July 21-22, 2021 / Online

We Can’t Empathize Our Way Out of Privilege

Minimize harm and honor lived experiences

Ariba Jahan

Empathy is limited by the lens of our own privilege, biases, and lived experience, often completely different from the lived experience of the people we serve, especially during a pandemic.

As a team of full-time employees with financial security working on a project around unemployment benefit access, we recognized that no amount of design activities can help us “empathize” with their journey to get unemployment benefits. It was critical for us to keep the work centered around our users’ lived experiences and co-create with them to make sure their voices were part of the process.

In this talk, we’ll explore empathy, and how our team worked together during a project on unemployment benefit access to minimize harm and honor the lived experiences of the community we were in service to.

Our sponsoring partners