Redesigners for Justice: the leaders we need for an equitable future

At Creative Reaction Lab, we are keenly aware of the power of narrative in shaping perspectives and outcomes across identities and are especially intent on amplifying and centering the voices and narratives of those who have been ignored, erased, or silenced. While our team already considers themselves DuVernay fans because her talent for storytelling is incomparable, our admiration for her continues to grow immensely as DuVernay consistently demonstrates that she is a strong Redesigner for Justice. Creative Reaction Lab’s work is based on the belief that systems of oppression, inequality, inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned. We also believe that everybody is a designer — design is not restricted to people who have pursued design as a career path. We all have the power to influence outcomes. Every choice that we make every day contribute to a greater design. With these beliefs as our foundation, Creative Reaction Lab has pioneered Equity-Centered Community Design, an award-winning creative problem solving framework based in equity, humility-building, integrating history and healing practices, addressing power dynamics, and co-creating with the community. When we speak about Equity-Centered Community Design and support its integration it into peoples’ practice, we are very intentional in stating that we are promoting a mindset shift rather than process adoption. While early integration might look like checking boxes on a to-do list, to truly center equity and lived experience in daily practice we need to get to a place where questions about power, inclusion, identity, and equity are consistently present in our minds. To cultivate this mindset shift, Creative Reaction Lab is training a new type of leader to address the exclusion and inequities in our communities: Redesigners for Justice. The competencies being developed in these leaders are based in a foundation of Equity-Centered Community Design with interwoven elements of social entrepreneurship, community organizing, and intrapreneurship. Read more: Written for Creative Reaction Lab Medium in September 2019

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