Our Story Begins…
#WeArewelcomeHere began in 2016 when students of color at Teachers College, Columbia University began to share their stories of disbelonging on campus.
Expanding Safe Spaces…
Inspired by Shirley Chisholm’s Quote: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”We created new brave spaces around campus to have difficult conversations. We started by targeting campus libraries.
We brought folding chairs… literally!
Recognizing that chairs were symbols of power, we placed folding chairs throughout the campus and invited students to discuss feelings of belonging and marginalization.
Then launched a series of design workshops to train students in design thinking methods that would creatively engage students to proactively assess and change campus culture and climate in ways that enhance a sense of belonging for minoritized students.
As the students evolved the projects become more ambitious as students began to question their relationship with the nearby neighborhood of Harlem. Bridging campus and community, students applied design thinking to a series of challenges, with the goal to empower all who are historically threatened with physical or symbolic displacement.
We make space for change by providing opportunities for unlikely practitioners to practice design thinking for public interest & to solve real-world problems in our community. We provide visible solutions through visual campaigns and believe development does NOT equal displacement. Those closest to the problem not only SEE the solution but can and want to BE the solution!
Follow our Instagram
©COPYRIGHT Oct. 2016-FOREVER. ILYA BENJAMIN