Designing For A Cause

baldwin_posters.jpgDuring the past five years, CRLS students in the RSTA Commercial Design program have been utilizing their design skills to take a stand against discrimination. The Anti-Discrimination Awareness Poster Campaign offers Commercial Design students the opportunity to use their design skills to create public statements with the express intention of promoting diversity and ending discrimination.

During this project students use design as a mechanism for social change as they make public statements against a type of discrimination in the form of a poster. The goal of this project is for students to become self-reflective around the ways discrimination permeates our society. By finding creative design solutions students will begin to identify ways to help combat discrimination. 

The RSTA Commercial Design program has been creating Anti-Discrimination Awareness posters with the intention of promoting diversity and ending discrimination for the past five years. Unfortunately, funding had not been available for the dissemination of these posters throughout Cambridge until now. Last year, Commercial Design teacher, Michele Watson Maxwell submitted a grant proposal to the Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School (FOCRLS) Faculty grant review committee. The grant was awarded the maximum funding available and students began preparations for disseminating these semi-permanent displays (which include a set of 15 posters) throughout the elementary schools, City Hall, the High School Extension School, and the Superintendent’s office.

fma_posters.pngThe $1000 FOCRLS Faculty Grant both energized and enhanced the existing curriculum by continuing to challenge and engage students in higher level thinking around social design problems. By having the Commercial Design students disseminate the posters throughout Cambridge, students were able to see first had the impact that their Anti-Discrimination posters have upon their schools, community, and city.

Recently, with the help and organization skills of Melody Brazo (Welcoming Schools Cambridge School Climate Coordinator, Citywide LGBT Family Liaison Cambridge Public Schools) and the support of Dr. Michael Ananis (RSTA Executive Director) students completed the first three school site installations: at the Cambridgeport School, the Baldwin School, and the Fletcher/Maynard Academy. The plans are to complete the rest of the installations throughout the city this fall.

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