[Sponsored by MFA Design for Social Innovation]

Designers create transformational work for clients every day: contributing to their growth, strengthening relationships with their audiences, raising their visibility.

An MFA in Social Design allows graduates to take their skills to the next level, using them to make the world more just and equitable. That’s certainly the case for recent DSI graduate Jade Broomfield.

 MFA Design for Social Innovation MFA Design for Social Innovation

Jade cares deeply about social justice, and has made it the center of her career. She is a public access design fellow at the Center of Urban Pedagogy, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement in New York City. But she’s also a graphic designer at Uncommon Goods, a B Corporation that offers handmade goods with a focus on positively impacting people and the planet.

Jade said DSI pushes students through an intense idea-generation process that includes iteration, reframing and analysis. “You might start somewhere and end up in a completely different place,” she explained.

That was definitely true for Jade’s thesis project, Time In, a superhero-themed yoga program for black male elementary students who have been suspended and show signs of repeated problematic behavior that make it likely the’ll be suspended again.

 MFA Design for Social Innovation MFA Design for Social Innovation

To counteract this problem, Jade created a classroom program that allows boys to see themselves as superheroes through a set of yoga poses. Yoga strengthens the boys’ bodies and minds, she said, and helps with relaxation and self-confidence.

Now, she’s focused on a project with the Justice Coalition of New York through her work with the Center of Urban Pedagogy.

“I’m excited that it’s working with underrepresented communities and minority communities, and their relationship with the police, which is obviously a huge, high-profile problem right now,” Jade said.

For those applying to DSI, she recommends candidates be open to working on teams and learning from their cohort.

“I came to DSI like a lone wolf,” she said. “I was comfortable with working with other people, but felt more efficient when I was working by myself. That’s the great thing about social design: You need other people to collaborate.”

To learn more about DSI and apply to earn your MFA in Social Design, visit dsi.sva.edu/apply.

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