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Design Changemakers Digest

By Sandra Camacho, Inclusive & Equitable Design Educator

Hi, I'm Sandra Camacho (She/Her), alias Sandra By Design. I write about how teams and leaders can use the power of design not only for the good of business — but for the good of the world. Subscribe for tips, insights and resources on designing for equity, inclusion and justice.

Eager to practice design for change? Join our co-design experiment

Read in your browser I often hear that it's difficult to move from good intentions to concrete actions when it comes to designing for positive change. And that there's no room for inclusion, accessibility or equity when you don't have resources or budget. After last week's digest, a spark of inspiration came unexpectedly to solve for these challenges ⚡️ I thought to myself... What if we could build a free community-powered library to help people move from good intentions to concrete actions?...
3 months ago • 2 min read
index finger and thumb coming together like a snap to form a tiny heart

Design, equity and self-care

It's been a few months since you've heard from me as I've unfortunately been caught in an avalanche of health issues (as I wrote about here on LinkedIn). As a result, all plans for Design Changemakers had to unfortunately come to a screeching halt, including this newsletter. I'm finally back (but still healing). In this edition, I bring you 3 lessons learned on weaving self-care into a more equity-centered design practice (i.e. don't do what I did). And I will close with a few equitable asks...
3 months ago • 3 min read
Practicing discernment in design for positive change

To design for social change, we need more than just "best practices"

In our last digest of the year, I'll explore how discernment can help us integrate and embody social change practices. And I'll share an exciting learning event for you to put discernment into practice! Are best practices actually helpful? Best practices and guidelines around accessibility, inclusion and equity exist to guide design decision-making — for instance, ensuring colors for text and iconography meet minimum color contrast ratios to enhance the accessibility of our designs. But what...
6 months ago • 2 min read
A compass with pointing to the letter "D." Two other directions exist ("A" and "E")

How reflexivity opens doors to more equitable outcomes in design

In this week's digest, we're explore the topic of reflexivity, building upon what we covered in last week's digest. You may be asking yourself, reflexi-what? I define reflexivity as bringing in a layer of critical reflection and systems thinking to your design and research work. In the simplest of terms, think of it as a set of keys. These keys will help you open doors to more nuanced understanding of repeated patterns in our beliefs, behaviors and decisions that lead us to inequitable...
7 months ago • 2 min read

How tools can aid or hinder us in designing for social change

Time and time again, I'll hear, "Can you give us a practical checklist or tool?" I tell teams to be mindful about how they use tools in design work around equity, inclusion and justice. While tools can absolutely transform what can feel like abstract concepts into concrete steps we can actually take, they come with many pitfalls when poorly designed or misused. They can unintentionally reinforce biases and assumptions. They're often removed from the realities of the context in which we do...
7 months ago • 1 min read

Design Changemakers is officially live!

After many months of development, Design Changemakers has at last arrived! I'm so excited to bring you an ever-growing collection of courses, tools, resources and events on designing for positive change. On this platform, you'll find: Courses: We're starting with our Design Changemaking Accelerator that will equip you with Tools: Digital card decks built around our changemaking frameworks that will enable you to move from theory to action Events: One-off workshops and live events to help you...
7 months ago • 1 min read
Octavia Butler with a slight smile

Harnessing our changemaking power to design a more just world

If you're reading this digest, it's likely that you aspire to use design for good. But sometimes it can feel like we don't have the power to fight oppression when it's so big and overwhelming. This is how I have felt in the past few weeks. Big changes in my personal life — moving apartments all on my own — had thrown me off course. In the midst of that, violence erupted in Israel and Gaza. As an equity-centered practitioner, I felt the pressure to do something. But what could I possibly do? I...
8 months ago • 2 min read

Working through the challenges of definitions (equity, inclusion, and so forth)

The language we use to describe our work has a bigger impact than we may expect. Many people often use terms like inclusion, equity and accessibility interchangeably — but they have very different meanings. The differences show up in people, practices, processes and and power dynamics. Centering the perspectives of marginalized folks throughout the design process, for instance, will look and feel very different than running accessibility compliance checks. While definitions are subjective,...
8 months ago • 1 min read

The connection between changemaking and equity, justice & inclusion

Welcome to the first official Design Changemakers Digest! I'm excitingly gearing up for the launch of Design Changemakers, a learning platform on designing for positive change, in just a few short weeks. In this issue, I'll be exploring what why changemaking matters in your journey toward designing for equity, inclusion & justice. New practices don't stick without underlying change. Like in the case of a home renovation that fails to fix problems in the home's foundations, we'll see the same...
9 months ago • 2 min read
Design Changemakers: Learn to design for equity, inclusion & justice. Courses & tools to help you create lasting change.

Moving on from "inclusive design" | (Final) Inclusive Design Digest

Hi there, I apologize for the radio silence with these digests! The truth is that that I've grown frustrated with inclusive design, or at least the way it's practiced today. I'm moving away from it toward something more impactful — read on 'til the end for an exciting announcement on what this means for you 🥳. Why move away from "inclusive design"? Because it usually translates into "bare minimum" actions. Making language a bit more inclusive. Diversifying some visuals. Interviewing a few...
9 months ago • 1 min read

Hi, I'm Sandra Camacho (She/Her), alias Sandra By Design. I write about how teams and leaders can use the power of design not only for the good of business — but for the good of the world. Subscribe for tips, insights and resources on designing for equity, inclusion and justice.

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