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This year, the Class of 2020 developed impactful projects to challenge and address social and systemic problems out in the world.

In response to unexpected global challenges, our thesis students and faculty have stepped up in bold, new ways. To celebrate the end of their year-long thesis projects, DSI is excited to announce a brand new series of relevant thematic panels and conversations via Zoom that will be held across two days: March 12 and 13. Tune in for all four moderated panel sessions where our graduate students will share their final thesis projects, share critical perspectives, and answer questions from industry experts and audiences. A compilation of thesis videos will also air on Youtube Premiere after the final panel on May 13th.

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Thesis Projects

Break the Wall

This project aims to build a more inclusive educational environment at SVA to help Chinese International Students with limited English proficiency overcome the language barrier and cultural differences so that they can easily communicate with local English speakers and engage in the host community.

Desire and Reality

An educational program that helps college students to be more aware of their shopping habits by shifting the way they shop for their sense of security and self-worth.

Healthy Masculinity Forum

An online community hub for men to connect and explore healthy masculinity through a digital forum as well as downloadable meetup toolkit for them to take their conversations offline and into their local communities.


An engagement board game combined with in-person feedback that motivates older Chinese immigrants to formulate, express and share their needs with experts in their local senior centers, and inspire the centers to improve their services.


Opening conversation about healthy sexuality with LDS Single Adults.

Power is Local

Power is Local builds Black, Latinx, & Spanish-speaking Northern Manhattan community power, to ensure that people most impacted by energy insecurity’s increasingly harmful effects on community wellbeing can develop critical policy action.


PRETTY/UGLY is radically rethinking sustainability through content creation, live events, and strategic collaborations in work that communicates the interdependence of man and nature. With a sense of urgency and possibility, PRETTY/UGLY’s work makes clear: “there is no garbage in nature.”


Rebuilders aims to tackle the increasing waste crisis by questioning the way people deal with waste and reframe the possibility. To achieve the goal, we create an educational play program to cultivate children’s creative power to develop new mindsets on the value of waste. Through a series of actionable lessons, we can bring lifelong environmental awareness and potential actions to their everyday lives.

Semillas: Seeding Change

A set of creative motivational tools for middle school students in rural communities in Mexico that will support, expose and activate students to create an empowered vision of their future self.

Shero Comic

This project aims to increase opportunities for creating positive female representations in mainstream superhero comics by opening up conversations around female life experiences in the comic community.

Sisters Can

Sisters Can is a co-created English curriculum that gives Yemeni immigrant students information on their career paths with the power of inspirational role-model storytelling.

Storied Lives

Storied Lives addresses intergenerational tension in black families through creative reflection and storytelling. Investigating, creating, and sharing personal narratives builds individual power and can start to break down generational barriers. By connecting those stories to a larger community narrative, this project aims to create an intentional and transformative space where creative storytelling can lead to healing.

Talking to the Blue

Helping young artists in Northeast China get the information they need as artists in the world right now.

Thrival Mode

Thrival Mode is about holding systems and institutions that affect decisions regarding neighborhood character accountable to the needs of immigrant neighborhoods to affect forces that cause displacement and erasure of culture.

Large brown letters over a white background reading


Unfair is aimed towards reimagining a more equitable future state of mainstream Indian media, by building radical inclusivity to shift the age old colourist narrative that paints fair skin as superior and more desirable to dark skin.

Untangling Philanthropy

Disrupting power dynamics in philanthropy by challenging funders to cultivate collaborative partnerships with their grantees and ground relationships in trust.

Workways: Building an Inclusive Creative Economy

Workways is a worker-centric data-gathering toolkit built to amplify equitable business models that provide direct pathways into the creative economy for immigrant women of color in NYC.

Workways: Building an Inclusive Creative Economy

Workways is a worker-centric data-gathering toolkit built to amplify equitable business models that provide direct pathways into the creative economy for immigrant women of color in NYC.

Youth Action Lab

Youth Action Lab is an afterschool club for middle schoolers that uses storytelling and creative expression to explore questions on race & identity.

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