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 New York member George Garrastegui Jr, 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 Detroit member Carlos Estrada, 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 Jacksonville member Marq Mervin, 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 DC member, Dian Holton, 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 150x150Jacinda 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.

Chair Emerita

Antionette Carroll 150Antionette 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)


Task Force

Jessica AranaJessica 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-headshotNida 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.


A-BassAndrew 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.

Lucy BennettLucy Bennett, AIGA Atlanta (@you_love_lucy)
Lucy is a designer, writer, and proud Atlanta native. She has a background in fine art and design, and earned her BFA in Design from Georgia Southern University. Projects include curating a top independent wedding publication, founding an online community for dog owners, and building an online home for a coral-reef saving international non-profit. She currently is the senior designer for AMAC Accessibility, whose mission is to provide equal access to information, products, and services for people with disabilities. In her spare time, Lucy is an amateur seamstress, prop maker, and cosplay enthusiast.

Sue BohorquezSue Bohorquez, AIGA Rhode Island (@SueBohorquez)
Sue Bohorquez is a senior graphic designer for the Rhode Island Department of State and, recognizes that government can have a positive impact and play a vital role in improving citizens’ lives. She believes that meaningful design has the power to influence people and help them stay informed—empowering them to lead and inspiring them to get more involved. Sue is an advocate for the Rhode Island's creative community serving as committee member of Design Week RI. Her interest focuses on user experience and examining how design can create social impact.

Aldrena Corder 150x150Aldrena Corder, AIGA South Carolina (@AldrenaIAm) 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 instructor at the college. With primary clientele among non-profits and community service-oriented businesses, she also serves as a mentor to young design professionals in her community. Aldrena earned her MFA in graphic design from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her thesis work Little Brown Girl: Essays on the Influence of Black Womanhood in Visual Communications (and Vice Versa) is featured in the Print Magazine’s 2017 Regional Design Annual. She has presented at AIGA's Design Education Conference, and has served as a judge for AAF’s (Augusta, GA) ADDY awards. Aldrena lives in Columbia, the state capital, with her husband and two young children.

Carlos Estrada 150x150Carlos Estrada, AIGA Detroit (@estradaworks)
Carlos is a design entrepreneur with a passion for education, inclusion, and racial equity within the design industry. Carlos balances his time working as an information design consultant for Herman Miller, a creative director at Vias Latino Marketing, a community catalyst with Public Agency, and a WMCAT project and keynote speaker and educator. He has served two terms with AIGA West Michigan as their Diversity & Inclusion director, and currently serves as AIGA Detroit's VP of programming. He values risk, commitment, and collaboration to create lasting relationships and results.

George-garrastegui-headshotGeorge 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 150x150Gus 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-headshotPhim Her, AIGA DC (@phimher)
Phim is a Hmong-American refugee who uses art and design-thinking to impact sociocultural innovation. She is a marketing solutions manager at the Washington Post, where she leverages her marketing and creative storytelling expertise to support democracy and the free press. Phim is an alum of POLITICO, as well as Syracuse University, where she studied creative advertising and political science and policy. When she’s not storyboarding and designing, she is leading design workshops, mentoring creatives in the DC scene, and working on diversity and female empowerment initiatives.

Gaby-Hernandez-headshotGaby Hernandez, AIGA Gainesville (@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 150x150
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 150x150Tim 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 150x150Kelly 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 150x150Julio 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-headshotMarq 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 150x150Nakita 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.

Jesse-Singh-headshotJasvir (Jesse) Singh, AIGA Minnesota (@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.

Nekita-Thomas-headshotNekita 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.