equity design essentials

Learn how to turn your equity values into action and kick off new projects feeling grounded, creative, and care-full.

Get on the waitlist!

for food system designers, innovators, and changemakers

Program dates to be announced

Doors for Cohort 2 open later this year!

Click here for a screenreader-friendly course information page!

Hey there! If you're scrolling this page, I'm guessing a few things:

First, you're my people and I'm happy you're here! And that's why I created Equity Design Essentials.

You're passionate about food. You're eager to create more equitable programs, products, services, events, or other experiences in the food system. And you want to align your values with your professional practice.

Through this course you will:

  1. Strengthen your equity design muscle through the development of foundational skills—and feel more confident integrating equitable design mindsets and practices into your daily work.
  2. Learn strategies to mitigate bias in your work—with an emphasis on biases that are particularly insidious within the U.S. food system, including anti-fat bias, cultural foodways bias, and socioeconomic/class bias. 
  3. Build community with other food system designers, innovators, and changemakers—folks you will be able to call on for guidance and support into the future.

This two-month program is an engaging cohort-based experience created specifically for designers, innovators, and changemakers working in the food system who are ready to put their equity values into action.

The Course

This program was created for any professional in the U.S. food system who designs—regardless of your title! It's really about what you do in your work.

Who You Are

So if you're creating or co-creating programs, products, services, events, or other experiences within food—and you're looking to build or strengthen your equity practice—this course is for you.

Do you develop programs for a non-profit working on food issues? Produce events for a food company? Conduct research on food-related initiatives? Develop new food products? Map out food distribution plans or logistics? Plan any food-related project? Then, my friend, you are designing. And we'd love to support you in integrating an equity practice into the important work you do!

What's Included

2 Sessions with Guest Experts

the phenomenal Virgie Tovar and
Brett Ramey
8 Modules

one per week with videos & activities to review on your own time
8 Live Coaching Sessions

one each week with the entire cohort
Physical Workbook 

and other materials snail-mailed directly to you!

a smörgåsbord of resources, tools, and activities
Cohort Community

of food system designers, innovators & changemakers


Before the course kicks off, you'll learn more about the course structure, flow of content, and participant expectations. You'll feel prepared to begin module one the following week!

Module 1: Reconnect With Your Taproot

Food is so much more than a professional field—it's a foundational element of life that connects us to our identity, culture, history, community, memory, land, and waters. That's why you'll spend this week reflecting on joyful personal food memories and reflecting on what brought you to your professional work in the food system/industry as a way to reconnect with why you do what you do.

Module 2: Bias and Food System Design

Learn what bias in design is and looks like, and develop a critical understanding of the ways in which bias can impact both what and how you design. We'll do a deeper dive into two biases that often influence our work in the food system—anti-fat bias and cultural foodways bias—so that you can more easily spot and mitigate those biases in your work. You'll learn from two guest speakers during special sessions (dates to be announced!):
  • Virgie Tovar — Author, lecturer, and leading expert on weight-based discrimination and body positivity
  • Brett Ramey — Member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska and land-based educator and program designer working at intersections of ecological, cultural, and community health

Module 3: Positionality

This week, you'll build your own positionality practice—an essential bias mitigation approach. Through independent exercises and guidance from your very own Positionality Pack (arriving via snail mail!), you'll reflect on how your identities, experiences, and perspectives can influence how you engage with and interpret any topic area. You'll also learn how to integrate this practice into your day-to-day work. 

Module 4: History and Context—Design Topic

Learn why understanding the history and context of a design topic area—from multiple sources and perspectives, in particular from those most historically impacted—is critical to equitable design. We'll introduce an inquiry-based approach and tool to gaining an understanding of the history and context of any topic area, and you will explore how to implement that approach in projects moving forward.

Module 5: History and Context—Your Organization

In this module, we'll narrow our lens to focus on the history and context of your design topic area in relation to your organization. You will learn to apply an inquiry-based approach and tool to critically examine organizational history, power dynamics, and both internal and external perspectives on any design topic.

Module 6: Assumptions

We operate on assumptions all the time. The thing is: Assumptions are not always correct. (And our biases are often baked into them.) So this week, you'll learn how to investigate both stated and unstated assumptions using tools and activities you can take back to your team. 

Module 7: Organizational Barriers

Over the last six weeks you've been building your equity design muscle through foundational approaches—but it can be tough to implement those the cultural conditions of your organization aren't setting you up for success. That's why you'll learn a variety of potential strategies for working through internal organizational barriers that may make it difficult to implement practices learned during this course. You'll also reflect on the power and/or influence you have within your organization to facilitate change over time.

Module 8: Final Reflections and Intentions

Congrats! You've made it through seven weeks of the program. (Also, it's now spring—the growing season is in sight!) This week, you will reflect on your experiences over the last two months and set actionable intentions for current and future projects.
  • Runs 8 weeks
  • Receive pre-recorded videos and activities every Monday
  • Connect on live group coaching calls every Thursday (8 am HT ✦ 10 am PT ✦ 11 am MT ✦ 12 pm CT ✦ 1 pm ET)

Program Snapshot

Program dates to be announced

Interested in learning more?

Join the waitlist!

Your Instructor

Hello! My name is Lucy Flores (she/her) and I am a design strategist and founder of Studio Magic Hour. I'm passionate about all things food and have dedicated my career to advancing equity in the food system through design. I've led design projects, facilitated workshops, and coached in-house design and innovation teams at organizations including the California Academy of Sciences, the Fair Food Network, FoodCorps, Hopelab, The Nature Conservancy, Plant Futures, Share Our Strength, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. I am a former Equitable Design Fellow at Hopelab, a School of Graphic Design Advisory Board member, and a member of the Design Justice Network, the Democracy & Belonging Forum at the Othering & Belonging Institute Equity Army, and AIGA.

What Other Practitioners Are Saying

Lucy's facilitation brings energy, truth, and joy to really complex equity topics. You WILL dive deep and unpack complex systems, but you will also connect, giggle, and feel re-energized.

– Tania Anaissie, Founder of Beytna Design and Co-Creator of Liberatory Design

It was brilliant.

– Participant, Studio Magic Hour Bias Mitigation Workshop


Is there a sector of the food system this is focused on?

Nope. The mindsets and practices you'll learn in this program can be applied in any sector, whether you work at a non-profit, government entity, for-profit, or within something less formal (but just as impactful!) such as a coalition or network.

How will this program meet accessibility needs?

All materials will be available in screenreader-friendly formats, auto-captions will be available on all video content, and speakers will provide visual descriptions of infographics and other relevant images. Additionally, every participant will be invited to share individual accessibility needs and our team will do everything we can to meet those requests!

Why is there an application?

I want to be sure you're a good fit for the program before you make a financial and time investment. To that end, there's a short application that helps me get to know you a bit. And I'll open up a conversation if I don't think it's a good fit for any reason.

What if I have other questions?

Don't be a stranger! Please email lucy@studiomagichour.com with questions and I'll get back to you as quickly as possible.

Studio Magic Hour does not offer refunds for this program due to the high-touch nature of the program. If you have to drop for any reason, you will get to keep all materials (hard copy and digital) and you will continue to have access to the weekly video content.

Do you have a refund policy?

What's the time commitment?

I suggest planning on 2–4 hours per week. On Mondays we'll drop pre-recorded video content and relevant module materials (for you to review on your own time) and on Thursdays we'll convene for a one-hour group coaching call (held every Thursday at 8 am HT / 10 am PT / 11 am MT / 12 pm CT / 1 pm ET). There will also be some independent activities depending on the week. That being said, how much time you spend with the materials is up to you. We're all adults here, and everyone has different things going on in their lives, so I will invite you to participate as you are able.

Is this course for equity design beginners?

This is an essentials program created for folks who are eager to design more equitably and design more equitable outcomes in their work, but who are earlier in their equity design journey. This is not a JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, or inclusion) course, but rather a foundational course on using an equity-driven approach to design. We focus on what I call the "grounding" phase in design, which is where we all can start as practitioners, whether we're design researchers or program developers. I'd suggest taking a look at the topics covered in the Program Snapshot and seeing if the content will be a good fit for you. And if you're not sure, drop me a note at lucy@studiomagichour.com and we can chat about your specific situation!

What if I can't make a weekly group coaching call?

That's okay! Life happens (illness, vacation, whatever—you don't need to explain why!). While you'll have access to all of the pre-recorded videos in each module we release each week, we will not be recording group coaching calls in order to convene a space where folks can feel more comfortable sharing their reflections on the work. We'll miss you but understand when absences happen.

Join the waitlist!

Program dates to be announced

Welp, You Made It To That Section at the Bottom

Kudos for seeking out all the juicy details. There's a lot to consider!

Some final food for thought: If this course feels values-aligned (I hope it does!) and you're ready to truly build or strengthen your equity design practice, this essentials course will provide you with the practical and care-full grounding you need. Within the program, you'll gain those foundational skills with guidance and support from:

  • 8 weeks of pre-recorded video content, resources, and activities broken into eight different modules (to work on during your own time)
  • 8 live group coaching calls to reflect on + discuss each week's content
  • 2 live conversations with guest experts Virgie Tovar and Brett Ramey
  • A physical course workbook and other materials snail-mailed directly to your door
  • A community of other food system designers, innovators, and changemakers participating in the program
  • A facilitator grounding this course in care

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