Where Are The Black Designers Conference Returns For 2021
by Rudy Sanchez on 06/14/2021 | 2 Minute Read
Founded during a national conversation about racial injustice last year, Where Are The Black Designers (WATBD) is a volunteer-run, non-profit advocacy organization that aims to support and lift Black designers, connect members of the community, including creatives, creative leaders, and educators, and host dialogue on change both in and out of the design industry through annual conferences.
In its second year, the WATBD Conference returns later this month for two days, June 25-26th, with Design and Organizing for Black Liberation as the event’s theme. Topics discussed include Friction within the Spectrum and Intersection of Blackness, Recruiting as the Gatekeeper of White Supremacy, and Violent vs. Non-Violent Allyship. Speakers include Naj Austin, Timothy Bardlavens, Maurice Cherry, Mac Collins, Aaron Draplin, Cheryl D. Holmes Miller, Raja Schaar, Omari Souza, Forest Young, and more.
Since the inaugural conference, WATBD has grown into a 7,000+ stong Slack community, has hosted smaller events and talks, and has worked together with brands and companies to showcase and highlight Black members of the creative community.
“An estimated 3% of designers are Black. We want to change that. We’ll always keep asking the question, but we’re proud to say to companies ‘Here’s a ton of them. Hire them,’” Mitzi Okou, co-founder of WATBD, said via email.
The WATBD 2021 conference will return in a virtual format, attendance is free, and organizers welcome all Black and ally members of the design community. Sign up and learn more at WATBD.org/2021.