Intentional Design to Dismantle the System
“Dismantling the system” is a phrase I’ve heard and thought about pretty frequently lately. Systemic oppression has been at work here since the beginning of America - and we’re talking Christopher Columbus. I recently read the book So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo which addressed overcoming systemic oppression. Oleo argued that “we have to actually dismantle the machine if we want to make change.” Using what I’ve learned from her novel and the Equity-Centered Community (ECCD) Field Guide, designing solutions to tackle real-world issues for real people seems daunting yet more attainable. 
Intentionality behind design choices is key to the process of ECCD. In order to make empathetic, intentional decisions there are few things that are crucial to understand. From the ECCD Field Guide and So You Want to Talk About Race, diversity, inclusion, equality, equity, liberation, and oppression are key concept that affect real peoples’ everyday lives. Individual experiences with these aspects help form identity, and understanding individual identities helps form empathy when designing solutions. Empathy in turn educates intentional decisions in the design process. As human centered designers, solving for real needs for real people should be at the core of what we do. Understanding the individuals whom with we’re dealing is crucial. 
Acknowledging the differences between each other, I think, is the future of creating an equally unified society. In order to acknowledge and respect these differences, we also need to be intentional about educating ourselves so that we can also make informed decisions. There is so much to learn - so many books to read, so many people to talk to, and so many experiences to listen to and learn from. But as we grow in our knowledge, so can the impact we have.