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

Precious Wallace & Michael Sasorith
Precious Wallace & Michael Sasorith
Co-Directors of Diversity and Inclusion
Precious N. Wallace is the owner and creative of King P. Studio and Art In Many Forms. She is a true creative both from childhood and being professionally trained. Precious is on a mission to give a voice to women of color creatives and those alike, while providing knowledge to those are creating more thought leadership around art.

Michael Sasorith is the Lead Designer at ArcStone, a digital agency in Minneapolis. He is also a Board Member for The SEAD Project, a nonprofit organization based in Minnesota that focuses on helping members of the Southeast Asian community connect with their heritage and amplify their narratives to thrive, mobilize, and heal. He graduated with his BFA in Graphic Designer from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. His professional focus is on web, UI, and UX. His skills extend to a variety of design disciplines — including print, brand and identity, and type design. He is also an illustrator who strives to make Lao/Lao-American culture more visible and amplify narratives from the Southeast Asian community. His passions include racial equity, culture, and identity.