Where Are the Black Designers? This Digital Conference Will Address Lack of Diversity in Design 

“Where Are the Black Designers?” is an upcoming digital conference taking place this Saturday, June 27th designers will not want to miss. Displayed clearly in its name, the goal of this event is to start a conversation highlighting systemic racism and the lack of diversity within design so our community can work together to dismantle it.

According to PAPER Magazine, the idea for “Where Are the Black Designers?” began when designers Mitzi Okou and Garrett Albury were in school at the Savannah College of Art and Design. The initial desire to throw this conference stemmed from a lack of black students represented in their creative programs, but at the time the idea initially struggled to get off the ground. Given the relevance of the topic to this moment, Okou and Albury revived the idea and organized a full roster of speakers for the upcoming virtual event within a matter of weeks.

The full day’s roster includes speakers such as Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, Antionette Carroll, CEO & President of Creative Reaction Lab, Vanessa Newman, Founder of Design 2 Divest and Head of Brand at Ethel’s Club, Naj Austin, Founder of Somewhere Good, Sandy Speicher, CEO of IDEO, Raja Schaar, Program Director, Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, and many more.

The conference will include a number of talks, panels, and workshops, all with the common goal of addressing race inequity in design and highlighting the work of black designers today. As Okou describes in a recent interview with Meg Lewis, “You can expect some badass creative leaders, and educators, and young people who are really just helping at creating the space for diversity and representation. We’re going to have some speakers who are going to be talking on topics from algorithm bias to how black people are perceived sonically, you know, to our big picture panels that are going to talk about the future of design”.

It’s important to note that this is an event for everyone, not just designers. The event serves as an opportunity to get everyone in creative industries involved so a real discussion resulting in change can begin. In a recent video introducing the event earlier this month, Okou’s call-to-action when it comes to designer turnout is bold and direct: “tech agencies, design agencies and design studios, they need to be held accountable and they must participate in this”.

You can register now for this exciting free event, “Where Are the Black Designers?” taking place this Saturday, June 27th here.