AIGA believes design can enable social justice

AIGA and the entire design community are deeply hurt and outraged when fissures in society erupt in bias, hate, and violence as they did last week in a series of tragic shootings. Equally distressing is the pattern these shootings represent. Designers by nature, instinct, and training are committed to enhancing understanding ​and empathy​ through their talents, and are motivated by the opportunity to enhance the human experience. We believe in respect for the individual and social justice for communities, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives last week. We stand against violence targeted toward any community—and we recognize that African-Americans have had to bear a significant portion of this burden.

Leaders from all sides are responding by calling for reconciliation and healing. As a profession, we must use our unique talents to continually strengthen and serve our diverse society. This tragedy not only calls on us as creative professionals, but also as citizens of a remarkable, multicultural world who are capable of making the complex issues clear and facilitating dialogues to generate empathy.

While we encourage every designer to work within their community to overcome misapprehensions and misunderstandings that can lead to pain and violence, AIGA is also committed to offering solutions and support to our 70 chapters who want to bring their design thinking skills to this pervasive issue. Let’s use our strengths to develop tangible engagement tools and generate new, productive conversations. We cannot be silent.

We are inviting chapter leaders, and anyone else interested, to participate in a virtual Town Hall led by AIGA national board member Ashleigh Axios, AIGA Saint Louis president Antionette Carroll, AIGA members, as well as representatives of the Design for Good, Diversity & Inclusion, and Design for Democracy task forces. Let’s bring together the lessons from the string of national events that have, and continue to affect Ferguson, Raleigh, Orlando and other communities. If you're interested in participating in this event or future Town Halls, let us know here.

Thank you for your commitment to social justice and equity for all.

Julie Anixter, executive director
Su Mathews Hale, president of AIGA national board of directors