As a creator and decisionmaker, your “designs” impact others. How can we make sure that you’re designing inclusive and equitable outcomes for all - no matter how big or small the decision?

The reality of our society is that any system produces what it was designed to produce. Therefore, if oppression, inequalities, and inequities are designed, they can be redesigned. Historically, design as an industry tends to define "design" as a craft-oriented sector. On the other hand, the diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice space does not see the relevancy of design - as they also base design off of the definition presented above. However, the ultimate nature of design is the intention behind an outcome (IBM). Overall, these outcomes impact others - either positively or negatively. As we strive for human equity, we have to be able to recognize inequity and have the ability to recognize ourselves as designers who have the power disrupt it.

Using Creative Reaction Lab's Equity-Centered Community Design Process, students, activists, nonprofit leaders, designers, artists, and the common person alike can develop innovative and impactful approaches challenging systemic issues. In this action-learning workshop, participants will learn about the role of the individual and teams when addressing community challenges through the lens of equity and creative problem solving.

What topics will be covered?

In the Leaders for Community Action and Equity Workshops, participants will:
- Learn about, and begin to practice, the Equity-Centered Community Design process.
- Cultivate creative leadership and new approaches to building community relationships.
- Understand the role of diversity, inclusion, humility, and equity in community engagement and community-centered design.
- Practice using co-creation and power-sharing tools and methods that highlight civic leadership and community engagement to challenge real-world issues.
- Transform ideas into actions by safely developing and testing community-led approaches to current company, school, agency, or community challenges.

What exercises will be done?

Language Setting - During Language Setting, audience members will define and understand basic principles used within the workshop and in engaging in equity work post-workshop. Terms include: diversity, inclusion, equality, equity, community, etc.

Paseo - During Paseo, audience members will explore their identities, the biases associated with said identities, and the power they hold through their design capabilities.

Table of Collaboration - Each sector of society contributes different perspectives and knowledge bases that should be brought together to effectively approach problems. The Table of Collaboration focuses on understanding the values and expertises different sectors bring to the problem solving process, defining the barriers of access and power sharing minimizing collaboration, and developing strategies to overcome these barriers.

Building Ideal Community/Neighborhood - To understand the power of our perspectives and biases, audience members will individually and collectively design an ideal community and/or neighborhood. These communities will then, thus, be challenged to address: diversity, inclusion, equality, and equity frameworks.

Equity Pledge - Moving beyond the workshop, each audience member will complete an equity pledge and develop a brief action plan to transform their community.

What will the audience take away from this workshop?

Audience members will gain a deeper understanding of their “power” and how they can apply equity practices to their work and life environments.

Additionally, while learning Equity-Centered Community Design, audience members will begin to learn the beginning steps of building their humility (to become truly empathetic), integrating history and healing practices, addressing power dynamics, and co-creating with the community.

Any requirements for attending?

An open-mind being willing to redefine “design” and dive deep into the concepts of diversity, inclusion, equality, and equity as it relates to historical and contemporary challenges.