SVA Impact!: Team Project @ Pratt Gallery

We all met at the beautiful Pratt Gallery to be introduced to the potential organizations that we will be working with for the next six weeks. Each student will participate in the development and execution of a socially-minded team project which is fully implemented with tangible results. This will take the program out of the realm of theoretical thinking and extend it into the real world.

This class gives students the skill set and opportunity to implement an actual social change project, the program will instill in them the confidence, self-motivated and collaborative spirit which is needed if they are to continue this type of work on a professional level.

Each group will identify, develop and execute a solution to a specific problem or need for a non-profit organization or underserved community.

The participating organizations have been pre-selected by desigNYC and the faculty of the Impact program. desigNYC was formed in 2009 by a group of leading designers and design advocates with a mission of improving life in New York City by helping connect the nonprofit and professional design communities.

Healthy Bodegas Initiative; Donya A. Williams, MPH
Many New Yorkers have access to some of the best food in the world, but many others go without any access to healthy food. We want to help bodegas in under served neighborhoods sell healthy local food in their communities. Bodegas are full of processed unhealthy foods and its hard to eat healthfully when that's your only option. We have the produce, but the infrastructure just isn't there to get it to the people who need it most.

We want to build a Healthy Bodegas network in Bushwick and Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. We will start with produce from our farm and then we plan to grow by including our neighbors' farms and their products into the model. We've partnered with a number of bodegas that are interested in selling local product and being involved in our project, but we need help to get our Healthy Bodegas Project going. We want to prove that something like this is possible.

IOBY (In Our Backyards); Brandon Whitney
ioby connects donors and volunteers to environmental projects in their neighborhoods to inspire new environmental knowledge and action in New York City.

ioby stands for “in our backyards” and the belief that environmental knowledge, innovation, action, and service begin and thrive in our backyards. This is grounded in two important commitments.

First, ioby offers an informed step out environmentalism's NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) history that pushed environmental hazards down the path of least resistance into low-income areas and communities of color. ioby builds an untapped funding source and by directing it to decentralized, community-based environmental projects, ioby supports communities with a larger share of environmental problems and fewer resources to confront them.

Second, ioby offers a reminder that the ‘environment’ is not just the Amazon rainforest or the Arctic glaciers, and that tangible environmental work is urgently needed right here on the streets and sidewalks of New York City. Even people who consider themselves environmentalists are sometimes disconnected from their local environment and unable to see the work going on around them. creates a forum for people to rediscover, understand, and value their local environment, because we believe the places we live, work, and play each day should be the roots from which we understand the environment.

We think encouraging direct engagement with local environments is the best way to renew environmental action and knowledge and prepare society for the future, so ioby works hand in hand with New Yorkers to support hundreds of organizations that have their own ideas and solutions. provides tools and resources that complement the creativity and generosity of civil society to achieve a cleaner, healthier environment and more just communities. ioby environmental partnerships may begin online, but we hope they continue and grow, face-to-face, neighbor-to-neighbor, person-to-place, in our backyards.

Democracy Now!; Miriam Barnard
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on Pacifica, NPR, community, and college radio stations; on public access, PBS, satellite television (DISH network: Free Speech TV ch. 9415 and Link TV ch. 9410; DIRECTV: Link TV ch. 375); and on the internet. DN!’s podcast is one of the most popular on the web.

Democracy Now!’s War and Peace Report provides our audience with access to people and perspectives rarely heard in the U.S.corporate-sponsored media, including independent and international journalists, ordinary people from around the world who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, grassroots leaders and peace activists, artists, academics and independent analysts. In addition, Democracy Now! hosts real debates–debates between people who substantially disagree, such as between the White House or the Pentagon spokespeople on the one hand, and grassroots activists on the other.

Enterprise Community Partners; Victoria Shire
At Enterprise, we create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through fit, affordable housing and diverse, thriving communities. Central to our mission is Enterprise's fundamental commitment to give people living in poverty an opportunity to move up and out. The award-winning Enterprise Green Communities initiative reflects our targeted focus on expanding the health, economic and environmental benefits of sustainable development.

BLK Projek; Tanya Fields
The BLK ProjeK seeks to address food justice, public & mental health issues as they specifically relate to under served women of color through culturally relevant education, beautification of public spaces, urban gardening and community programming. By creating easily accessible resources and enriching the lives of women who are routinely overlooked and overburdened yet serve an important and critical role in the larger fabric of society, we will strengthen overall mental and public health, as well as elevate the collective self esteem of the larger communities they live in.

Impact! Design for Social Change


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