The goals of EMERGE 2.0 are to achieve AIGA strategic core values of leadership and social impact. By partnering with the Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, we can facilitate an inclusive outreach dialog amongst all chapters, members, and prospective members that supports the well being of our communities and encourages civic engagement. We aim to provide empowering experiences that demonstrate the value and benefits of being an AIGA member to those we have not yet reached. We likewise strive to offer accessibility and awareness of the design profession as well as leadership development opportunities to all.
– Jenny Price and Katrin Loss, AIGA National EMERGE Program Founders
Why is it important to support Diversity & Inclusion practices when advocating for emerging designers?
The journey to a design career can be met with great success or considerable struggle. In “Designing for Diversity: Implications for Architectural Education in the Twenty-First Century,” Dr. Kathryn H. Anthony suggests that in order to guarantee long-lasting and continuous improvement in design disciplines, schools and organizations must stretch beyond affirmative action requirements to promote a climate that values differences and manages diversity. This accounts not only for color and ethnicity, but also consideration for religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, socio-economic status, political affiliation, and geographic location. Developing diversity-building initiatives will improve industry experiences for novice designers, ensuring that they meet greater career success and create more opportunities throughout their journey. When thinking is inclusive, it enhances creativity and the ability to generate more ideas and better solutions—which in turn activates the ability to be innovative.
Bridging the gap between seasoned professionals and emerging designers is crucial; however, the case becomes even more critical for designers in underrepresented communities as we examine the lack of diversity in the design profession. In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of 908,000 designers, 227,000—or one quarter—identified as African American, Asian, or Latino. This, along with the increase of minority populations reported in the U.S. Census Bureau for 2040, indicates a very real likelihood that many emerging designers will come from underrepresented communities.
– Jacinda Walker, Chair, AIGA Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
THE CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS IN OUR SOCIETY FURTHER SUPPORT THE NEED FOR INCLUSIVE PRACTICES:
The U.S Census Bureau reveals the following:
19 percent of the United States population reported that they had a physical and/or intellectual disability when polled by the 2010 Census.
By 2020, Millennials will account for 46 percent of the workforce.
Between now and 2050, 85 percent of U.S. population growth will come from groups of color.
EMERGE STRONG, WITH EQUITY FOR ALL.
Through a powerful partnership, AIGA’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force aims to:
- Assist the EMERGE 2.0 team in developing more inclusive tools, programs, and activities for increased engagement with emerging designers from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds.
- Offer EMERGE 2.0 programs, resources, and tools in targeted D&I TF communities, schools, and other organizations.
- Increase voice and representation for underrepresented and underserved emerging designers.
- Create a better sense of community for underrepresented and underserved designers within the AIGA network.
- Further the mission of the initiative by creating more opportunities for AIGA to demonstrate their commitment to underrepresented and underserved designers.