‘In order to create a change, we need to work together’.
The death of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests that we’ve witnessed over the last few months has been a wake-up call for us. We acknowledge that our industry, like many institutions, has a history of elitism and is currently far from diverse; the UK Design Council reported in 2018 that 88% of the UK designer managers were White. There is a lack of representation of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities in many capacities within the industry, including, but not limited to, design events and networking.
We know that the design industry is yearning for change, and that we, as members of this industry must play an active part in facilitating it. On a personal level we admit that our events up until now have had a largely white following, and we subsequently failed to question this at the time. We accept that now is the time for us to make proactive changes, and we have been looking at ways to continue this work moving forward.
We are therefore pleased to have taken the Design for Diversity Pledge as developed by Rukmini Patel and Kate Watson-Smyth. As Rukmini explains, The Pledge ‘is a first step to working towards a diverse design industry and giving brands, businesses and bloggers a guideline on areas they can work on.’ The initiative is solely reliant on brands and businesses taking personal responsibility for their impact on changing the landscape of the design industry to better accommodate and represent BAME creatives.
We will be proudly displaying the ‘sticker’ on our website as evidence of Concept North’s ongoing support and commitment to broaden the opportunities of BAME creatives in the North West. Concept North was built on the vision of developing a welcoming and supportive community, therefore all people, irrespective of gender, race, creed or sexuality are welcome at our events.
Concept North are proud to champion creatives from the North West at our events throughout the year. We will strive to include a diverse range of panellists at our events, regardless of their race, gender, creed or sexuality. We will ensure that our events remain accessible to all, ensuring our guests are also from a range of social and cultural backgrounds. As such, we welcome feedback and suggestions for improvement from our guests.
We recognise that this initiative is self-regulated, and as such we welcome feedback from you – our followers, guests and event panellists – if you feel that further improvements are required.
In addition to this, we wanted to share some resources which we have been reading, listening to and watching over the last few weeks. We hope that you will join us in absorbing the lessons and experiences told, which up until now have been largely dismissed.
Streaming on Netflix
When They See Us
Dear White People
For more information on the Design for Diversity initiative and The Pledge, please visit either rukminipatel.com, or madaboutthehouse.com. You can also find Rukmini and Kate on Instagram.