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MFA DSI Class of 2024 respond to complex, critical issues of the world today with care and offering hope for the future. 

MFA DSI graduate students engaged with an array of diverse communities, from Bronx hip-hop culture to New York City residents, from South Asian diaspora to Chinese-American communities and first-generation Korean immigrant women, from asylum-seeking students to empowering young women in Latin America. These collaborations and co-creative efforts exemplify the incredible transformative power of social design to spark change and grow deeper in our connections. Interventions bring storytelling, music, art therapy, and technology to explore issues of environmental health, race and gender equity, care and wellbeing across generations and disciplines.

Thesis Show 2024 was livestreamed on May 15, 2024, with live captioning.

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Thesis Projects

at-oneness restoring community, flourishing people in sandy lettering on a green background


“At-oneness” is a project co-created with East New York residents and supported by the Neighborhood Safety Initiative to increase community autonomy and agency in improving public safety and well-being. Social-emotional learning, equitable collaboration, and a database of resources grow organizations’ capacities to implement similar restorative programming while decreasing the need for state intervention in community affairs.

Begumpura by Bhavya Chaudhary in blue lettering on a sandy color background

Begumpura: A Land Without Sorrows

“Begumpura: A Land Without Sorrows” is a vision for collective healing through a series of gatherings that leans on various mediums of storytelling, body movement practices, improv, and reflective writing about the lived experiences of the NYC Indian Dalit diaspora. Created in collaboration with Moving Rasa, it holds a safe and brave space to express stories of the resilience of those surviving caste apartheid in the U.S.

Earth Kitchen by Madhuri Rao in green lettering on a sandy brown background

Earth’s Kitchen

“Earth’s Kitchen” is an intergenerational catalyst that empowers NYC residents and beyond to transition to a plant-based diet to mitigate climate change. Aligned with the Plant-Based Treaty, it provides resources and toolkits for community gatherings and immersive learning experiences to help form holistic connections with nature and make informed decisions.

Neighbronxhood by Alejandra Libreros in white and yellow lettering and darker tone gray background


“NeighBRONXhood” is a community-driven initiative sparked by The Bronx’s Hip-Hop culture, social justice, and environmental health. Fostering connection through storytelling and music, it engages young Bronxites in justice-based arts to amplify their voices and catalyze positive change for the project.

Nourishing Roots by Jenny Lau in red lettering and images of food with different colors

Nourishing Roots

“Nourishing Roots” is a food heritage wellness platform and storytelling tool co-designed with community members and health advocates of the US Chinese diaspora. It empowers people of Chinese descent to preserve and cultivate traditional food knowledge, connect with cultural roots, and strengthen collective wellbeing—all while challenging mainstream narratives.

Project Can by Will Jiang & Ying Wang in white lettering on a red background

Project CAN

“Project CAN” assists Chinese-American nurses facing job-related burnout. This initiative utilizes AI and art/drama therapy as complementary interventions to enhance mental health, improve job satisfaction, alleviate stress, and fortify community bonds and resilience among these essential caregivers.

Language of Us by Maggie Wong in white lettering and yellow background

The Language of Us

“The Language of Us” seeks educational equity by providing academic and social-emotional resources responsive to the needs of elementary students from asylum-seeking families and their educators. Activities that encourage reflection, storytelling, and art to bridge cultural and language gaps between teachers and students advocate for school systems that proactively equip teachers to cultivate a learning environment reflective of asylum-seeking students who find New York City home for the time being.

The Pirates by Wha Yong Shin in black and sandy lettering on a blue sandy background

The Pirates

“The Pirates” is a collaborative, safe space for first-generation Korean immigrant women who relocated to New York City seeking sanctuary from the prevalent gender discrimination in South Korea. Women of The Pirates collectively recount migration experiences, celebrate achievements and identities, and document the contemporary narrative of their history, envisioning how to navigate the seas of life in the future with fearless determination, propagating love and courage in our wake.

Todo Sobre Las chicas by Joy Roach in white lettering on a pink background

Todo Sobre Las Chicas

“Todo Sobre Las Chicas” helps teen girls in Latin America socially reintegrate after in-home abuse and trauma by envisioning a girl-led future of safety through independence, inner confidence, faith-based activities, and the development of sisterhood. Developed in collaboration with local organizations, self-reflective tools help them grow into a restored version of self, offering communities like theirs and beyond ways to heal, flourish, and restore faith for generations.

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