Board Update: Diversity & Inclusion Workshop

In efforts to be more transparent and better represent our community, we would like to share our board meeting notes each month. In hopes with anyone who is interested can get involved, share critiques, state concerns, and more.

Please reach out to us on social media or email at info@pittsburgh.aiga.org.

This month, we did not have our normally scheduled board meeting. The board of directors and committee members participated in a Diversity & Inclusion training workshop with Jacinda Walker from DesignExplorr.

D&I Training Workshop:

The workshop involved a presentation, large group discussions, and small group activities. The overall goal of this training was to help chapter leadership explore what diversity and inclusion means to us and our community, transform that into a statement, and develop strategies for implementing and activating it. 

Presentation

Terms

Diversity, Inclusion, Access, Racism, Ally, Intersectionality, Bias, Microaggressions, Privilege, Equity 

Key Points 

You cannot have inclusion, if you don’t have diversity.

A true understanding of diversity moves beyond the typical considerations such as race, gender, and age. It is difficult to gauge an individual’s diversity traits simply through observation or other perceptions. 

Diversity is like fresh air, it benefits everybody who breathes it.

Our role as an ally is to acknowledge our privilege, share our access, and be purposefully inclusive. 

In situations that involve racism, silence is malignant. Those who stay silent become complicit in the retelling of racist ideas.

Group Activity Questions

Each group was tasked to answer the following questions:

  • What is diversity to ME?
  • What aspects of diversity and inclusion are important for our group?
  • This group defines diversity and inclusion as:
  • How might we define diversity and inclusion for our chapter?
  • How might we intentionally implement diversity and inclusion in our chapter?
  • How might we purposely activate diversity and inclusion on our chapter?

The group will follow up with Jacinda to get her input and guidance on the chapter’s plan for D&I strategies and practices. 

About Jacinda Walker

Jacinda is renowned for her work in diversity, design research and strategy. She has helped clients including Amazon, Adobe, Kellogg and others with their diversity recruiting strategies. She has led design thinking and community design education workshops for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Boys and Girls Club and numerous AIGA chapters.  From 2016-2018, Jacinda served as the national chair of AIGA’s Diversity & Inclusion task force. She earned her A.A.B. and B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of Akron. In 2016, Walker obtained her M.F.A. in Design Research & Development with a minor in Nonprofit Studies from The Ohio State University. Her thesis, Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines, has been widely hailed as a breakthrough work. This research explores diversity in design disciplines and investigates effective strategies to expose African-American and Latino youth to design careers. Jacinda is a strong advocate for young people and proudly mentors several design students on portfolio presentations, professional development and career planning. Walker’s future goals are to help scale diversity in design education initiatives for corporations, school systems, educational organizations, and museums for underrepresented youth.

Currently, she is the founder and creative director of designExplorr, an organization that operates as a social enterprise to address the diversity gap within the design profession. DesignExplorr’s mission aims to design a diverse future by expanding access to design education for youth and raise awareness for corporate organizations. This work is done through collaborations that develop youth activities, coordinate diversity-building initiatives, and connect stakeholders to resources. Log onto designExplorr.com to learn more about our work developing youth activities and establishing design education initiatives.