Where are the Black designers?

The topic of racial diversity in the graphic design community has been going on for well over 20 years. The intensity ebbs and flows, but the premise is the same: what can we do change the makeup of the graphic design community so it reflects the multicultural world we live in?

Let’s look at what we know. Design-driven companies in Silicon Valley like Twitter report only single-digit percentages of American employees of color. Design conferences and smaller events promise to do better every year after unveiling speaker panels with majority white speakers. And between magazines, podcasts, and other media, the field of design can look like it’s only created for and by a certain group of people.

How do we fix this? Can we fix this? And what’s the overall benefit of diversifying the design industry? I explored these questions and more in this video based on my recent SXSW presentation titled “Where Are The Black Designers?”

AIGA’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative encourages diversity in design education, discourse, and practice to expand the future strength and relevance of design in all areas of society. There are lots of different ways you can get involved. See how you can contribute, volunteer, or add your voice to the conversation.

About the Author:

Maurice Cherry is the founder and principal at Lunch (formerly 3eighteen media), a multidisciplinary studio in Atlanta, GA that helps creative brands craft messages and tell stories for their targeted audiences, including fostering relationships with underrepresented communities. Past clients and collaborators include Vox Media, NIKE, Mediabistro, Site5, SitePoint, and The City of Atlanta.

Maurice is a pioneering digital creator who is most well-known for the Black Weblog Awards, the Web’s longest running event celebrating Black bloggers, video bloggers, and podcasters. Other projects of Maurice’s include the award-winning Revision Path28 Days of the Web, and The Year of Tea. His projects and overall design work and advocacy have been recognized by NPR, Creative Market, Upscale MagazineEBONY, HOW Design, News One, CNN, AIGA, Creative Bloq, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, and The Los Angeles Times.

Maurice is also an educator, and has built curriculum and taught courses on web design, web development, email marketing, WordPress, and podcasting for hundreds of students over the past ten years. Maurice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a Masters degree in telecommunications management from Keller Graduate School of Management.