'Where Are The Black Designers' Panel Will Explore Racial Diversity In Graphic Design

by Rudy Sanchez on 06/25/2020 | 2 Minute Read

According to the 2019 AIGA Design Census, only 3% of designers across many fields and disciplines are Black.

The subject of racial diversity within the graphic design community has been an ongoing one, sometimes bubbling to the surface in times such as now, when the conversation about race-based institutional disparity has intensified and grown into additional discussions beyond governmental and broader systemic inequality. It is at this kind of inflection point where individuals and organizations can begin to work out tangible and specific strategies to shine a spotlight on marginalized Black creatives, building a shared understanding and a path forward.

Editorial photograph

One of those discussions will take place Saturday, June 27th with  Where Are The Black Designers

Founded by UX designer and digital artist Mitzo Okou, the panel of speakers from the creative industry and world of academia and design will continue the necessary dialogue about representation in the graphic design industry. Inspired by Cheryl D. Miller’s 1987 PRINT article “Black Designers Missing in Action” and Maurice Cherry's 2015 SXSW talk “Where Are The Black Designers,” the organization seeks to provide solutions to the group’s eponymous question.

Maurice Cherry's 2015 talk, "Where Are The Black Designers?"

Speakers include founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab Antionette Carrol, Dean for the Faculty of Design at OCAD University Dori Tunstall, Head of Brand for Ethel’s Club and founder of Design 2 Divest Vanessa Newman, founder and CEO of Somewhere Good Naj Austin, Wish for WASH CEO Jasmine Burton, IDEO CEO Sandy Speicher, and many more.

With Coronavirus still impacting large gatherings, Saturday’s panel will take place on the web, starting at 9 AM Pacific Time, 12 PM Eastern Time, and 5 PM BST. The event is free, but RVSP is required. Organizers are encouraged to join their Slack community ahead of time to participate in the discussion. 

You can also follow the event on Instagram (@wherearetheblackdesigners), where many creatives are submitting posters for the panel.

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