PROBLEM Over the last decade, the label “Social Justice Warrior,” has become more and more associated with aggressive far-left groups and an increasingly polarized vocabulary teetering on the edge of (what some might consider), “crippling,” political correctness. These unfortunate biases have isolated conservatives and moderates who are skeptical about an increasing moral hypocrisy surrounding a movement originally aimed at inclusiveness. According to the conservative organization heritage.org, “Social justice is really the capacity to organize with others to accomplish ends that benefit the whole community.” What is the social justice community missing in communicating an inclusive atmosphere to those outside of their sphere of knowledge?
Social justice retreats run by campus organizations have become popular “crash courses,” to help students recognize and utilize the empathy and critical thinking necessary to understand intersecting identities among different groups of people. Despite these efforts to bring people together, the aforementioned growing societal bias views the concept of social justice education as divisive instead of inclusive; an opposing image of its original intent. After reaching out to 6 universities which helped spearhead social justice retreats on their campuses, I came to discover they were lacking in organization, cohesive curriculums, messaging, and imagery, which could explain the opposition’s oversimplified views. Retreat materials were also piecemealed, making them less likely to be saved and/or reused throughout the participants’ lifetime.
SOLUTION Intersect is a branded educational retreat kit for college-aged students interested in learning more about social justice. This attendance kit combines comprehensive research and friendly, conversational visuals to communicate the idea of different forces joining together in a goal of mutual understanding. This visual language combines friendly typography, colors, and shapes to provide viewers with an inviting tone that reflects the goal of the retreat.
The kit is comprised of the following:
Retreat Activity Guide The spiral-bound Activity Guide divides into 5 sections that help participants gradually intersect with one another through enriching activities. Designed to foster a sense of collective respect and understanding, it contains built-in space for reflection. The Activity Guide may be referenced and reused throughout both the students’ and facilitators’ lifetime.
Activity Sheets An Activity Sheet envelope contains various educational worksheets designed to support activities in the Activity Guide. It also contains postcards with inspiring quotes by relevant figures. Students are encouraged to share postcards with friends and family who aren’t part of the retreat.
Retreat Toolkit The spiral-bound Retreat Toolkit was designed to be kept, referenced and shared throughout both the student and facilitators lifetime. It’s flexible and reusable nature helps reduce printing costs and unnecessary duplicates. Each book is divided into 5 useful categories including Essential Terminology, Essential Figures, Collection of Case Studies, Recommended Media, and Contacts.
Swag Backpacks, tee shirts, and buttons were created to showcase an on-campus collective in a fun, eye-catching fashion both universally relevant in messaging and appealing to the eye.
Tyler School of Art & Architecture, Temple University