Applying the strategies of LaTosha Brown, Stacey Abrams, and Nse Ufot in the 2020 Georgia Elections and Senate runoffs to the design thinking practice

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

What is design? Many think of design as purely aesthetic or functional products, but design is actually solving problems. The implications for problem-solving reach far beyond developing innovative tools, like rideshare car apps, but also include essential democratic processes, like casting a vote.

As a Black female designer, I watched in amazement as voting rights activists LaTosha Brown, Stacey Abrams, Nse Ufot, and other nonpartisan BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) organizations shattered voter suppression for Black and Brown communities. …


Providing resources, offering acceptance, and involving people of color are keys to making your company more diverse

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Here’s a common scenario: I attend a panel about the future of design and tech. During the talk, the panelists give many insightful, provocative answers to the various topics up for discussion. However, whenever they are asked about diversity and its impact on the future of the industry, the panel goes silent. Finally, one panelist changes the topic to “diversity in thought” in the workplace, and the conversation continues.

The phrase “diversity in thought” is a relatively new invention that perplexes me. Diversity in thought is the idea that our strategic thinking and perspectives are formulated by our culture, experience, and background. So to avoid homogeneous thinking and ideas and craft better solutions, an organization must recruit and hire people with multiple perspectives. Sounds like straight-up diversity, creating a workplace where people of different ethnicities, genders, abilities, etc., are represented, right? But in my experience, “diversity in thought” is used as a cop-out, a way to hire, for instance, two white guys who come from different hometowns and have different hobbies and thus are “diverse.” …


Lessons learned from a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in the design community

Image for post
Image for post

Only 20.1% of designers in the United States are people of color. Yes, you’re reading this correctly. When you break it down further, 8.9% are Asian and 5.1% are black or African American. By 2040, over half of the U.S. population is expected to be made up of people of color. It has become imperative for us, as designers of color, to both create products and services that acknowledge those diverse backgrounds and recruit individuals reflective of that cultural mosaic into the design profession.

I’m not new to the friction that comes with being part of the ethnic minority. In college, I was the only black person in my design classes, and I struggled to see my identity reflected in the curriculum. I studied on weekends to become a UX designer, often encountering the bias, the micro and macroaggressions, that peers from underrepresented communities face daily — all the while living under the pressure to exceed perfection and fit in with white cis male colleagues. …

About

Arielle Wiltz

Arielle is a Senior Experience Designer at Morgan Stanley, formerly an Interaction Designer at frog Design. There, she bootstrapped and founded frogMentors.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store