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EQUITYxDESIGN RI Cohort | 2022

The EQUITYxDESIGN RI Cohort is a multi-month program created to lead designers, design businesses, and those who participate in the design economy to understand and build Diversity Equity and Inclusion processes in their work. Mobilizing an educational arc by Creative Reaction Lab the cohort will empower current and upcoming industry leaders to practice design with consideration of equity. This program will culminate with an event at the 9th annual DESIGN WEEK RI where participating businesses will be asked to showcase tangible processes or initiatives they have developed and implemented over the course of the program.

Thanks to a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, there is no fee to participate in this program. For this, we ask that you make an intentional investment into the advancing DEI in your sphere of influence. This could look like a shift in internal processes, the start of a new initiative, the re-crafting of a hiring or recruiting practice, or another type of investment you find tangibly impactful. These investments will be discussed throughout the multi-month program and presented on at the culminating event.

The Program+

The EQUITYxDESIGN RI Cohort is designed for the ambassadors of design in Rhode Island. DESIGNxRI has chosen to expand our knowledge and efforts towards diversity, equity and inclusion and to do so in collaboration with our colleagues and fellow leaders of design. The cohort will be made up of DxRI staff, DxRI DEI committee members and a group of our community members. Up to 25 participants will make up the entire Cohort for this five month collaborative endeavor. Included are six workshops, cohort exclusive meetings, community wide dialogue, goal setting, and execution planning.  The commitment is roughly 2 hours per week for May and June, then 2 hours per month for July, August, and September. There will be a final event the last week of September during design week when participants will showcase what they have accomplished throughout the process.

Led by Creative Reaction Lab, a nationally recognized organization created out of support for the Ferguson Uprisings, EQUITYxDESIGN RI workshops will be catered to this cohort’s specific fields and knowledge base. Creative Reaction Lab’s foundation is based on the idea that “ systems of oppression, inequality, and inequity are by design; therefore, they can and must be redesigned.” Creative Reaction Lab promotes a mindset shift rather than process adoption, allowing them to create programming for a wide range of audiences. They run programs for youth, educators, organizations, and corporations nationally. Learn more about Creative Reaction Lab: https://www.creativereactionlab.com/

Benefits+
  • Participants will gain tools to understand and increase Diversity Equity and Inclusion within their field through a 6 workshop series. These workshops will respond to the cohort’s needs and cater to where the cohort is within its own equity work journey.
  • Learning will be done in a cohort of Rhode Island based peers. This will encourage group knowledge building, sharing in best practices, and collaboration around DEI efforts state wide.
  • As stakeholders in the future of design, this program is an opportunity to give you and others tools to improve equity in the field.
  • At the end of the program and upon successful completion, cohort members will receive a Certificate of Completion.
  • This program is free to participants thanks to a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
Who Can Apply?+

You would be a great fit for this program if you have an interest in growing equity in the design economy and are one of the following:

  • An established designer in RI
  • In a leadership position at a design business or firm
  • Are empowered by your design business or firm to represent them during this program
  • Lead a design team for a larger business or corporation
  • Represent a design team for a larger business or corporation with support from leadership
  • A professional who regularly works with or hires designers or design firms
The Commitment+

The program will consist of ten points of engagement from May-September, with optional group processing discussions and July summit engagement, and a culminating event at DESIGN WEEK RI 2022. All engagements are digital aside from the DESIGN WEEK RI culmination and the July Summit.

For this program, we ask that you make an intentional investment into the advancing DEI in your sphere of influence. This could look like a shift in internal processes, the start of a new initiative, the re-crafting of a hiring or recruiting practice, or another type of investment you find tangibly impactful.

10 Points of engagement:

  • 6 specialized workshops run by Creative Reaction Lab rooted in their Equity-Centered Community Design approach
  • 3 Cohort Exclusive Meetings
  • Optional off week discussions/debriefs to process the concepts learned in workshop and deepen understanding around real world application.
  • Optional engagement at DESIGNxRI’s July Summit Conversations on access and Design.
  • Culminating Event during DESIGN WEEK RI 2022 showcasing your new DEI initiative developed over the five month program.
Schedule+

All meetings will be hosted digitally on Wednesday mornings from 9AM – 11AM
May 11TH : Grounding + Expectation Setting
May 18TH : Co-Creating Shared Meaning
May 25th : Webinar, “How Design Thinking Supports White Supremacy”
OFF WEEK DISCUSSION—Optional process and debrief discussions
June 8TH : power and leadership
OFF WEEK DISCUSSION—Optional process and debrief discussions
June 22nd : How Traditional Design Thinking Protects White Supremacy pt 2
June 29TH : Equity Centered Community Design
July 13th : Cohort Meeting
JULY SUMMIT (TBD) – Participate in community conversations on access and Design.
August 3rd : Cohort Meeting
September 7th : Cohort Meeting
September 23rd – October 1st : DESIGN WEEK RI Event

SPONSOR

The Rhode Island Foundation

DxRI