Design Justice Initiatives

Minneapolis Skyline UMN campus

We are currently working to strategize what justice can look like in year 1, 4, and 12. We are using the Racism Untaught research framework to guide our design decisions; contextualizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and measuring the impact of our design approaches. In defining the issues within the college, we conducted 1-on-1 interviews, focus groups, and graffiti walls to help us understand how our institutional policies have perpetuated inequities.

Design Justice Fund

This fund supports design justice initiatives within the College of Design. This includes but is not limited to BIPOC scholarships and justice-centered initiatives.

Design Justice Center

We are currently putting together proposals to support the renovation of space that will house Design Justice initiatives.

Design Justice Pedagogy

We are working to provide time and space to audit courses to intentionally weave anti-racist and the decolonization of design curriculum to provide inclusive learning experiences. 

Design Justice Designer-in-Residence

In Fall 2021, we are hoping to launch a design justice-centered residency program that would support guest designers who teach courses with a wide(r) cultural lens including Black and Latinx design history courses and a Design As Protest course.

Design Justice Fellowship Program

We are currently working to develop a program that supports a pipeline to the design industry that reflects underinvested students directly from our communities. Corporate entities will provide mentorship, internships, and courses on our campus within a developed boot camp or certificate program to teach the technical skills of design.

Design Justice Cumulative Hire

Much like many universities across North America (See OCAD University), a significant goal of the College of Design is to provide opportunities for hiring a wide-array of staff and faculty that reflect the identities of our Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color. We are researching to understand how we can engage in supporting efforts like these so our faculty and staff can reflect the broader community.

Two people look at a project display titled "The Color of Design"
Get Involved

Your participation—on the departmental, collegiate, and University levels—is integral to improving our campus climate and setting new standards for equity and justice in higher education. Whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member, there are numerous ways for you to get involved.

Earn Your Equity and Diversity Certificate

The Equity and Diversity Certificate helps participants develop tools necessary for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. It’s free of charge and open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni on all campuses of the University of Minnesota.

Join A Cross-cultural Discussion Group

International Student and Scholar Services is now offering Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups, a unique opportunity to meet other University students from a variety of colleges, majors, and nationalities in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The Cross-Cultural Discussion Groups are open to all UMN students.

Participate in the Anti-racism Reading Group

Born from the anger and grief sparked by the killing of George Floyd, the Anti-racism Reading Group provides a space for focused conversation around racism and social justice. Hosted by the College of Design Fabrication Shops Director Molly Sanford and Senior Academic Advisor Chris Schlichting, the group meets via Zoom once a month to discuss relevant readings, podcasts, current events, and other forms of media. You can join by reaching out to Molly or Chris to be added to the group email.