FSU’s Sahari Walker Named 2024 Andre Anderson Minority Scholarship Recipient

Sahari Walker

Meet Sahari Walker

APA Florida is thrilled to announce Sahari Walker as the recipient of the 2024 Andre Anderson Minority Scholarship. Sahari is a first year graduate student at Florida State University pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, already earning two Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Criminology, graduating Cum Laude in both programs. With her compassion and tenacity, she is training for a career where she can aid in preserving and establishing resilient communities.

The scholarship is named after Andre Anderson, APA Florida’s first Black President.

Sahari discovered the planning field after taking courses on quality of city life and collective decision making. This piqued her interest in making cities more enjoyable and livable as she grew up in a rural town and witnessed how communities can easily become disinvested.

Additionally, Sahari is dedicated to advocating for communities of color and investing to improve their quality of life, which is why she worked as a residential counselor for FSU’s Upward Bound Program. There she was dedicated to investing in the students’ successes by facilitating activities that enriched their educational experience through exposing them to cultural activities and promoting post-secondary success for underrepresented students from Gadsden County. Her efforts were so loved by the student’s they call her Momma Hari.

Currently she works as a Graduate Research Assistant at FSU and writes literature reviews from academic journals and professional newsletters focused on evaluating the effectiveness of homeless service programs and anti-displacement policies for a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. Sahari said this research proves that there is a lack of investment and policies present to help the unhoused population.

Ideally, Sahari would love to focus her efforts on placemaking for youth and improving access to green spaces, fresh foods, and places of recreation and education for kids to just be kids. Through her planning training, she wants to help marginalized families build generational wealth through homeownership, provide aid to the unhoused population, and design inclusive spaces for children to flourish. Being on the outside of the systematic and oppressive system motivates Sahari to want to dismantle it and create an innovative and equitable framework to serve all.