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Creative Reaction Lab

The Brief

Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB) is a racial justice nonprofit network that rallies, educates, and guides community members to design inclusive cities by developing solutions addressing racial inequities and injustices citizens define as priorities.

Narrative

Creative Reaction Lab (CRXLAB) is a racial justice nonprofit network that rallies, educates, and guides community members to design inclusive cities by developing solutions addressing racial inequities and injustices citizens define as priorities. Using our Collaborative Civic Equity Curriculum in our design challenge labs, Creative Reaction Lab organizes people representing different neighborhoods, expertise, perspectives, and demographics to learn and dialogue about racial inequities and civic engagement, and then, co-creating solutions to pilot and scale.

Racial inequity exists by design, and therefore, only intentional design can dismantle it.

In 2015, Brown University named Saint Louis the fifth most segregated city in the nation, only behind Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. According to Forward Through Ferguson (2016) and For the Sake of All (2015), if you live in Saint Louis County and are White, you can statistically expect to live 79.9 years. If you are Black, your life expectancy is 73.9 years. The difference? Zip codes. And, Saint Louis is not the only city in which racial inequity is so pronounced. Disparities are built into our communities through systems of policy, education, housing, healthcare, etc., and they thrive because of the barriers that have been built between our citizens.

At Creative Reaction Lab, we agree with Dr. Atyia Martin, Chief Resilience Officer of Boston, that “social disconnection in cities are in response to social injustices.” As recent protests around the nation have indicated, the current services, programs, and policies in place to fight racial injustices are ill-informed and ineffective. With 53% of the United States’ population expected to be made up of people of color by 2050 (U.S. Census), community-created and -led programs and policies are needed to decrease the equity gap. To holistically address this issue, it’s time to put the power back into the hands of everyday residents and not just the elite few.

Creative Reaction Lab was founded on the belief that immersion and action lead to personal and community-wide transformation. Attending a training is not enough. Therefore, our programming are rooted in participatory engagement with interactive activities being the foundation of our program model. We strive to move beyond ideas and education to the development of actionable solutions.

Region

Midwest