Amazon Joins Coalition to Catalyze Racial Equity in Design

Diversify by Design (DxD) announced today that Amazon has joined the coalition as a foundational sponsor to help drive inclusion, diversity, and equity across the design profession.

DxD—a diverse group of organizations and individuals working at the intersection of design, education, industry, and equity —launched this past January with the goal of transforming the design industry by recognizing and addressing the extraordinary racial disparities within the field. To do so, the coalition focuses on five critical, interconnected aspects of the design ecosystem: youth exposure, education, experience, employment, and empowerment—in an effort to break down racial inequities, while building and expanding opportunities for people of color in the profession.

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Amazon’s support not only communicates, but more importantly activates, their commitment to addressing the lack of diversity in design at the systemic level.”— Andréa Pellegrino, CEO and Founder Impact Collaborative

The effort focuses on collaborating with DxD’s youth program partners to launch Design=, an experiential learning initiative focused on introducing design to youth from underrepresented backgrounds. Design= will give thousands of young people the chance to explore the world of design and connect with professional designers across disciplines, including Amazon’s design team.

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The initial phase of the three-year effort will focus on a series of workshops for middle- and high-school age youth. designExplorr—a Cleveland community-based organization whose mission is to diversify the design profession by delivering experiential workshops that expand access to and understanding of design education for youth—will develop and facilitate the 2021 workshops.

In 2022, in addition to increasing the frequency and reach of the workshops, a train-the-trainers module will be incorporated to help DxD’s youth program partners scale their impact.

DxD’s managing entity, Impact Collaborative, frames the relationship as a milestone for the coalition. “Amazon’s support not only communicates, but more importantly activates, their commitment to addressing the lack of diversity in design at the systemic level. Rather than investing in siloed approaches, Amazon chose to invest at the beginning of the design ecosystem, supporting the proven efforts and programming of those that have been creating pathways to design for youth from underrepresented backgrounds for years.” said Impact’s CEO, Andréa Pellegrino. “Their desire to learn from and build with DxD’s youth program partners has the potential to not only inspire and prepare the next generation of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous designers, it has the potential to radically change design as we know it.”

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