Social justice has been a prevalent topic in conversations around racial inequities, police policies, the legal system, voting rights and more. But what is it really and what does it look like in action? Social Justice is the belief that all people should have equal rights, opportunities and treatment. And while social justice is critical in industries like lending, housing, education and healthcare, it’s equally important in industries like design and technology. At Hello Amigo we believe design can advance social justice by bringing awareness to hidden issues, elevating unheard voices and connecting underserved populations to needed resources.
In design, social justice can be supported through a number of ways. Sometimes it looks like diversifying models featured in images on websites or print materials. Other times it looks like using high-contrast colors on designs and text so viewers with poor eyesight can still gather important information. And further still, social justice efforts can be seen when critical information, such as voting resources or healthcare rights, is provided in multiple languages, not just English.
We have clients in a variety of industries, but our team finds passion in working with nonprofits and projects that work towards achieving social justice in their focus area by providing a voice for those that have been most vulnerable in our community. In working with clients who directly and positively impact the community, we get the unique opportunity to help support efforts to advance social justice through a number of avenues. A few clients we are currently working with include:
ACCESS TO EDUCATION
The Priceless Heart Project - This multi-faceted project provides scholarships to students in need, with a special emphasis on assisting students who have experienced or are currently experiencing homelessness. It is also a program to teach students social-emotional learning to help them identify and manage emotions, create goals for themselves and plans to achieve them and learn to feel and show empathy for others.
ACCESS TO CAPITAL
The El Paso Community Foundation - EPCF manages a multitude of projects and funds to support El Pasoans and the larger border community. Key projects include giving $1,000 grants to area educators, assisting service workers and non-profits dealing with the pandemic, fostering cross-border relations with international events, supporting artists with affordable housing and studio space and more.
El Paso Giving Day - EPGD was started by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation and partner organizations. Since its inception, EPGD has raised nearly $6 million from thousands of donors for over 200 nonprofit organizations. The participating nonprofits support causes such as education, health and wellness, disability services, hunger and poverty, youth, housing and homelessness, migration, the elderly and more.
ACCESS TO LEGAL AID
Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services - DMRS provides free and low-cost immigration legal services to individuals in the communities of West Texas and New Mexico. They serve approximately 1,000 clients each year through legal representation, with over 95% receiving free services, and provide self-help workshops, orientations and referrals to countless adult detainees.
ACCESS TO BASIC NEEDS
The Junior League of El Paso, Inc. - The Junior League is an organization of women trained as volunteers working together to promote community service, personal development and community improvements. JLEP’s impact area of mental and physical health is especially important in a covid-19 world. Their current community project, the Village, is a mobile resource and respite van that provides, food, mental health resources and activities for families.
ACCESS TO HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION
Mile High Connects - MHC is a regional collaborative based in Denver working to address racial and economic disparities in housing, planning & development, mobility and access to opportunity that disproportionately impact BIPOC and low-income populations. MHC manages programs, advocates for policy change and provides resources and convening opportunities to support community-driven solutions.
In working with these clients, and many others, our eyes have been opened to challenges faced by members of our community that we don’t often face ourselves. If you feel drawn to any of these organizations or causes, we invite you reach out and learn more. Being knowledgeable about persistent social injustices is only half of the work. The other half is rolling up your sleeves and using your knowledge, assets, connections or abilities to get to work and help make a positive change.