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A design leadership experience for social equity

a design leadership

experience for
social equity

I see the role of the architect less as an outside expert designing for a community, but more as stewarding the community through a process of identifying their needs and goals to bring a design to fruition. I have learned tools to put empathy into action, and to build empathy in the first place. 
- 2018 Fellow

We are building public interest design knowledge through interactive workshops and hands-on field experience. This program is grounded in the values of inclusion, access, co-creation, equity, diversity, justice and reciprocity.

Join our Pathways to Equity Virtual Program

Pathways to Equity (P2E) Virtual is a 10 week online interactive program designed to introduce you to methods for equity in practice, historical and systemic racism within the built environment, self-reflective and community building practices, and strategies for community engagement. Stay tuned for our next cohort in early 2021.

Learn More

We believe equity* starts with belonging. With P2E, you will learn inclusionary and proactive processes such as active listening, engaged research, personal self-reflection, restorative justice, trauma-informed practices, and responsive iteration towards social impact design methods.

* We define equity as “just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.” (Policylink)

Knowledge is power! [Pathways to Equity] provides context, vocabulary and tools for designers to work more equitably with communities. - 2018 Fellow
Interest Form

2020 Fellowship Applications Now Open!

Thank you for showing interest in the fellowship. We hope to see your application by the deadline of Dec. 13th at 9pm PST. 

We are looking for early and mid-career professionals working in any fields that impact the built environment who are looking to learn more about equitable practices.


In-Person Fellowship at a Glance

Our application for P2E 2020 closed on December 13th. Please fill out our interest form to stay in the loop about future opportunities.


Setting the Foundation:

Two weeks with in depth workshops and peer to peer community building 

January 25th/26th & February 8th/9th


Building Skills:


Two months of partnership cultivation and project scoping with community groups with continued education

February - March


Needs Assessment:



Project development with community partner

April - May


Project Time:


Project implementation, storytelling, and reflection with continued education

May - July


This program is a collaboration between the Open Architecture Collaborative and the Association for Community Design. After 16 years of experience working with volunteer architects and designers on community driven design around the globe, the Open Architecture Collaborative shares the lessons learned. ACD brings the knowledge and experience of leaders from community design centers and practitioners from around the US to inform the program content and drive the community partnerships.


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