Being in the Loop – ep.119

Prioritizing Workplace Productivity – ep.118
December 7, 2023
Restoring Community – ep.120
December 21, 2023

Chief Strategy Officer at Substantial Sheryl Cababa discusses the equitable impact of incorporating a human-centered approach to UX Product design using the system thinking approach.

Sheryl Cababa is the Chief Design Officer at the Insights, Design + Development Studio, Substantial, and a multi-disciplinary design strategist with more than two decades of experience. She is focused on reinventing the approaches of learning and collaboration in today’s educational environment to help equity-centered research affirm and advance relationships between institutions, educators, and students.

Sheryl has worked extensively in human-centered design within the social impact space. She specializes in developing tools and methods for designers to expand their mindsets beyond user-centered design, anticipate unintended consequences, and engage in systems thinking.

Her recent work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation includes leading student voice research to inform the K-12 Balance The Equation Grand Challenge. Sheryl works with their teams to provide equity-centered technical assistance to their grantees, designing the Use Case Guide for demand-side thinking programs, and conducting extensive design research with both U.S. Programs and Global Health teams. Her book, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers, was released In early 2023.

Here is a 15% off discount for her book, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers, that can be used at my publisher’s website.


Code: cababa-jali

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to The Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started.

I’m so excited this week to talk to Sheryl Cababa. She is the chief design officer at the Insights Design and Development studio for Substantial. She’s focused on reinventing the approaches of learning and collaboration in today’s educational environment to help equity-centered research affirm and advance relationships between institutions, educators, and students. She talks to us about how design plays a role in addressing equity issues in education. In addition, we talked a little bit about her insights as well as key concepts, principles, and why they are essential to empower your end user. She’s even going to share some specific projects where the application of human-centered design had a significant positive impact on addressing social issues. Join me for the conversation.

All right. This week, welcome to The Jaili Podcast. We are excited to have Sheryl Cababa joining us. And I’m just excited because of all the work that you’re doing, and I love to amplify folks that are doing design work, especially when it comes to inclusion. So I’m excited to have this conversation and I just want to thank you for joining me.

Sheryl Cababa:  Thank you, Melyssa. I’m really happy to be joining you as well.

Melyssa Barrett:  I’m just going to jump in and you let me know where we want to go. But I’m hoping that because your background is just so amazing, I really wanted to maybe start with just you sharing a little bit about your journey, how you became interested in design, particularly in the social impact space.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. Yeah. Happy to. It’s a bit of a winding road. First off, currently I think of myself as a design strategist and researcher, and I run an equity center and design practice and systems thinking practice at a small agency called Substantial where we do research and insights. And my path up to that, it’s interesting because I don’t have any formal degree in design specifically. My background is in journalism and in political science. But straight out of school, I went right into design. I worked for The Seattle Times and then for the decade after that, I basically became a digital product designer working for companies like Microsoft and Philips. And it’s interesting because after that I shifted more into design research, which is where finally came full circle where I felt like my degree in journalism actually started being activated. Because design research is oriented around understanding people’s contexts who are using products as well as understanding their relationship with products, but also their challenges, their needs, and translating them, and advocating for them in product design.

And so that has really resonated with me. I’ve worked in multiple domains as a design researcher, and I’m currently working in education. I’ve been working in social impact space for the last several years, including global health. And my work is pretty much exclusively in education now and making more equitable products for education and helping teams do that as a design strategist. And so yeah, that’s where I am now. Yeah. I went from being the one designing products to helping others design products in an equitable way.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it. And I know we’re going to get into all of the wonderful things you’re doing, but I figured I might ask you because I think your title is chief design officer at the Insights Design and development studio at Substantial. And I wanted to see if you could maybe describe a little of the work that you do there as a multidisciplinary design strategist. For all the laypeople in the world who may not know what that means.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah, absolutely. I think oftentimes when people hear I’m a designer, they’re like, “Oh, what kind of design? Interior design or fashion design? Graphic design?” And I don’t really do any of those things. It’s more about using the design process in order to make strategic decisions. And so when I talk about the design process, I’m talking about human-centered design. It’s a method in which we learn about people and their needs. We create many, many ideas around how to solve certain problems or how to solve for certain needs or pain points. And then we test and iterate on those ideas until we come up with a solution. So it’s a really fast process. It’s very iterative, and it’s intended to engage people who are going to be using your solutions at every turn. So that’s what I think about as design is engaging in that process.

And so my role is to help teams engage in the design process and act as both an advocate and a connector with those who I think of as your end users and end beneficiaries. So in education, this is oftentimes the teachers who are in the classrooms will be … Let’s say you’re designing ed tech products. Who are going to be using your products and the students who will also be using your products and maybe are the beneficiaries of the products that you’re designing. And it’s really important to involve these folks, the actual end users throughout that process of design and development. Because if you don’t really understand what constitutes good experiences for them, you might learn really late after you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, money, building, engineering into something that they just won’t use your products or your products won’t do what they’re intended to do, or the people running the school district might not even be buying your products. And so all of that is really important in terms of just understanding who is going to be benefiting from the things that you’re designing and creating and how you can better respond to how they’ll be using those things. So that’s an overview of what I do and my team does within our practice.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s awesome. So then how does that design play a role in addressing some of the equity issues that exist in education? And I won’t go on my political rant because I know there’s so many different aspects of education and there’s so many challenges when we think about education and addressing equity. So I love the fact that you’re literally at the end user, like what can we create and how can we design it in order to give the benefits back to the teachers and the students that are actually teaching and learning. So how does it play a role in those equity issues?

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. First I want to say I’m not opposed to any political rants because … And it’s not a rant. It’s based on reality. The fact that we don’t have equitable distribution of resources in our school systems in America is based on historical factors like historical racism, and it just shows that there’s all of these underlying things systemically that affect student outcomes and can essentially divide student outcomes by demographic. And so part of doing equity centered design is acknowledging that, is acknowledging these historic disparities and understanding that there are systemic responses to that. In terms of where we can make a difference, let’s say we’re just working with a team that’s designing and developing an ed tech product like a math supplement, a digital math supplement or something. What we can do is we can ensure that that product is being designed with students in mind who have been historically under resourced so that these products and services are being designed in a way that will benefit them and hopefully lead to good outcomes for them.

Because more often than not, you see products being designed for students or to be used in education at large where they’re not even thinking about the students who are most marginalized in today’s processes. If they’re even being tested with students, they might be tested with students in a wealthy private school or students from really super privileged districts, white dominant schools where you’re not seeing the breadth of experience in terms of the disparity of resources and other issues that might plague schools where students are typically historically under resourced and marginalized in today’s systems.

So our job is to essentially elevate marginalized students’ voice within the design process so that we can make sure that their context is understood and teams, organizations, companies are designing in a way that is responsive to their needs. If you’re designing digital products, for example, and so many of these schools don’t even have good internet access or you’re designing supplements for students to do at home, but you find that the majority of students in some of these communities don’t even have internet access at home, then you’re failing them. And so you have to account for those disparities before you even go into the design process so you can design inclusively and for all students and not just the most privileged ones.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. I love that. And I was telling you before, I do some work on the digital infrastructure side, and one of the things we talk about, we spend a lot of time focusing on opportunity zones where historically infrastructure has not been invested in. And so you see a lot of these challenges and issues amplified depending on … I could imagine wherever the schools are that you’re connected to, it can be more significant depending on exactly where those schools are. How has some of the research informed some of your design for educational programs? Is there any insights you can share?

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. It’s interesting because I know at the end of the day, we’re helping to inform, let’s say, ed tech product design, but a lot of our work actually lies in engaging students and teachers in what gets invested in in education because they work really closely with educational philanthropies, for example, like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And what’s really nice is being able to help them make investment decisions that are based on student voice and student voice from what we call priority students. So black and Latino students, students experiencing poverty, multilingual students. These are all students who have been historically under-resourced within the educational system. And it’s really interesting to work with an organization like the Gates Foundation to consider where they should invest in order to help create better outcomes for these specific students. And it’s interesting bringing even middle school students into this process of them understanding, oh yeah, the way that you talk about … For example, I worked on a grand challenge. The Gates Foundation puts out these grand challenges, which is a challenge to the field to solve in a specific space.

And we worked on one that was called the Algebra One Grand Challenge and Balance the Equation, the Algebra One Grand Challenge was what it was officially called. And in this case, it was an acknowledgement that algebra one is a gateway course that determines whether students can be successful even in applying to STEM majors in college. Because if you’re not exposed to Algebra one by eighth grade and you live in certain states, you’re behind already. And this is even before you get into high school. And what happens is a lot of the priority students that we’re referring to end up getting tracked into more remedial math and don’t get exposed to that early on.

And so the Gates Foundation viewed this as a problem space worth investing in. And we worked on engaging students who were either algebra one students currently, or former algebra one students to understand their experiences, what their barriers were. And what was interesting was that that particular grand challenge, it could have gone a singular direction, maybe investing in a certain type of digital product like let’s say algebra one supplements that priority students can use. But instead, because we learned so much that there’s all of these different systemic levers, they invested in different areas. And some might be in community programs that are oriented around helping tutor students in math. Another might be teacher professional development to help them basically integrate more culturally responsive approaches to how they teach math and algebra. And so there were five different types of interventions or different lever types that they then went on to invest in.

So I think something that’s an advantage of taking an equity centered design approach is that you recognize that one, change is incremental. There aren’t any silver bullets. You have to make changes in different areas in order to have impact. This is also a social impact tenet. You’re never going to do one thing that’s going to eliminate poverty for everybody. So you have to basically use these different levers at your disposal and put resources towards them. And so I’m really proud of the work of gaining that understanding of systemically where impact can be had and then being able to help organizations direct resources that way so that they’re not developing one thing like massive online courses or something that end up not having an impact on anybody.

Melyssa Barrett:  Well, you see that a lot though. You actually see people going, “Okay, here’s a new …” whatever, and you have all this instruction and it’s all internet based, and then the kid gets on there and it’s like-

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. It’s every TED Talk you’ve ever seen, which is like, we’re going to solve the world’s water problems with this one device. And yeah, things just don’t happen that way, and they don’t happen that way in education, which is why we have to take not just an equity centered approach, but also a systems thinking approach to our work. Because if you don’t, you could be doing everything you can to design something that might specifically work for somebody and there’s all these other systemic ways that it could fail. It doesn’t work with learning management systems that a lot of schools districts are using. Schools don’t have the budgets for whatever it is you’re designing. They have different ways of assessing students. There’s all these things you need to understand in order to understand the system into which you’re inserting the solution and be able to respond to that so that it can be successful and that it can lead to the impact that you want.

Melyssa Barrett:  Let’s pause for a moment. We’ll be right back.

Well, and I love that you bring in systems thinking because when I think about some of the principles or methodologies that you probably employ in your human centered approach, people don’t always think … I should say, I think in some cases when people think about systems thinking, they’re thinking about systems in a different way. Your view of systems is very broad. So can you speak to that a little bit in terms of systems thinking?

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. The easiest way I can describe it is being human centered in that way as well, and understanding that there are different stakeholders at different levels who all have different incentives. And what you need to do in order to create the impact that you want is to have everybody align on whatever it is you’re trying to do to intervene. Because if you don’t understand … I think this happens a lot where it’s like you don’t understand. If you don’t understand state policy and education, for example, and you’re trying to design new assessments, you’re not going to get anywhere because you need to either adhere to whatever those policies are or you’re going to have to challenge them. And so I think oftentimes if you’re coming from outside of this system and you’re not familiar with who all the stakeholders are, then you might end up designing something that never gets used or it can never even get off the ground because you’re not understanding people’s roles in facilitating whether or not something happens.

I recommend this book Failure To Disrupt, and I think the author’s name is Justin Reich. And it basically talks about how just over the last several decades there have been these moments in education specifically where there’ll be something new that everybody is like, this is going to change the landscape of education. I mentioned massive online courses. The way people were talking about that 12 years ago was like, there won’t be any in-person colleges left. And it’s just like, but that has totally not happened, and there’s all these other reasons why that didn’t work. A lot of the massive online courses that people were promoting and investing in were coming from these elite institutions. You weren’t actually getting any credit or accreditation for taking those. There’s all of these systemic things that exist, and you might even describe a lot of it as bureaucratic that people who are looking specifically to disrupt a system, if you don’t know how that works before you go into it, you’re setting yourself up to fail.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well, I feel like that’s all of our politicians right now.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yes.

Melyssa Barrett:  So I’m like, let’s create some human centered design within that system. How about that? But I guess you need humans for that.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. If you think about what they’re incentivized by, they’re just trying to get elected and reelected, and so they can say a lot of things that would require a huge amount of systemic change and it’s like, yeah, you can’t really just make that happen overnight. I think it’s even the case with … I don’t know. Building infrastructure projects or what have you. In Seattle, we have a relatively new light rail system. And it’s funny. They have to basically low ball how much it’s going to cost each time so that people will vote for it, but then they’re like, “Oh, actually it’s more expensive than that.” But if they say upfront how expensive it’s going to be, how long it’s going to take, et cetera, people will be like, “No way. That’s too much money and that’s too long a time.” And so I think we just as a society lack that systems lens where it’s like, yeah, you have to invest in these things longterm.

We had a real wake up call during COVID in terms of our lack of infrastructure. In education, kids were in McDonald’s parking lots to use the wifi in order to be going to virtual school. And it’s like all of that showed the disparities so starkly in a way that a lot of people weren’t willing to acknowledge before that actually happened. A silver lining coming out of that is there’s an acknowledgement of those disparities. Whether it can change or not is another question, but at least we see it for what it was.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well if you think about some of the funding that’s even out there, it’s like, it’s great to get funding, but there’s clearly not enough funding to do what needs to be done. And it’s like, okay, we’re chipping away. We keep chipping away and chipping away, but at the end of the day, we have generations of our kids that are in school that are still struggling with the challenges that we’ve seen for years. So I’m going to shift myself because I will absolutely get into a whole nother topic. And I want to make sure that we talk a little bit about your book, which came out in 2023 called Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers. And it was released in 2023. But I’m wondering if you can give us a little bit of an overview of key concepts and maybe highlight … I know you have eight principles for equity-centered research and why they’re so essential to empowering the end users. And I know that’s a loaded question, but I want to make sure that people know that your book is out there and that you need to go buy it.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah, thank you for that. And yeah, I think the book really touches on many of the things we’ve just been talking about, which is in order to design solutions, I guess … I don’t know. In the book I keep using the word solutions, but I’m actually really reluctant to, because if you think about systems and the way they work, oftentimes solutions are tomorrow’s problems. And so you’re never actually solving, you’re intervening or you’re navigating a problem space. So basically thinking about them as approaches. The equity-centered designer, Antoinette Carroll really emphasizes this idea of approaches rather than solutions because she works on community-centered design. And I really like that conceptually because it means you need to understand the feedback loop of when you make a change that it’s going to potentially cause problems of its own. And it’s really good to think about that upfront so you can mitigate or you can plan for it or what have you.

So a lot of my book is oriented around that. Just this idea of being able to potentially address unintended consequences. Also doing research with a lot of different stakeholders, as I mentioned before, like making sure you’re engaging not just your end users or your end beneficiaries, but making sure you’re doing that in an equity-centered way. Making sure that you’re not just looking at the most privileged of users or the average user and looking at the extreme experiences that people have. This is also a tenet of inclusive design. And also making sure that from a systems perspective, you have a theory of change. That you understand how these different ways of problem solving will eventually lead to the impact that you want to have. And so I think it’s this really meaningful … I hope it’s meaningful for people who might read it, intersection between human-centered design or design thinking and systems thinking.

And an important aspect of that, because I know your second question was around equity-centered research and how to engage in that. Part of that is making sure that you’re not doing any analysis or design work in a vacuum. That you’re actually working with, collaborating with, co-designing those for whom you’re tasked with designing. And for education, for example, we do a lot of work with students, whether they’re middle school students, high school students, or in post-secondary. The idea is that you should be engaging them at every turn in, for example, design research project. And part of that is not just extracting their stories and extracting their pain points or extracting their context, but it’s also engaging them in the design process to be able to design, to be able to imagine, to be able to dream about how to solve the problems that are affecting them most and working with you to do that.

I love this Toni Morrison quote where she said … And I might be paraphrasing, that might not be exact, but she said you have to dream a little before you think. And I think part of doing participatory design and co-design with people who are going to be most affected by what it is you’re designing is a way of being able to dream about possibilities, being able to dream about how something can be different in the future. And even if you can’t make all of those changes, just being able to engage in that process and narrow into what is possible, I think is a really meaningful thing, especially for students to go through who are almost never consulted around their own education. They’re never asked, do you think assessments should be different?

And they have a lot to say about that, right? And it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re able to make all of that come true that they might want, but it helps them understand themselves, the system a little bit better and what the barriers are and helps them be able to reflect on that. So I think that that’s a really powerful aspect of engaging in equity centered design as opposed to just design thinking or what I described as human centered design. It distributes the power a little bit more of who is involved in the process. And it’s not just held with designers or developers. It’s like how can we actually give the power to a 13-year-old to be able to have her say in how these things are being designed and created?

Melyssa Barrett:  I think it’s a wonderful thing because when you think about the generations coming now, they have to be just so much more bold and confident and be able to express things in ways that people before technology really didn’t have to think about. And so there’s so many other subtleties. And so when I see equity centered design, generations of our kids are like, “Why don’t we have this already? What’s the problem?” One of the things that I love though is that you also leverage your research from a storytelling perspective. And of course, my husband was a storyteller, professional storyteller. So I always click onto the storytelling aspect because there’s so many benefits in just being able to tell the right story in how design has helped to really create the type of equity we need. Are there any examples that you might want to highlight?

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. I mean, I think it’s interesting because we hear so many stories about education from the students that we work with. Doing a project right now with my team that’s engaging students in thinking about the future of math. What would you want the future of math education to look like? And we’re using these prompts that are like, oh, in 20 years, this is what a classroom might look like or what have you. And it’s really interesting uncovering or having these conversations with students when given these prompts about what something might look like in the future about just uncovering their fears about AI and things like that. And understanding that it speaks to their response to what the future might look like is a response to what they think is going wrong today. So one student was like, “I feel like we should be involved in the creation of AI because we’re not right now.”

And it’s totally true. We’ve just been watching the chaos of OpenAI and all of this stuff is just still centered in Silicon Valley with the same people, with the same privileged white men who have the same perspectives, and they’re developing this technology that is going to be affecting just all of us in the future. And our voices are not in that room about what the concerns might be. And students like the 13 and 14 year olds we’re talking to are just really intelligent about recognizing I’m not in that room and I know this is going to affect me in ways I don’t even understand. And I’m scared of that, but I also want to … I know there’s no stopping it, but I want to be part of that. And I think it’s our job to take what we are learning from these students and trying to elevate it to people who can actually make decisions about this.

And so that might be through the funders that we work with or the ed tech developers that we work with, and making sure they have direct access and can understand these stories of the students who we’re working with and their perspectives. So I think that’s just one of the really rewarding parts of the work that I do with my team is just it doesn’t put the onus on us to invent the future. It’s like, how do we put some of the power into the hands of the students themselves to be able to imagine that?

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. What’s nice about it is it not only allows them to understand where they want the future to go, but really to dream it. I mean, it’s like what do you want your future to be like? And I feel like at some age, I don’t know what age it is, it’s as adults, I feel like we don’t dream like we used to. Like a kid. Where it’s like, I really want to do … So when I think about all of the things you’re doing, it’s like what do we want the future to look like? Whether it’s AI or privacy or data within sensors that are up in the traffic cameras. I mean, there’s so many things to think about what our future is going to look like. So I love the fact that you have this focus on human centered design because I think it has to be, and I don’t think we are doing that enough. Everybody who’s making the decisions to create new infrastructure, it’s like the same people creating the infrastructure that created it before. And I’m like, it’s not the same. So I love what you’re doing. So now since we’re talking about future, are there things maybe that you find particularly promising in either technology or some of the innovative solutions that you see?

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. I mean, it is interesting. I can see potential while also recognizing the problems. So it’s funny, one of my colleagues was just creating images for one of these workshops that we’re doing with students about the future of education, future of math. And she was creating these images in Midjourney to show what these future classrooms would look like. And Midjourney kept making the entire classroom of white blonde students and teachers, and she had to keep adding more prompts to get it to make just a diverse classroom of black and brown students. And that was such a good metaphor for me about how it’s … Yeah, I’m sorry. Demographics are changing in this world. It’s going to be a world that’s made up a majority people from the global south. So that classroom in 20 years or 30 years or 40 years or whatever, is not going to be white and blonde.

Sorry. That’s just not the way it is. But the fact that Midjourney, you give them this prompt, and that’s what it was spitting out, what it tells you is the perspectives of those who are in power right now. And I forget what Cathy O’Neill who wrote Weapons of Math Destruction said, but she basically said, algorithms are opinions written in code. And that’s what you see in our current AI systems and the way they’re being developed. I think we can dream of a different world where that’s not happening, where it is being designed and built by a more diverse usership or more diverse set of developers. But I don’t think we’re quite there yet. And I think AI has a lot of potential. It has a lot of potential in education to ease just some of … It can help with things like personalized learning. It can help facilitate that for teachers of understanding where students are.

It could potentially quietly do assessments. But at the moment, I don’t trust it to do any of that the way it’s being developed. And so there has to be changes in who is in the room developing these kinds of technologies in order for them to work in their best way and to have the most potential for all of us. And that’s not going to happen overnight. But I do think there are people in technology now in these different domains who are challenging just the status quo to remind us we can’t just keep doing this the way we’ve always been doing it, especially if we want things to be better and more equitable.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Well said. And it’s funny because it reminds me, Nelson Mandela I think has a quote that he said, “Everything seems impossible until it’s done.” And so a lot of what you were talking about, and I’m going, these are big things when we think about it, the impact that they could have. But it reminded me of a story that when I went to an autonomous vehicle testing facility and we were doing this tour. They’re supposed to be testing the autonomous vehicle, and so they’ll have a person crossing the street. So there’s this dummy crossing the street, but all the dummies were exactly the same color. They were dressed in exactly the same thing.

And I was like, that dummy looks nothing like me or my kids. And so I’m like, “How is it supposed to recognize somebody that looks like me when you’re only testing on this blonde hair?” Because literally, it was like this blonde haired white little kid walking across the street. And I’m like, so it’s funny when you start talking about Midjourney turns a little blonde boy, whatever. And it’s like, why does everything have to flip that way? Just be more inclusive. Where’s the dummy that looks like me or whatever. But it’s amazing how just a small thing like that has significant design implications for being able to identify an autonomous vehicle, being able to identify somebody walking across the street. I mean, it’s crazy.

Sheryl Cababa:  And it’s just like, oh, what do they do if somebody’s in a wheelchair or something? Forget about it.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah. Exactly.

Sheryl Cababa:  We know these sensor systems do not recognize dark skin too. We’ve seen that over and over again. The little hand washing thing that doesn’t turn on.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. I’m trying to wash my hands. I’m like, hello. I got to go to three different versions and put my-

Sheryl Cababa:  The way technology develops is sometimes they’re just like, oh, well, you can put that out there and that’s something that can be fixed, like the hand washing thing. But it’s like, oh no, you’re integrating that same technology for a thing to know to not hit me in the street. Like, no, this has to be perfected more before that.

Melyssa Barrett:  Right. Exactly. Exactly. Well, I just really enjoy all the things that you’re doing. And again, I just want to mention your book, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers. Because I think it’s incredible, and I think we can certainly all do a better job when we think about policy, when we think about education. I could go on and on about all sorts of things, but to me, anytime I have somebody that’s focused on making sure that we’re equity centered, I love having that conversation because people can really see in everything we do there is an equity center. And today there are so many places where we are not equity centered. So thank you for the work that you’re doing, and I’m just so excited to be able to have talked to you today and all of the background that you bring. So I thank you. Thank you so much. And maybe you can tell people how they can get hold of you. I know you’re doing great work at Substantial, and I don’t know if you want to talk a little bit about what Substantial does but I love the name. But just let people know how they can get connected to you.

Sheryl Cababa:  Yeah. You can find examples of the work that my team and I do at and our case studies and things like that are up there in terms of our equity centered design approach and education. And you can find me on LinkedIn, Sheryl Cababa, and I’m the only one out there with that name so feel free to reach out to me or connect. And you can find my book just anywhere. You can find it on Amazon. You can find it on my publisher site, Rosenfeld Media, and yeah, it’s Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for all you’re doing, and I look forward to keeping up and staying connected because I love, especially when we start talking about education because such an important issue, especially coming up in our elections. So we want to make sure people that have the power to make these things happen are actually in the roles they need to be in order to enforce or modify, shall I say, some of the policies that we currently have. So thank you.

Sheryl Cababa:  Thank you. Thanks, Melyssa. This has been a great wide ranging conversation and I’ve been so happy to talk to you about all of the work we’ve been doing.

Melyssa Barrett:  Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.