DID Turns 2: Reflecting & Celebrating Two Years of Progress
This week, DID turns two. DID’s second anniversary marks two years of impactful work to foster an inclusive environment that nurtures growth and promotes long-lasting change. We are celebrating by reflecting on our progress and looking forward to what’s next for DID.
WE ARE PROGRESSING TOGETHER
As we celebrate this milestone, we want to give a special thanks to our members. Our members are the heart of DID. Their dedication and creativity are the driving forces behind everything we do. We are progressing together.
DID has grown from 19 to 60 members, which is a more than 200% increase since its launch. This membership is amplified by 35 additional companies that joined the DID ‘network’ a group committed to advancing DEI across multiple design industries and sectors. To build shared values – a strategic pillar within DID - we hosted educational network programs that explored anti-racist design, best practices for hiring and retaining Black creatives, and psychological safety in the workplace.
“I am passionate about increasing diversity among those pursuing careers in design. So, I am excited by the number of DID members that are collaborating to expose diverse youth to the design industry. I am confident that a more diverse design community will create products and services that are more representative of the people who use them. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue a career in design regardless of background or ethnicity and I am committed to continuing the work with DID to make this a reality,” said Cortnie Squirewell, design thinking catalyst and DID Member, Ford Motor Company.
"I am confident that a more diverse design community will create products and services that are more representative of the people who use them,” said Cortnie Squirewell, design thinking catalyst and DID Member, Ford Motor Company.
WE ARE UNLEASHING OUR POTENTIAL
By engaging individuals from our 60 member companies in the day-to-day efforts that support DID’s initiatives, we are unleashing our potential. Coming together with collaboration and innovative thinking, these individuals are taking intentional action to fulfill our commitment to create an equitable design industry.
DID has more than 250 active participants from member organizations across 36 U.S. locations. These active participants plan impactful events, facilitate student design discussions, amplify DID messaging and so much more. Their efforts are organized under 13 workstreams that intentionally target gaps in talent pathways for Black creatives by empowering and retaining current Black designers and inspiring young creative minds.
“Working with DID is, frankly, the most important work I do. I have a broad impact on improving conditions for Black creatives in the design industry, which is aligned with my personal priorities and ethics. I have been fortunate to work with dedicated team members to build the internship and mentorship programs to give meaningful opportunities to aspiring diverse creatives,” said Vicci Baigrie, Chief Operating Officer and DID Member, level.
“I have a broad impact on improving conditions for Black creatives in the design industry, which is aligned with my personal priorities and ethics,” said Vicci Baigrie, Chief Operating Officer and DID Member, level.
WE ARE EMPOWERING BLACK CREATIVES
By bridging the gap between talent and opportunities, we are empowering Black creatives. DID crafts programming that exposes teens to the possibilities of a career in design, providing opportunities for college students to gain meaningful work experience and creating safe spaces for current Black creatives to network.
DID reached more than 600 Detroit teens at 3 Designed By youth design fests. At the youth design fests, students learned about the design industry from 90 diverse facilitators.
DID also connected more than 1,000 diverse creatives in Detroit and Austin at Beats+Bites+Backgrounds, a first-of-its-kind networking experience for Black creatives. Additionally, the newly launched college program offers internships, mentorship, portfolio reviews, and more to aspiring Black designers.
“My involvement in DID connects my heart, hands and head to efforts that aim to diversify the field and practice of design. I take pride in supporting DID’s college programming because I have been able to learn and understand the barriers that can hinder students from continuing their design education. I got to hear about the experiences of design students and professors and work with the DID team to find avenues of support,” said Halima McWilliams, associate principal, HR Operations & Culture, and DID Member, Corgan.
“My involvement in DID connects my heart, hands and head to efforts that aim to diversify the field and practice of design,” said Halima McWilliams, associate principal, HR Operations & Culture, and DID Member, Corgan.
LOOKING FORWARD TO WHAT’S NEXT
We recognize that the journey towards a truly diverse design industry is ongoing. In the coming year, DID will continue to build upon its progress and develop innovative programs and resources that shape a future where Black creatives thrive. Follow along on our Instagram and LinkedIn.