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T. Moses, L. Mercer

T. Moses, L. Mercer


Racism Untaught is focused on cultivating learning environments for people both in industry and in academia to further explore issues of race and racism, from the obvious to the invisible. It provides a reason for why it is necessary to create a framework for identifying, contextualizing, and re-imagining forms of racialized design. It is imperative that design educators and organizations possess the tools necessary to foster conversations and learning environments with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Racialized design will be analyzed through conversations focused on the ethics of knowing, shared vocabulary, and identifying racialized design on an international stage. The ability to identify and discuss the overgeneralization of historically powerless communities is imperative to guide the social shift in participatory design. Through the use of community agreements and a sharing of vocabulary, this conversation will allow participants to: 1) speak to their own social experiences with racialized design, or 2) convey knowledge and validation of said experiences. The learning of a shared vocabulary narrowing in on multiple elements of racialized design would enable collaborative partners from multiple disciplines to change patterns, working together to deter the continuum of this overgeneralization.

Terresa Moses is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the Creative Director of a design studio, Blackbird Revolt. Her design research interests include; Project Naptural: Black natural hair and its effects on the self-identity of Black women, empowering marginalized and underrepresented communities, racism in graphic design, and rewriting denigrating social narratives. She serves on the executive boards of the Duluth Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Clayton Jackson McGhie MemorialCommittee, and AIGA Minnesota as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion.

Lisa Mercer is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Co-Cordinator of Graphic Design for the School of Art and Design, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She is the founder of Operation Compass, an ethnographic research study concerned with developing design-led interventions to combat the complex social issue of human trafficking. Her research is focused on creating new design frameworks by developing, executing, and analyzing social innovations to impact change. She has been published and invited as a keynote speaker focused on her work with Operation Compass and has also been featured on the National Public Radio (NPR) shows Texas Standard, Illinois News Rooms, All Things Considered, and Sirius Radio.