Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
About the task force
Task force members support to the initiative by raising awareness, offering guidance to the organization and its members, and by participating in purposeful dialogues and activities.
The Diversity & Inclusion task force is organized in four action-oriented committees:
The programming development and implementation committee, led by AIGA/NY member Stacey Hanako Sundar , acts as the resource to produce new models for innovative, targeted programming that can reach out to new audiences, and easily replicated at chapter level, or as templates of good practice for grant submissions.
The content and awareness committee, led by AIGA Atlanta Maurice Cherry , sources relevant information relating to diversity and inclusion in design, collects insights and raises awareness in D&I stories, challenges and successes for the underrepresented in design.
The education and community committee, led by AIGA LA Jessica Arana , explore partnerships with educational institutions and community and minority-based organizations interested in design education, diversity and inclusion.
The guidance and support committee, led by AIGA Dallas Gus Granger , reviews members’ concerns that pertain to D&I issues and representation, aiming to diffuse potential biases. This group will provide a set of best practices and time-sensitive expert recommendations both for chapters and for the AIGA office when facing communications crisis.
Meet the task force
Jacinda Walker, AIGA Cleveland (@magentaprints)
Jacinda is a designer, entrepreneur and instructor who proudly calls Cleveland home. Her work ranges from publications to research and event management. She earned her A.A.B. and B.F.A. in graphic design from the University of Akron. Currently, she is pursuing an M.F.A. at The Ohio State University in Design Research & Development. Her focus is the lack of diversity in design disciplines and what is an effective tool to expose African-American and Latino youth to design-related careers. She proudly mentors young designers on portfolio presentation, professional development and career planning.
Antionette Carroll, AIGA Saint Louis (@acarrolldesign)
Antionette is the founder and executive director of Creative Reaction Lab, a social enterprise cultivating creative leadership to improve the human experience through immersive challenges. Throughout her career, she has worked for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion nonprofits—with her last position being head of communications for Diversity Awareness Partnership. She currently serves as president of AIGA Saint Louis and also sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national nonprofits. (Photo by Attilio D'Agostino and Faces of the Movement)
Claudia Aparicio-Gamundi, AIGA Austin (@bodega_visual)
Claudia has a mouthful of a name, and she pronounces it with such pride and bravado you'd think Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata were whispering in her ear. She is an eclectic pop culturist who will send you images from a Spanish design firm's portfolio and listen to a 1970s Charro record while explaining the history of her vintage furniture. Claudia is currently designing at Sanders/Wingo Advertising and is sole proprietor of Bodega Visual Estudio as well as one third of Puro Chingón Collective. She also serves on the AIGA Austin chapter board as volunteer director and programming chair.
Jessica Arana, AIGA Los Angeles
Jessica is an independent designer and passionate storyteller with an insatiable curiosity for brand, company, and social culture. She has a multifaceted background in art and design with a BFA from SVA and MA (with distinction) in Ethnic Studies. Her double thesis project (written and creative) focused on multiracial identity and creative strategies for crossing and challenging racial boundaries. Her interests in culture and identity, social justice, Latina/o art, and girl-centered activism set her apart as a designer with passion and purpose. Jessica was born in México, trained in NYC, and is now based in LA.
Nida Abdullah, AIGA Atlanta (@0nidaabdullah)
Nida Abdullah is a Pakistani-American designer, educator, and researcher currently teaching at the Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Her research focuses on extending the participatory design process, examining how design can work with people in their communities rather than on the behalf of people. Nida earned her B.G.D. and M.G.D. from the College of Design at NC State University.
Andrew Bass, Jr., AIGA New York (@StraightDesign)
Andrew Bass, Jr. was always a creative thinker. Whether drawing elaborate scenes of alien invasions, superhero fights, or dinosaur stampedes, he just seemed to know that he’d grow up to be a storyteller. Andrew received a BFA in Communication Design from the Pratt Institute and has worked for companies like Essence, McGraw-Hill, CMP Media and Nielsen Business Media. Presently, he works for RIMS, the risk management society as Art & Production manager for their member publication, Risk Management and runs Straight Design, LLC, his freelance design consultancy.
Maurice Cherry, AIGA Atlanta (@mauricecherry)
Maurice is the editor-in-chief of Revision Path, host of the Revision Path podcast, and curator of 28 Days of the Web. He is also principal at Lunch, a multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta, and the founder/chairman emeritus of the Black Weblog Awards. Maurice has taught courses on web design and WordPress for Mediabistro, DeVry University, and other institutions. He was named one of Atlanta’s “Power 30 Under 30″ in the field of Science and Technology by the Apex Society, and one of HP’s “50 Tech Tastemakers” in conjunction with Black Web 2.0.
Aldrena Corder, AIGA South Carolina
Aldrena is the creative director for the Communications Division at the South Carolina Bar. A graduate of Columbia College of South Carolina, she is also a design freelancer with primary clientele among non-profits and community service-oriented businesses. Aldrena is the owner of the Etsy shop Handmade in South Carolina by drenie, where she creates a variety of crafts. Currently, she is studying design as a graduate student at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Aldrena lives in Columbia, the state capital, with her husband and two young children.
Carlos Estrada, AIGA West Michigan (@estradaworks)
Carlos Estrada is an information designer for Herman Miller, translating data driven processes into infographics and creating digital books and layouts within Office 365. He serves as diversity director for AIGA West Michigan with a background in publishing, packaging and branding. He values risk, commitment and collaboration to create lasting relationships and results. Living on the lakeshore of West Michigan, he also enjoys working on stage as an emcee and comic.
George Garrastegui Jr., AIGA New York (@ggarrastegui)
George is a passionate educator, designer, and a creative catalyst. A proud native New Yorker, he often looks to the city’s rich history and culture for inspiration for his work. With an extensive background in publishing and marketing, he has crafted creative solutions for Popular Mechanics, Esquire, Cadillac, and Ford. When not teaching creative strategy at CUNY’s New York City College of Technology, George focuses on personal projects and initiating discussion on the creative process. George lives by the belief that you are not a designer because it’s your job, you are a designer because it’s who you are.
Gus Granger,AIGA Dallas/Forth Worth (@gusgranger)
Gus is the founding principal of 70kft, a brand communications firm located in downtown Dallas. Under his leadership, the firm has served such major client brands as Verizon, HP, Haier and VMware. He has been involved with AIGA at the national and local levels, serving as president of AIGA Dallas/Fort Worth and locally leading the Design for Democracy Initiative. His work has been recognized by AIGA, Adobe, Architectural Digest, Communication Arts, DSVC and both the London and New York Flash Film Festivals.
Phim Her, AIGA DC (@phimher)
Phim is a Hmong-American refugee who is interested in using art and design-thinking to impact sociocultural innovation. She is a senior designer on the POLITICO FOCUS and Audience Solutions teams at POLITICO. Phim graduated from Syracuse University, where she studied creative advertising from the Newhouse School and political science and policy from the Maxwell School. When she is not storyboarding and designing, she is leading design workshops, connecting creatives in the DC design scene, and working on diversity and women empowerment initiatives.
Gaby Hernandez, AIGA Houston (@gabyhl26)
Gaby is a design researcher and professor who concentrates on social design, design for development, visual storytelling, and multidisciplinarity, and has significant international experience working with disadvantaged communities in México and Costa Rica. She earned her MFA in Graphic Design and Certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. Her scholarly and creative activities include articles, national and international conference presentations, and design work in branding, editorial, illustration and information design.
Dian Holton, AIGA DC (@dianholton)
Dian is a deputy art director at AARP and a part-time visual/brand associate for GAP Inc. Her background includes publishing (print/digital), integrated marketing, branding, retail installation and styling. She currently serves on the AIGA Washington DC chapter board as the Mentoring and Design Continuum Fund director. Her passions include education, philanthropy, fashion and pop culture.
Tim Hykes, AIGA St. Louis (@timothyhykes)
Tim is a design student at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He is an extremely creative designer/developer who believes in "diverasign," an idea that diversity in design can lead to meaningful and innovative approaches in strategic design thinking and design craft. He has interned for Answers.com and Spoke Marketing and freelanced for Lincoln University of Missouri and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Tim is currently working on increasing his talents and understanding of design problem solving.
Kelly Knaga, AIGA Chicago (@kellyknaga)
Kelly is a designer, professor, farmer and artist who homesteads part-time on an acre of land just outside Chicago. When she's not teaching at IU Northwest, Kelly serves as an advocate for Chicago's creative community and arts education through her work as the director of communications for AIGA Chicago. She also sits on the EPIC Board of Directors and is content director for the Hike Conferences. She is slowly fulfilling her dream of hiking every single U.S. National Park and is always up for a great adventure.
Julio Martinez, AIGA San Francisco
Born in México City, Julio started his career at Pentagram working on branding, print, packaging, exhibition and web design. He is a co-founder and creative director at studio1500, a design firm based in San Francisco that focuses on brand development and building collaborative relationships with clients large and small. His clients include the San Francisco Arts Commission, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and the Computer History Museum. He joined the Graphic Design Faculty at San José State University in 2010 and began serving on the AIGA San Francisco Board of Directors in 2012.
Marq Mervin, AIGA Jacksonville (@marqmervin)
Marq Mervin is a designer, TEDx speaker, and educator. Marq earned his BFA at Jacksonville University and his MFA at the New York Institute of Technology. He focuses on visual identity development, working with small-businesses and clients like WJXT-TV Channel 4 News. While at WJXT, he developed graphics and animations for their award-winning documentary, Challenger: A Rush to Launch. He is currently a Professor of Digital Media at Florida State College at Jacksonville and the Social Media Director of TEDxFSCJ. Marq’s passion is advocating for diversity and representation in arts education.
Nakita Pope, AIGA Atlanta (@brandingchicks)
Nakita is the owner and chief chick of Branding Chicks, a boutique branding and graphic design firm in Atlanta. She helps women make their dreams come true by giving their brands voice and life through strategic marketing and design. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with businesses large and small as a graphic designer, marketer, professor and brand expert. These experiences provided a pathway to creating Branding Chicks, which specializes in marketing for women-owned businesses and brands whose primary target market is women.
Jasvir (Jesse) Singh,AIGA Mineapolis (@jsinghmpls)
Jasvir is a designer, entrepreneur, and tech evangelist. He is a multifaceted designer that loves a challenge. He is a first generation American, biracial, and the first in his family to get a Master’s degree in Leadership and one of the first to obtain a Bachelor’s degree; both from Augsburg College. As a Master’s student he focused on creative leadership and innovation. He finds passion in helping people navigate the cryptic waters of purpose and self. Community involvement is huge for him. Two entrepreneurial concepts that he took from cloud to concrete are Minnow Trap Media and Dijay Singh.
Jason Stevens, AIGA Boston (@commoncontent)
Jason is a creative strategist and project manager who transforms ideas into experiences, products and services. As a strategist, his style is defined by a combination of thinking broadly, a willingness to embrace uncertainty and an eye for recognizing patterns. As a project manager, he approaches the creative process with a knack for team building, a willingness to pivot when necessary and the discipline to preserve core values. Starting out as an engineer, Jason had to discover the Boston creative community to follow his passion for design.
Stacey Hanako Sundar, AIGA New York (@staceysundar)
Stacey is an emerging designer with a background in healthcare who studied communication design at FIT. She has had many successful collaborations with leading nonprofits such as the Brooklyn Hospital Foundation, the Door and University Settlement, the Reading Reform Foundation, and Control Arms. She recognizes the need to increase diversity in the design industry and is dedicated to bringing marginalized voices to the forefront in order to create a more equitable society.
Nekita Thomas, AIGA Chicago
Nekita is a designer, educator, and conversationalist. Valuing authenticity and collaboration, she believes that cross-cultural and cross-generational dialogue is key to achieving sound approaches to diversity and inclusion in design and beyond. Particularly interested in highlighting the voices of underrepresented communities, her work ranges from environment design to design research and curriculum development. She has worked for education institutions and various non-profit organizations that focused on diversity and inclusion, and now teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.