+ What is equity?

Equity revolves around systemic outcomes and exists when they are no longer predicted by an aspect of an individual’s identity.

+ Why does equity matter?

In the United States, equity matters because of our current lack of it, especially amongst marginalized communities such as Black and Latinx populations, females, transgender individuals, people with disabilities, etc. For example, the Black and Latinx populations face disproportionate racial and economic inequities, limiting social, economic, and cultural growth due to systems of policy, education, housing, etc., and these disparities propagate because of the barriers that have been built between the residents.

To learn more, read Creative Reaction Lab’s Case for Racial Equity here.

+ What is design and creative problem solving?

Design can come in various forms: graphic design, product design, industrial design, UX/UI design, architecture, urban design, and more. The kind of design Creation Reaction Lab has adapted is Human-Centered Design (or Design Thinking): the act of organizing people, infrastructure, communication, and/or material components to create a service or experience for humans. This is a type of creative problem solving process, where the root of the problem is broken down to: how to solve it, who to solve for, and what solution fits the community’s needs. This unique process shifts the thinking to a hands-on approach, where it is encouraged to create, build, and test solutions in the community with an interdisciplinary team. Creative problem solving moves ideas from minds to tangible approaches that change real-life experiences.

+ What is Equity-Centered Community Design?

Equity-Centered Community Design, created by Creative Reaction Lab, is a unique creative problem solving process based on equity, humility-building, integrating history and healing practices, addressing power dynamics, and co-creating with the community. This design process focuses on a community’s culture and needs so that they can gain tools to dismantle systemic oppression and create a future with equity for all. Creative Reaction Lab’s goal is to share equity-centered design to achieve sustained community health, economic opportunities, and social and cultural solidarity for all.

Learn more about Equity-Centered Community Design by downloading our free field guide: http://www.creativereactionlab.com/eccd-field-guide/.

+ Why Equity-Centered Community Design (ECCD) and not design thinking/human-centered design?

We have noticed some people that use design thinking are often separate from the communities they are trying to understand: they go into the community to observe and then leave to create a solution. On the other hand, Equity-Centered Community Design focuses on dismantling systemic oppression and creating solutions to achieve equity for all. To do this, the process incorporates history and healing, where history is unpacked to unveil power structures and open a space for relearning. Empathy and humility are used to involve the community in co-creation during every step of the process. Overall, we believe ECCD fills in some of the gaps we have found in design-thinking and thus, we developed the process to focus on the community and equity.

+ What are other organizations that practice and teach Equity Design?

Liberatory Design

Reflex Design Collective

Equity Design Collaborative