Dear AIGA Nebraska Members & Community,
In July 2020, we promised to work towards changing the DNA of our organization to increase diversity and inclusivity and to build equity (DE&I). We pledged to review and revise our board composition and to engage paid professionals to help us embark on the learning and training we need to better combat the issues surrounding systemic racism, white supremacy, and oppression in our organization and in the design community. In September, we paused all programming so that we could set aside the time and effort necessary to this process. We still have a long way to go, but we’d like to update you on some of the steps we’ve taken and our plans for the coming months.
One of our goals is making sure that our board is serving the correct individuals and organizations in our community and giving them a greater voice. To that end, we’ve changed the way the board is structured so that every board member has a vote and a say in how we move forward, regardless of their role. In addition, more committee positions are available to member and non-member professionals and students. Committees include governance, DE&I, education, membership, programming, communication, in-house, and external partnership. The committees will be chaired by board directors and open to any volunteer participation. We hope that this will help open AIGA to more diverse voices and perspectives.
Our local board is still majority white, and we’ve been actively trying to recruit Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) from the community. Many roles on the board and in these committees remain open. Please contact us if you want to get involved or know someone in the BIPOC community that would be a good fit.
We’re excited to share that we’ve engaged the services of k+r strategies, an Omaha-based “collaborative, majority Black-owned change navigation firm that centers equity and justice”* to help guide us through antiracism, sensitivity, and DE&I training. Founders Katherine MacHolmes and Rachel Grossman will lead us through a workshop designed to reframe our organization, goals, and values so that we can move forward within a solidly antiracist framework. We can’t wait to get started on these months of training, led by local women of color.
As part of our anti-racism training with k+r, we sent out a survey to all our members to home in on where we need to focus our attention and energy. We truly want to be more representative of our community and become more inclusive in our reach. Your opinions matter and we’ll be looking forward to hearing what you think.
As always, please reach out to us any time with questions or comments.
The AIGA Nebraska Board of Directors
If you are interested in supporting our local efforts we invite you to be a part of this change.