In order to produce equitable outcomes for our students, our collaboration in our Multilingual California Alliance Project has been grounded and framed in Liberatory Design, led by Dr. Olympia Kyriakidis and our partners at the San Diego County Office of Education.

  • Create designs that help interrupt inequity and increase opportunity for those most impacted by oppression.
  • Transform power by shifting the relationships between those who hold power to design and those impacted by these designs
  • Generate critical learning and increased agency for those involve in the design work.

Liberatory Design is both a flexible process that can be used by teams and a set of equity leadership habits that can be practiced daily. It can be used in a variety of ways and by a variety of actors, including innovation efforts, strategic planning, community-driven design, and collaborative teams. At the core of Liberatory Design are a set of beliefs:

  • Racism and inequity have been designed into systems and thus can be redesigned;
  • Designing for equity requires the meaningful participation of those impacted by inequity; and 
  • Equity-driven designs require equity and complexity informed processes.

The Liberatory Design approach and card deck was originally created as part of a collaboration between the National Equity Project (Victor Cary and Tom Malarkey) and the Stanford’s K12 Lab (Tania AnaissieDavid Clifford, and Susie Wise) in 2016. This crew continues to collaborate on further developing this approach.