Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Innovation (M.A.)

Degree Program

Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Riley-Mukavetz

Academic Year



There has been a shift in society, in light of Covid-19 and the global pandemic, more people have begun to recognize the structural and institutional injustices that exist in this country. Social innovation allows collaboration between people from different sectors, disciplines, industries, and backgrounds; in order to create sustainable change to complex social issues. Design thinking is an iterative process used in business to create innovation and products; it’s also used for social impact.

The goal of the Equity + Catalyst Framework is to bridge concepts that include design thinking, and embodiment, as well as lived experiences and community care work with the academic theories and praxis-based approaches of social innovation; in order to create a new social and emotional subjective framework.

This framework is intended to be used by community organizers working towards equitable, collective, social impact. Community organizers are leaders and are often the facilitators for equity-based solutions. Though this framework is intended for community organizers, it can be applied to any social system whether public, private or philanthropic. Using critical thinking and reflexivity, this framework was created for intersectional social impact.

Drawn from scholarly research on: intersectional feminism, embodiment, and equity. Throughout this workbook, the Equity + Catalyst Framework will teach how to consciously work in between the gaps caused by surface-level justice attempts. Building on existing research, the Equity + Catalyst Framework will teach to question the role of power and privilege in a reflective and interpersonal perspective. Participants will learn through a practice-based approach.