IDSA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Nov 9 2020 - 8:58am


The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is honored to announce the leaders of IDSA's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) for its first term:

ClayVon Lowe, IDSA – Co-Chair
Raja Schaar, IDSA – Co-Chair
Ayana Patterson, IDSA – Leader
Tracy Llewellyn, IDSA – Leader
Amanda Huynh, IDSA – Leader
Brian Skeet, IDSA – Leader
Ana Mengote Baluca, IDSA – Leader
Betsy Barnhart, IDSA – Leader
Anson Cheung, IDSA – Leader

Guided by the leadership team and supported by the larger, general Council, the DEIC will center on overdue improvements and long-term solutions within IDSA, industrial design education, and the industrial design industry in respect to many types of diversity—including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation.     

The DEIC aims to:

  • Significantly increase diversity and minority representation in IDSA's core programming, events, leadership teams, membership, publications, partnerships, awards, and scholarships
  • Develop new pathways and partnerships that will extend IDSA’s ability to support minority and low-income communities, and to increase access to industrial design education and professional opportunities
  • Be a catalyst in transforming the industrial design industry so that it better reflects our diverse country and world, and to dismantle the structural racism and inequities that permeate design and our communities

The DEIC also is set to partner with the repositioned Design Foundation on educational initiatives moving forward. 

If you would like to help, please email Virtual DEIC meetings will be held at the discretion of the DEIC Leaders on a continual basis.




Indigenous People's Day: An Interview with Brian Skeet, IDSA

From Nobl Collective:

Be Actively Anti-Racist: A Google Spreadsheet with resources for training, hiring, teaching, and more. 

Whether you’re a leader or not, Hold Your Employer Accountable for Racial Justice with this template from Rachel Cargle (Patreon account) 

Understand that “Maintaining Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot.” As Shenequa Golding writes, "I don’t know who decided that being professional was loosely defined as being divorced of total humanity, but whoever did they’ve aided, unintentionally maybe, in a unique form of suffocation."

From Deborah Lalush: 

VIDEO: "How to Give a Better Sweater" | In this TEDxTalk, Deborah Lalush, a recent industrial design graduate from North Carolina State University, shows us the hidden opportunities behind enabling people with disabilities while breaking down universal design.





  • Watch the recordings: Where Are the Black Designers? | held June 25, 2020 | Raja Schaar, IDSA and Chris Livaudais, IDSA spoke at this essential gathering of 10,000+ participants. We highly recommend watching the sessions made available at the link. 
  • Watch the event recording (for a limited time!): Black Designers Ignite | held August 27, 2020 | Jasmine Kent, IDSA and 29 more Black designers showcased their design work in this virtual event and shared about what it means to be a Black designer in America.
  • Watch the recording: Racial Barriers & Breakthroughs | held September 2, 2020 | On the 100th day since the murder of George Floyd, IDSA-Northern Lakes hosted this important conversation with designers Kirk Morris and Le'Spencer Walker, sharing the authentic journeys of people of color in the design industry. Watch the presentation, view the slides, and access more resources at the link.



  • Creative Reaction Lab | The 501 (c) (3) non-profit, founded by designer Antoinette Carroll in support of the uprising in Ferguson in 2014, is "building a youth-led, community-centered movement of a new type of Civic Leader: Redesigners for Justice."
  • NAACP's Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Also a 501 (c) (3) noprofit organization, founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1940, the LDF "seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans."
  • Color of Change | A 501 (c) (4) nonprofit, co-founded by Van Jones and James Rucker following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this racial justice organization works to "move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America."

Disclaimer: IDSA is not affiliated with these organizations and recommends that individuals conduct their own research before donating or engaging.


UPDATE: The Trump administration has rescinded its policy that would bar international students who only take online courses from staying in the U.S., a federal judge announced Tuesday, July 14 in Boston. 

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) stands with our international members, students, and community pushing back against ICE’s new policy.

On July 6, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a modification to the current Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). In short, the new policy would force international students currently enrolled at American colleges and universities offering exclusively online courses in the fall of 2020 to either transfer to a school offering in-person classes or depart the country.

The policy from ICE is in direct conflict to Article V of IDSA's Code of Ethics, which reads in part: "We will be responsible to design education by holding as one of our fundamental concerns the education of design students; by advocating implementation of sufficiently inclusive curricula and requiring satisfactory proficiency to enable students to enter the profession with adequate knowledge and skills..."

Actions you can take right now to protect international students:

Thank you to Priyankaa, Danielle, Women in Industrial Design ChicagoIDSA-Northern Lakes, and the student IDSA chapter at the University of Houston for sharing these links and more.

IDSA will continue to share resources as needed, reach out to educators, and speak up for the international student community.