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Blog: What Is Design Thinking and How Does It Relate to Equity? design justice principles




What Is Design Thinking? How Is Design Related to Equity and Racism? #justice by design # design justice principles


1) Design thinking started as a method of iteration to find solutions to problems where there is none clearly defined. Its focus is on the “user” and human-centered.


2) Rooted in product design – a framework, user-repetition, feedback, and improvement –is a more sophisticated way to improve cultural equity.

This iterative process is one that builds a better “design” with better feedback.[i]


3) Many processes have the unintentional “design” of racism.

Algorithmic Design and Bias[ii], Biased Machine Learning[iii], Criminal Justice System[iv]a Biased Criminal Justice on Housing[1], Its Impact on Communities[2], and Its Impact on Parenting[3], the Criminal Justice System and Mobility[4], Mass Policing and Professional Employment Consequences[5], Economic Segregation and Education[6], Urban Design and Healthcare Inequity[7], Voting Laws, surveys, communications, etc. All products of human design.


4) Implicit bias exists.[8]

But, it takes more action.


As Robin DiAngelo states, “Smiling at a coworker of color for a white coworker”[9]or going to lunch with a worker of color – does not end racism.


5) Just recognizing that implicit bias exists - unconscious bias- is not enough.

We can only go so far using the recognition that we have subconscious tendencies until we need something else to change our system to be more antiracist.


6) If we recognize that these “systemic biases” are products of design, then, we can “re-design” them to improve our understanding, actions, and impact?


7) We have learned have always included

Endnotes:

[1]Kling, Jeffrey R., Jens Ludwig, and Lawrence F. Katz. 2005. "Neighborhood effects on crime for female and male youth: Evidence from a randomized housing voucher experiment." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 120:87-130.

[2] Clear, Todd R., Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Communities Worse. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

[3] Hairston, Creasie Finney. 2003. "Prisoners and their Families: Parenting Issues during Incarceration." Pp. 259-282 in Prisoners Once Removed: The Impact of Incarceration and Reentry on Children, Families, and Communities, edited by J. Travis and M. Waul. Washington, D. C.: The Urban Institute.

[4]Harris, David A. 1999. "The Stories, the Statistics, and the Law: Why Driving While Black Matters." Minn. L. Rev. 84:265.

[5] Holzer, Harry, Stephen Rafael, and Michael J. Stoll. 2004. "Will Employers Hire Ex Offenders? Employer Preferences, Background checks, and Their Determinants." Pp. 205-246 in Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration, edited by M. Pattillo, D. Weiman, and B. Western. New York: Sage.

[6] Clark, Kenneth B., “Segregated Schools in New York City.” The Journal of Educational Sociology 36, No. 6 (Feb. 1963): 245-250; Massey, Douglas S. and Mary J. Fischer. 2006. "The effect of childhood segregation on minority academic performance at selective colleges." Ethnic and Racial Studies 29:1-26.

[7] Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores. 2000. "Residential segregation and the epidemiology of infectious diseases." Social science & medicine 51:1143-1161. Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores, Kimberly A. Lochner, Theresa L. Osypuk, and S.V. Subramanian. 2003. "Future directions in residential segregation and health research: a multilevel approach." Journal Information 93.

[8]Resources | The Implicit Bias Institute: on “white privilege” on “unconscious bias”, including Why Are White People So Bad At Talking About Race? (refinery29.com), DiAngelo, Dr. Robin, “Strong Opinions Loosely Held – Why Are White People Are So Bad At Talking About Race,” Refinery 29 (“Go smile at your coworkers of color. Go to lunch on occasion. Don’t do anything else, and you will play your part because niceness is not anti-racism. It takes strategic, intentional action. Smiling, being friendly, having a friend- those things don’t end racism.”

Your Unconscious Bias Trainings Keep Failing Because You’re Not Addressing Systemic Bias (forbes.com)

[9] (“Go smile at your coworkers of color. Go to lunch on occasion. Don’t do anything else, and you will play your part because niceness is not anti-racism. It takes strategic, intentional action. Smiling, being friendly, having a friend- those things don’t end racism.” Id. at 12.

[i] Racism and inequity are products of design. They can be redesigned. | by equityXdesign | equity design | Medium. EquityxDesign “Racism and Inequity are Product of Design. They Can Be Redesigned.” Nov. 15, 2016, Medium.com.

[ii]The Racist Algorithm? (umich.edu) Chander, Anupam, “The Racist Algorithm”, Michigan Law Review, Vol 115, Issue 6 (2017).

[iii] Can an Algorithm Be Racist? | Mind Matters O’Leary, Denyse, “Can An Algorithm Be Racist?” Mind Matters AI (Jan. 3, 2019).

[iv] Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness. New York: The New Press, 2010 revised 2012. justice by design

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