Intersectional Health Collaboration Summit (IHCS)
Health Equity for BIPOC Sex Workers, Transgender, and Incarcerated Populations

Conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of Carnegie Mellon students, this project aimed to mobilize support for health equity in marginalized communities, particularly the BIPOC transgender and sex workers communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are at greater risk of violence and incarceration.

Through Carnegie Mellon’s COVID-19 Summer Innovation Initiative, my team hosted an Intersectional Health Collaboration Summit in partnership with Pittsburgh community leaders to provide a virtual space for knowledge-sharing and coalition-building amongst allied organizations.

Project Goals
1. Identify multi-disciplinary ways to increase the capacity of organizations that have existing ally-ships with our target communities.

2. Build a space for
knowledge sharing and coalition building within these organizations to collaborate on aligned needs, goals, and obstacles that contribute to the marginalization of these communities.

Lena Chen, Ermina Lee

User Research
Event Coordinator
Visual Branding
Digital Marketing

May - Oct 2020, 6 months


Before we began working with stakeholders and building our project concept, my team first worked together to list out our unknowns and informations gaps within our problem space.

My team then spent the next few weeks reaching out to organizations with existing ally-ships with our target communities to assess the needs and pain points that exist or have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After conducting one hour interviews with ALLIES, Center for Inclusion Health, Planned Parenthood, and Trans YOUniting, we collected stakeholder data that identified common gaps organizations faced in supporting our target communities.

Based on the information from our interviews, we created a sample user persona to structure the common obstacles, strengths, and weaknesses among our stakeholders.

As we met with both social advocacy groups and allied health institutions, we focused on utilizing different organizations' strengths and weaknesses from our research in a way that would allow them to pool resources and generate collaborative support for marginalized communities. Our goal was to develop a long-lasting solution that would increase organizational capacity in Pittsburgh beyond the scope of our project.

At this point in the project, my team began working on different areas of the project to bring the Intersectional Health Collaboration Summit (IHCS) to life. As the designer, my role was to build out and visualize the IHCS brand for organization outreach/recruitment and online media.

I was also in charge of designing our digital toolkit, which would be distributed to registered participants that included a
harm reduction guide, sample communications framework, and organization personas for future reference and collaborations.

Logo Ideation
When designing the logo for IHCS, I focused the visual direction around the idea of intersection and collaboration between organizations.  

Finally, I narrowed down and pitched a final selection of logos to my team that were inspired by the Venn Diagram design concept.

To maintain the consistency of recruitment and media content, I created a brand style guide for IHCS and presented it to my team to ensure that its visual qualities properly spoke to our goals and message.

With the IHCS brand guide approved, I then moved into the production phase of designing recruitment and outreach content. As Ermina and Lena focused on building out our speaker program for the event, we worked together to organize our content and actions items over the course of the next month.

Recruitment Flyer

Crowdfunding Material

Speaker Lineup (sponsored by CMU SLICE and Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion)

Social Media & Speaker Promotion

Check out our posts in detail on our account: @IHCSummit!

IHCS Digital Toolkit
With the summit date approaching, my team worked to research relevant content and build a harm reduction guide, sample communications framework, and organization personas guide for
coalition building and resource sharing with the 16 participating social advocacy groups and health institutions

        Click to view full
Harm Reduction Guide
        Click to view full
Sample Communications Framework
        Click to view full
Organization Personas Guide

This toolkit would act as a longterm measure for connecting social advocacy organizations in Pittsburgh and hopefully act as a framework for building future relationships and collaborations.

Project Reflection
The Intersectional Health Collaboration Summit built a space that was honest and open; Organization leaders and speakers shared knowledge and stories that
confronted the systemic issues BIPOC transgender and sex worker communities face today.

In reflection, this project helped me understand how I can use
design as a tool to bridge societal gaps and disparities.