A Campaign Exploring the Diversity, Inclusion, and the Accessibility of Design

The AIGA Minnesota’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee feels strongly that our organization must begin to question the status quo in relation to the diversity, inclusion, and accessibility of our industry and our organization. We believe the #DoBetterMN campaign can begin revealing disparities in our industry, increasing our knowledge of these issues, and broadening our cultural fluency. Through these goals, we can begin to change the societal oppressions that plague our industry today. Simply put, we can do better. 

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  –Maya Angelou

Our First Campaign: Privilege

Privilege is an advantage granted to someone because they fall into a dominant group of society. While racial privilege is one of the most prominent forms, privilege shows up in many different ways such as economic status, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, citizenship, education, and even working style.

Privilege exists due to social constructs, which is neither the fault of the person who benefits from it or those who do not. We cannot control privilege, but we can control how we show up in our communities and use our privilege to positively change the spaces and systems in which we exist.

Our first campaign, Privilege, was done in partnership with Cultural Fluency Associates LLP. The group also facilitated our privilege training and continues to work with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee on best practices to further the chapter’s cultural fluency.

Privileged Phrases

“Yea but, I worked hard to become the person I am today.”

While hard work is a factor to success, it is not the only one. One of the hardest aspects of privilege is accepting it as a determining factor in your success.

“Yeah but, I don’t see color.”

Not seeing color fails to validate the discriminatory experiences that people of color face everyday. In fact, it emphasizes privilege to not think about race.

“Yeah but, we are all part of the human race.”

Although we are all human, racial discrimination continues to exist. Ignoring the experiences of marginalized communities is a benefit of privilege.

“Yeah but, I’m not rich.”

Although individuals may not be rich, acknowledging benefits gained through societal constructs is the first step to cultural fluency.

“Yeah but, I don’t think of you as [Black, Asian, Latino, or Native].”

Ignoring the cultural background of an individual does not validate their experiences, it disregards their uniqueness.

Future Campaigns: Diversity & Representation

In our next campaign, we will explore what diversity means and why it is important in our lives; both personally and professionally. We will look at phrases like “Yeah but, I hire based on talent” or “It’s Minnesota, there aren’t a lot of creatives of color” and why these perpetuate the system of exclusion and oppression.

Get Involved

If our campaign seems like something you want to support with your time and talent, join the AIGA Minnesota’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Contact Leadership

Terresa Hardaway
Terresa Hardaway
Directory of Diversity and Inclusion
Terresa Hardaway is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Department of Art & Design. She graduated with her BFA in Fashion Design and minor in African-American Studies from the University of North Texas in 2008. After completing her BFA, she worked as a graphic apparel designer for over six years at a sports agency before going back to UNT to complete her MFA in Design Research with a minor in Anthropology in 2015.

Terresa’s 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 currently serves on the executive board of the Duluth Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the chair of the Young Adult Committee and recording secretary. She serves as the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for AIGA Minnesota, currently leading the committee on a campaign about “privilege.” Terresa is also the co-founder and creative director of a design studio, Blackbird Revolt, which uses art and design to create conscious messaging and works with a number of organizations that are effecting social change.