Rashid Owoyele, MFA Transdisciplinary Design candidate, Parsons The New School for Design

Rashid Owoyele is currently a second year MFA student in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons and came to The New School with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Ethics + Design from Indiana University where he also attained both a minor and certificate in Environmental Science and Health in Public Health. As a result of his experiences being bullied as a high school freshman for being queer he moved out on his own at 16 years old. A non-traditional, 1st generation, GED holding, college student, Rashid is a former Ronald E. McNair research scholar. As a very young person Rashid was born to a 1st generation immigrant father from Nigeria and grew up in a town outside of St. Louis, Missouri where he was the only local student of color in a very poor community which was devastated 3 times in the early 1990's by the flooding of the Missouri River. Valley Park has subsequently been deemed a US EPA Superfund Site due to contamination, as a result of those extreme weather incidents, which may be the cause of chronic health impacts for him. All experiences that have heavily influenced his approach to design as a discipline in need of a forward-looking human-centered ethical framework. Rashid's work reflects his life experiences; he works with a cognizance of the intersectionality of environment, gender, sexuality, class, and race as a systems thinker who uses strategic design as a medium for organizing and community building working in, with, or through conflict in the pursuit of social justice. He is the Vice President of the student organization Students for Social Justice and a Social Justice Ally. Email: owoyr116@newschool.edu

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