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 serves as design communications strategist at Fog Creek Software, a company dedicated to creating products that enable every person and every team to make thoughtful, useful software. Before Fog Creek, Maurice was principal and creative director at Lunch, a multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta, GA.

These days, Maurice is perhaps most well known for his award-winning podcast Revision Path, which showcases Black designers, developers, and creators from all over the world. Other projects of Maurice’s include the Black Weblog Awards, the Web's longest running event celebrating Black bloggers, video bloggers, and podcasters, 28 Days of the Web, and The Year of Tea.

Maurice is the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from AIGA and was also named as one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” in 2018.