Design for the Wellbeing of Black Women
During this collaborative session, participants will look at design’s role as a transformative tool that can support the personal healing process and collective wellbeing of Black women.
During this collaborative session, participants will look at design’s role as a transformative tool that can
support the personal healing process and collective wellbeing of Black women.
Design is everywhere and for everyone, facilitating everyday experiences that can positively impact the
state of our mind, body, soul and space. We can design how we move through the world, respond to our
relationships and build inner peace. As a tool for transformative healing, it has the power to create
personal agency in a way that uniquely shapes how Black women care for themselves. When
approached holistically, design has the capacity to help actualize their inner and outer wellbeing in
culturally relevant ways. Mindful of the multifaceted structures of oppression that can impact one’s
health, the lived experiences of Black women will be placed at the forefront. Together, we will utilize the
practice of design to engage in creative dialogue and create strategies that support self-leadership and
No previous design experience or knowledge necessary.
All sessions are inclusive of Black women and non-binary femmes.
Denise Shanté Brown, MA, is a designer and mental health advocate strategizing compassionate interventions for connection, wellbeing and social transformation. As a graduate of MICA’s Social Design program and current Robert W. Deutsch Social Design Fellow and The Institute for Integrative Health Nature Sacred Fellow, her collaborative practice unapologetically prioritizes the wellbeing of Black women and addresses mental illness bias and discrimination. Personally connected to the lived experience of depression and anxiety, she co-designs interventions that integrate mindfulness, storytelling, and self-leadership to elevate personal growth and activate one’s inner and outer resources. Denise sees problems as design challenges and continues to be wholeheartedly invested in realizing the wellbeing of Black women, creatively and holistically. When pausing from the workflow, she enjoys spending quiet time in nature, dancing with friends and watching Issa Rae’s Insecure.
N’Deye Diakhate is a multidisciplinary artist and designer with a love of people, design thinking, and liberation. A current Baltimore Corps Fellow, they are the new Communications and Development Manager for Baltimore Dance Crews Project - a non-profit after-school program with the goal of providing hip-hop dance programs as an outlet for Baltimore’s youth. While also passionate about collaboration, N’Deye is a member of BALTI GURLS, a women of color art collective that develops platforms and creative safe space for women of color artists. With love, the group of black women creates programming including panel discussions, screenings, gallery shows and music events. N’Deye’s personal work is based around identity and narratives surrounding race, gender, sexuality, class, and mental health. They use typography, pattern making, and publications to critique these concepts within dominant society. As a freelance designer their time is spent working with local businesses throughout Baltimore.