While it may be unusual for us to seek permission, these are unusual times. This passage is as much an act of consent as it is an invitation—to those here and beyond—to wholeheartedly co-create in our collective attempt to address the specific unusuality of this moment.

As we venture into the complex unknowns of our task, we seek permission, not just from the human realm, but from the Earth, the non-human, and the ancestors. We recognize that we are not separate entities but are rather embedded in a web of relationships that extend far beyond our own selves. We acknowledge that the pervasive rhetoric of rational modernity that separates mind from body, humans from nature, and self from other, is rooted in the logic of coloniality, and commit to moving beyond this limiting perspective to honor the inherent value of the complex relationships that bind us together. May we co-create with sincerity, guided by the wisdom of our collective experiences, as we shape a future that celebrates unity, harmony, and interconnectedness.

The topic of this work is challenging, deeply human and often uncomfortable. As stewards of this manual, we will need to be generous to one another and to the people we will encounter, learn from, and work with. Our aim is to contribute to the creation of a healing and humane design standard for everyone who needs it. We intend to create common cause with other leaders in this issue space in order to realize meaningful social impact.

Land Acknowledgment

Rhode Island School of Design is built on what is now called College Hill, part of the ancestral homelands of the Narragansett Nation. Indigenous people from many nations—near and far—live, study and work in Providence today. The amplification of Native voices and histories is crucial to rectifying the many violent legacies of colonialism, and we gratefully acknowledge the ongoing critical contributions of Indigenous people across our state, region and nation.