for a James Beard Award in the American Cooking category. In 2012, she launched Atlanta restaurant Cardamom Hill, one of Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants and named one of Southern Living’s 5 Best Restaurants in the South. Her latest book, “I Cook in Color,” will be coming out this October. During the dinner, Gomez will share more about her passions and what has driven her interests in food security and sustainability.

Asha Gomez, Visionary Dinner's chef
James Beard Award-nominated Chef Asha Gomez will demonstrate an innovative menu at this year’s online Visionary Dinner.

 Network With Other Visionaries

Our online platform gives attendees the opportunity of past Visionary Dinners to network. This year, we will gather at virtual tables to discuss “What feeds you?” with others who are committed to building resilient communities and hear from leaders in the sustainability sphere. The evening will also include musical performances by guitarist Zachary Goldman.

For Tickets and Registration:

About Visionary Dinner and the Argon Award

Every year, Southface Institute’s Visionary Dinner raises awareness of and critical funding for Southface’s urgent work to promote a regenerative economy and a healthy and equitably built environment at all scales—homes, workplaces and communities. The Argon Award presented at the dinner showcases an individual or an organization that is leading the way in advancing sustainability efforts through innovative solutions. Winners are selected by a knowledgeable panel of experts. Liz Ogbu joins an esteemed group of past individual award winners, including Paul Hawken, R.E. “Ted” Turner and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

About Southface Institute
Southface Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is leading the way toward a sustainable, equitable and healthy built environment for all. Since 1978, our programs have closed the gap between environmental awareness and action by promoting scalable resource efficiency and clean energy solutions for homes, workplaces and communities. Our practice of regenerative placemaking amplifies real-world strategies to create a built environment where the synergy between ecological and human needs supports health and well-being while creating resilient, equitable and thriving communities, striving to achieve a low-carbon future.

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For more information, please contact Emily Proctor at

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