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In the Fall of 2019, Lisa Mercer led an upper-class course in Graphic Design at the University of Illinois using the Racism Untaught framework. The work on this page is an example of one students’ work that resulted from that course.

This student was prompted by Robert Moses a prominent Urban Architecture and a person considered to be the “master designer” of our public roadways from the 1920s-1970s, developed a highway system that became the favorable way of developing mass transit. He developed a bridge system that discouraged the use of public transportation. The bridges were built 9 ft tall, not allowing the 12 ft tall public busses to use the highway system in New York City. In doing this, he purposely excluded people of a lower socioeconomic status, mainly people of color, who primarily use public transportation from specific areas of New York City. This is a strong example of a systemic social inequality that is still in existence today. Moses stated, “whites of upper and comfortable middle class would be free to use the parkways for recreation and commuting.”

The final results were developed as a result of learned factors that were garnered from primary and secondary research. The student’s initial idea was to develop a game to help people understand the difficulty of moving through New York City. Ultimately the game taught participants how power and privilege affect the way people move through the systems designers create.