Gearing up for Desgnit: Criminal Justice Reform with the ACLU

May 26-29, 2017

Desgnit: Criminal Justice Reform with the ACLU Northern California over Memorial Day Weekend

Desgnit is an invite-only event series that pairs exceptional designers with nonprofits over the course of a weekend. At a glance, designers volunteer their time, hone their design leadership skills while collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team and working directly with the client. We get together with one goal in common: to use our time and talent for good.

This Memorial Day Weekend, Elefint is inviting 16 designers and strategists to join us and leading experts from ACLU in launching a new criminal justice reform initiative benefitting California. Our goal is to equip the ACLU with a suite of digital tools, animations and a campaign strategy by the end of the weekend.


Why Criminal Justice Reform?

elefint-desgnit-strategy-acluWith all of the discussions around the travel ban and with growing concern over the policies that will shape our democracy for years to come, Elefint wanted to take action. When we first started our studio in 2010 our intention was to bring exceptional design to the people and organizations that needed it the most. We didn’t have all the answers, but our vision was clear. It’s that same vision and dedication to serving the for-good space that opened up conversations with the ACLU. In early conversations with the ACLU N. California, we learned more about the discrepancies within California’s law enforcement regulation and policies.

One of the most fundamental tasks for a democratic society is to balance the needs of law enforcement with the rights of its citizens. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were designed to ensure people accused of crimes would have a fair opportunity to respond, and that the government had to bear the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our rights are not always assured–and often require advocates like ACLU attorneys to come forward and press for their enforcement.
The ACLU has been at the forefront of the movement to establish constitutional standards in the criminal justice system and to safeguard against abuses of power by those in law enforcement. 

Our team brainstormed ways we could use design and tech to launch their new initiative around criminal justice reform in June 2017 and pitched the idea of Desgnit – bringing the brightest design minds together for a weekend of strategy and design. During Desgnit we will be going deep into ACLU’s criminal justice work, understanding racial disparities in the California legal system, and diving into design solutions to equip their team with concrete tools to execute on their long-term plans to reform California’s criminal justice system. We’ll look at the specific roles and power of our district attorneys, and ask big questions like can district attorneys end mass incarceration without changing a single law?  


About the ACLU Northern California

The ACLU of Northern California is an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians. For nearly a century, they have been at the heart of many of the major—and sometimes controversial—struggles for civil liberties in our state. They make sure that Constitutional rights—to free speech, to privacy, to due process—don’t just exist on paper, but also in practice. The ACLU is the first line of defense against threats to civil liberties and we work to ensure these freedoms are guaranteed to every person in this country. Learn more here:


Apply to Attend

This is an invite-only event for designers with 5+ years experience. Watch our recap video below to get a better sense of the experience. Elefint will cover your housing and meals for the weekend, and will help coordinate rides from San Francisco to our venue in Lake Tahoe.

Apply online here Tahoe from Elefint Designs on Vimeo