Paola Mendez is a Planning Associate at Kounkuey Design Initiative. Paola is passionate about using participatory design and community development to work toward the alleviation of racism, poverty, and injustice in marginalized communities. Before becoming a Planning Associate, Paola interned at KDI, contributing her skills to community engagement, research, analysis, and participatory design workshops on a variety of projects. Paola also worked on community and economic development in Detroit, mapping neighborhood conditions and supporting small “good food” businesses.


Paola holds a BS in Environment and International Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Meet the rest of the team.