We are in this with you—witnessing, feeling, and processing this critical moment in time. The actions of racists or those who suppress our friends, family, and colleagues in the black community will not be met with inaction by AIGA Arizona.
We are in this with you—observing the eruption of the #boycottAIGA movement, spurred by the lack of recognition by National AIGA for Antionette Carroll, one of the foremost leaders of racial equality. While our local chapter had no involvement behind this failure of acknowledgment by National, we sincerely express our firm and public stance that we do not support the way this was handled and would never contribute to stifling powerful voices. For background on AIGA Arizona’s support of Antionette Carroll and history of the chapter’s Diversity & Inclusion (D+I) initiative, see below.1
We are in this with you. In fact, you are the very reason we exist. The creative community is our lifeblood, and we will remain dedicated to its support, cultivation, and nurturing, no matter the societal challenge. We stand proudly with the black community. We stand proudly with Black Lives Matter. We stand committed to bringing a new focus to 2020, fueled by continuing on-going improvement, support, and unity within our Arizona creative community.
Here’s where we start:
- A board-wide D+I workshop, led by design, diversity, research, and strategy expert and past PHXDW speaker, to affirm our alignment and guide meaningful action on our board and in our community. Target workshop date in July.
- Reignite the Inneract Project in Tucson. The program partners with local design professionals to introduce underrepresented black and brown 6th grade students to a career in design.
- Amplify our communication channels with the voices of local and national black creatives. If there is someone you believe our state should know about and support, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send them our way via @aigaaz on social.
- Pledge to donate all net proceeds from any D+I event organized by AIGA Arizona to the presenter(s) choice of organization.
- Relaunch our Design for Democracy / Get Out the Vote advocacy efforts, to encourage voter registration and participation.
The time for long-term change is now. Our doors are open to your involvement.
As we navigate through this environment of pandemic, injustice, and outrage we cannot stress enough that our organization is fueled to act. Yet, we cannot do it alone. This is our call to the community for all good ideas and good people to participate.
We succeed as one. We evolve as one. We, at AIGA Arizona, are in this with you.
—AIGA Arizona Board of Directors
1AIGA Arizona was first introduced to the Diversity & Inclusion (D+I) initiative in 2015 at the National AIGA leadership retreat in Grand Rapids, Michigan. General sessions and breakouts led by Antionette Carroll, Founding Chair of the D+I Task Force, and Task Force Content Lead Carlos Estrada introduced concepts and methodology that were eye-opening to the organization.
As we collaborated through the workshop sessions, a new perspective and understanding began to develop. Our local board members worked with chapter leaders from all over the United States, brainstorming programs that could be conducted in our local communities. We returned to Arizona, eager to put plans into action.
We went straight to the source and invited Antionette to be a keynote speaker at Phoenix Design Week 2016. We continue to support and reference her groundbreaking work today. We established a D+I directorship position on the board and integrated D+I considerations into our event planning workflow for every event. We have also since continued to include D+I focused speakers and breakout track sessions at every Phoenix Design Week.