Sojourner Consulting

Sojourner Consulting is a mission-driven planning consultancy dedicated to creating more equitable, sustainable, and inclusive places.

Sojourner Consulting

While our projects range widely, our work often involves building unlikely coalitions, stakeholder-driven planning and land use strategy, and policy analysis.

Equitable Development Planning

Communities experiencing gentrification or large-scale development face a different set of questions compared to disinvestment. Often, loss of housing affordability and economic opportunity coincides with fracturing of social and political networks. We provide support in navigating this environment and building capacity for communities to advocate for themselves, to ensure current residents can benefit from future changes.In this area of work, we often:
...Design planning and policy strategies which guard against displacement and build local assets.
...Facilitate conversations among diverse interests which are driven by mutual benefit.
...Shed light on cultural context and practices which can inform successful preservation strategies.
...Partner with communities and carry out participatory processes that center the voices of the most impacted.
Projects: Cultural District Planning, Fair Housing Coalition, 76ers Community Impact Assessment

Immigrants, Refugees and English Language Learners

Working with immigrants, refugees and ELLs requires a specific set of skillsets and knowledge. These include a trauma-informed approach, building trust and rapport, knowledge of how to use interpretation and translation, ability to help navigate through complex systems, and the ability to understand, respect, and respond appropriately to the diverse cultural backgrounds, values, beliefs, and practices of immigrant and refugee communities.We support the creation of more inclusive programs and services for a diverse population through an assets-based approach. Clients develop actionable recommendations on policy and planning, and come to an increased understanding of how to build working relationships with stakeholders.Projects: Montgomery County AAPI Needs Assessment, Latinx and LEP Access to Office of Homeless Services

Sojourner Consulting

Place-Based. We are planners who love places and the intricate ecosystems which support them. We often support places which are experiencing development and rapid change.Human-Centered. We use qualitative tools, design thinking and system approaches to ground our work in community experience and address root causes. We combine these methods with more traditional, technical approaches.Culturally Competent. We thrive in multicultural, multilingual environments. We often work with immigrants, refugees and English Language Learners (ELLs).

Current and Previous Clients

Ceiba - Latino Equitable Development Collective
City of Philadelphia
Friends of the Rail Park
HealthSpark Foundation
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Mortgage Bankers Association
New Mainstream Media
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
Spiral Q Puppet Theater
Urban Manufacturing Alliance
Village of Arts and Humanities

Sojourner Consulting

Founder & Principal Sarah Yeung

Founder and Principal Sarah Yeung has 13 years of experience as a community developer, planner and policy advocate.Sarah has provided expertise and thought leadership in planning and development impacts for Philadelphia Chinatown and other neighborhoods. As the previous director of planning in Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation, she played a key role in the organization's growth from a grassroots non-profit to a regional powerhouse.Other experiences include national policy advocacy at The Food Trust, a national food access organization where Sarah supported the development of local, state and national policy campaigns and coalitions. As a Michael Rubinger Fellow for LISC, she studied immigrant food distribution networks across the country, tracing the history and the role of wholesalers, distributors and suppliers.


James Crowder

Sojourner Consulting

Vanessa Xie
Project Manager

Jessie Rios Benitez

Sojourner Consulting

Qi Guo

Sojourner also partners with collaborators who bring in a range of skill sets and expertise. They include real estate developers, economists, researchers, planners and ethnographers.


Landscape Review for The Rail Park

The Rail Park is a vision for a 3-mile park which stretches across the City of Philadelphia, starting with Phase I, a quarter-mile park built on top of a former railroad viaduct. The non-profit organization sought to conduct equitable development planning in the local communities throughout the span of the 3-mile vision in Philadelphia. Through stakeholder interviews and research, we developed a landscape review of the diverse neighborhoods, histories and development trends surrounding the future park.

The final report issued recommendations for how the organization can engage communities and reposition its programs and services to better address equitable development goals.

Latinx and LEP service access

For community development funders or organizations seeking to develop the capacity and practical imagination of staff and field leaders, placing a strategist in an arts and culture organization can be an important training tool.

  • Increased knowledge of relevant regulatory and political systems, which may help the organization to better identify leverage points for affecting change;

  • Increased understanding of how to work with, support and challenge actors in community development (i.e. elected officials, legal aid organizations, housing authorities, etc.);

  • Increased understanding of how to explore, conceptualize and evaluate community development opportunities for the organization;

Sojourner Consulting