Pathways to Equity: A New Fellowship for Community Design Practice and Self Awareness

When:  Dec 10, 2018 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (ET)

For over a decade the network of the Open Architecture Collaborative has received thousands of inquiries from architects and designers around the world asking for advice and opportunities to participate in community design projects. These requests have led the organization to found the Pathways to Equity Fellowship program to guide people towards ethical and equitable community design practice. This webinar will cover the guiding theories, principles, and values of the fellowship. We will discuss the structure of program, how architectural and development firms are involved, who the interdisciplinary fellows are, and what community partners in the Bay Area they are working with for the duration of the seven month experience.

Earn 1 LU

Learning objectives:

  1. learn new approaches to community based design founded in equity and deep empathy

  2. learn the distinction between pro-bono projects and relationship based partnerships for long term change

  3. discuss the importance of self reflection and identity awareness in building trust with community partners and working on a foundation of equal contribution to the design process

  4. discover how interdisciplinary programs contribute to widening your world view and how it centers lived experiences to breakdown power dynamics in teamwork and decision making for more equitable outcomes and sustainable results

Pathways to Equity is influenced by years of experience in community design projects, volunteer management, and educational programming. Pathways to Equity is providing needed professional subject matter expertise and creative project development to anchor institutions in each of these neighborhoods; in West Oakland to the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), in Chinatown to the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC), and in the Tenderloin to the Compass Family Shelter (CFS) (and potentially to one additional homeless service provider, St. Anthony’s). This webinar will discuss the methodology behind the trainers selected for the program, the community partners, the participating fellows, the outcomes we hope to see, and the future educational opportunities for architects and designers who wish to gain more experience in deeply reflective and inclusive design processes.


Shalini Agrawal
Open Architecture Collaborative, California College of the Arts

Shalini Agrawal is trained as an architect and brings over 20 years of experience in community-engaged practice and pedagogy. She co-director of Pathways to Equity, a design leadership program for social equity, and FIELD Design Network, a forum that builds capacity for underrepresented designers. She is founder of Public Design for Equity and teaches at the intersection of design and community engagement in Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. Shalini is a board member of Association for Community Design and Architects, Designers, Planners for Social Responsibility and is a contributing author to Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity and Public Interest Design Education Guidebook.

Garrett Jacobs
Open Architecture Collaborative

Garrett is the founding director of the Open Architecture Collaborative and previously led programs and national networks at Code for America and Architecture for Humanity. He has produced creative placemaking and leadership programs in the Bay Area, most recently co-directing the pilot  Fellowship. He has an M. Arch from Tulane University, was selected as a 2016 Next City Vanguard.