an epitaph for justice

designing equity

When we view the world, it perhaps is often seen as a tabula rasa– a blank slate upon which we can encounter and experience. But we shape it. Every action, small or large, further creates and builds upon a world already created.

There is a truth that we all need to face: we aren’t all the same. 

The farce of one-size-fits-all is a convenient approximation and statistical erasure of our common diversity. Chairs, office temperatures, band-aids, photo light sensitivity, even astronaut spacesuits, when we create and design, it is imperative that we have equity in mind. Are we designing for the median or the margins? Are we enabling participation to the fullest for each person? And perhaps more critically, do we have the multitude of voices at that table?

Linguistic theory describes that our view on the world is constrained and shaped by the language we use to navigate it. Ask any person who is multi-lingual, and you will learn words that seem futile to translate as it is requires a particular mental model, a construction of the world to understand.

The world we navigate is no accident. Some things may be unintentional, but we are navigating a river in a boat built upon by prior generations. We must be willing to recognize the neglect that they have left; we must be willing to work to rectify the harm that persists; we must be willing to design a world that reaches the margins.

Critically, Jesus has given us a model for equity here on earth: the Eucharist. Jesus calls all to Him, experience Him through our first and final action – eating true Food, the Bread of Life. You might never evangelize to millions, you might never lead, you might never read, you might never be able to feed yourself, but you can receive the Eucharist and be united with Christ who has given Himself so that all might be saved.