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Texas State University

Texas State to host virtual State of Black Design Conference

Inside TXST

Jayme Blaschke | April 2, 2021

"black design" in white text on purple background

The Common Experience along with the Communication Design Program at Texas State University will present the State of Black Design Conference April 9-10, in partnership with IBM.

The theme of the conference is "Black Design: Past. Present. Future." Attendance is available at no cost to students and young designers, but advance registration is required at www.txstate.edu/blackdesign/registration.html.

The two-day virtual conference will provide networking, development and career opportunities for young designers, with a focus on student designers of color. The event will be split into four categories: Honoring Our Ancestors, Honoring Our Present, Honoring the Diaspora, and Honoring Our Future. Presentations will offer a safe space at the intersection of race and practice.

Career Services will present a designer-focused career fair on Friday, April 9, to connect numerous designers of color with employers who seek to hire them. The career fair represents a concentrated effort to diversify and promote inclusion efforts in professional practice.

Honoring Our Ancestors, explores design pioneers and unsung heroes. The opening speaker will introduce the panelists as well as their generation’s obstacles of practice. This introduction will lead to a moderated panel discussion among design pioneers and closes with a speaker who connects those pioneers’ influence with the work of today’s industry.

Honoring Our Present, will focus on current thought leaders and pioneers in industry today. This panel will explore current trends and issues, as well as advice for design aspirants.

Honoring the Diaspora, will highlight the global reach of black designers. The opening speaker will explore the Black diaspora and some of the subjects investigated by non-American designers. This panel will unpack African influence on the design industry and what decolonizing design means to foreign designers. The second half of the discussion will feature design pioneers, current design thought leaders and foreign designers. A few questions will follow to create parallels and bridge the diaspora.

Sponsors include Adobe, Civilla, AIGA, Texas State's College of Fine Arts and Communication and the School of Art and Design.

For additional information about the conference, visit www.txstate.edu/blackdesign or contact Omari Souza in the School of Art and Design at blackdesign@txstate.edu.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922