Valuing diversity in design and tech with Inneract Project

Diversity in design and technology leads to more creative, innovative, and profitable solutions—in our industry, community, and in the world that surrounds us. But when we examine the personnel of our profession, it’s apparent we’re far from parity. In 2015, only six percent of U.S. graduates in design fields were African American and only 10 percent were Hispanic. Once in their careers, the statistics become even grimmer, with a representation of two percent and four percent respectively.

Our goal for this event was to address diversity challenges head on, to openly discuss why they exist and create a forum around solutions. The goal of the discussion was to try to provide new ideas and perspectives, while also rallying our community of designers, engineers, educators, and students around this important issue.

The event, a little over an hour long, is a poignant discussion that aims to provide insights that may be leveraged to influence corporate diversity programs, and positively affect change along the lines of a more inclusive industry.

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About the Author:

Maurice Woods is the Executive Director/Founder of the Inneract Project (IP). He created Inneract Project’s design education framework which serves as the program’s core curriculum. As executive director, he provides leadership for volunteer staff, helps set organization and education policy and develops IP’s strategic vision. He has dedicated his life to bringing design and youth from underserved communities together and insuring that people of color are supported and represented in design fields.

Maurice graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA and MFA in Visual Communication Design. He played basketball as an undergraduate and professionally worldwide for 7 years. Since graduating, he has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at multiple colleges, lectured nationally and internationally and contributed to various media outlets including the Wall Street Journal.