Spaces for dialogues

Dear colleagues, 

“In the end, we are what we do to change who we are,” Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan poet wrote.

These past months, a global pandemic and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis brought people around the world face-to-face with social and racial disparities, inequality, and marginalization. As advocates for healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive, Culturally Enriched Communities:

  1. Expanded Landscapes of Hope to include stories of communities on Lake Street, Midway, and North Minneapolis that explore how buildings and places can pave the way for social and racial justice and the elimination of disparities.
  2. Began a collection of resources that can guide our commitment to social and racial justice through dialogues and teaching pedagogies.
  3. Launched CEC-Connects, a platform for thought leaders to inform dialogues. See Deni Ruggeri’s “Landscapes of healing, landscapes of sorrow” about COVID-19’s impact in Bergamo, Italy.
  4. Broadened our COVID-19 resources with more information on vulnerable populations and environmental interventions that can be used to pivot courses, research questions, and design responses.  

Artists transformed walls and windows around the Twin Cities into storytellers whose messages can inform how to use design as a catalyst for change. Two lessons from this week’s Landscapes of Hope point to carving spaces for dialogue and translating solidarity as steps in the process. Look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas on how to move in this direction.

Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Editor
[email protected]


Kitchen Tables With Fruits In The Plate

Carving spaces for dialogue, for inner reflections into who we are, how we came to be, and who we want to become will be an instrumental step toward eliminating disparities and building a world grounded
on social and racial justice.

A fascinating and promising study by Broockman & Kalla (2016) showed the power of dialogue in reducing prejudice for at least three months and increasing support for laws that protect against discrimination, even when presented with counterarguments for such laws. Human-to-human interaction was the key, having a 10 minute conversation that helped people envision the prejudice transgender people face by thinking back on the times they might have felt injustice.

As advocates for healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive we need to ask:

What kind of environmental interventions can nudge people toward sustained dialogues?

 Image credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni


An Excellent Image Drawn By Latinx Artists

Latinx artists from #creativesaftercurfew came together at A2Z Auto Sales on 429 West Lake Street to demonstrate their solidarity to the movement for racial justice. Their art translated solidarity by becoming a medium for highlighting our shared humanity. A traditional Mexican sacred heart holds George Floyd and his daughter, Gianna. Traditional color palettes and motifs such as the monarch butterflies which migrate from Mexico to Minnesota for the summer further speak to the connections that bind 
the city’s diverse communities. 

How can “solidarity” be translated in the design of the built environment? 

Image credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

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