Many children are told they have to wait until some unknown time to start creating change. What do you think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would have to say about that? The same thing we at Design for Change say, NONSENSE!

On January 21st, 2019, we will join together to mark the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a progressive, fearless, activist and hero of our times. His non violence civil rights movement catalyzed a nation of young people to fight for freedom and equality. Dr. King worked tirelessly in the fight against racial segregation and discrimination so we can enjoy the basic civil liberties we take for granted today. His iconic “I Have A Dream” speech,” still resonates across classrooms today, reminding children everywhere, that their lives truly matter, as does, each and every action they take.

Students from Idaho using the DFC Design Thinking process to improve school safety.

While we may honor Dr. King with memorials and marches, we must do more to keep the flame of his dream alive. This may seem like a tall order, which it is, until we acknowledge that true heroics, are in our children. At Design for Change USA, we see time and again, students rising up to solve the nation’s greatest problems, from poor health, to poverty, and social discrimination. It is young people who are not just leading the change, they are being the change. Just last year, students from across the USA worked through the Design for Change program to combat middle school suicides in Idaho, infectious disease in New York and racial symbols in North Carolina. These stories and many more can be found on the Design for Change Website under Real Stories.

Students from Connecticut combatting negative stereotypes associated with Gender Equality!

Driven by the impact these young people are making, DFC was inspired to create an even simpler way for educators to support their students in doing good. We created Design Sprints. Design Sprints are quick, easy, free lesson plans and worksheets to inspire young people to take action around the Sustainable Development Goals, such as being kind, the health of our elderly, water contamination, access to nutritious food and more. Students venture through the DFC Design Thinking process of Feel, Imagine, Do and Share in just four hours.

Feel: Students listen to a short empathy podcast of real people talking about an issue related to one of the Sustainable Development Goals

Imagine: Students work as a team to brainstorm possible solutions to solve the problem

Do: Students create a mini action plan, identifying the steps and resources they will need to carry out their solution

Share: Students share their work through mini class presentations

Check out our Design Sprints today, and access our quick, free, and easy to facilitate lesson plans - just in time for MLK Day!

DFC USA Ambassador Team 2017 at the DFC Global Conference, with Founder Kiran Bir Sethi

The time to change, to act, and to design a better tomorrow is right now!

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' Martin Luther King, Jr.