Design Thinking for DEI and Social Justice Projects

Document Type


Presentation Date

Fall 2023


Learning objectives:

  • Define design thinking.
  • Articulate the value of a design thinking approach to DEI and social justice work in higher education.
  • Use a design thinking process to develop their own pilot DEI and/or social justice project.

Are you a Rowan employee who wants to make a difference for marginalized Rowan community members, but doesn’t know where to begin? This two-part workshop is intended to help you move from passion to progress, using a design thinking approach. In the first 60-minute session, we’ll introduce what design thinking is, how it helps, and how it applies to DEI and social justice work in higher education. We’ll then begin our own design thinking process, where each attendee will brainstorm and select an equity or inclusivity issue that you want to address in your work, then clearly define the problem, and plan how to find out more. Between the sessions, attendees will go out and gather real feedback from the community, and bring it back for the second session, where we’ll brainstorm ideas for projects to respond to the issues. At the end, each attendee will leave ready to prototype or pilot their project, and start making a change for our community. All Rowan staff and faculty from all campuses are welcome. Student workers, adjuncts, graduate student instructors, and all others are very much included!

Skill levels for attendees: Little to no experience

Software requirements: None

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