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Why is Diversity and Inclusion Important?

Through a national AIGA initiative to address the fact that 93% of our profession is Caucasian and overwhelmingly male, all chapters (including AIGA Nebraska) were charged with finding ways to bring inclusivity and equity into our creative industry. AIGA NE is committed to being a leader in this effort through creative problem solving and advocacy, and by developing impactful solutions to the societal issues we face.

Embrace
When we understand the complex realities of a lack of diversity within our design industry and what that means in our teams, how it shapes the creative perspective, the professional experience, and the audiences we interact with, we can start to implement improvements that will create equity over time.

Engage
When we initiate and foster opportunities through collaboration with individuals, schools, and the community, to identify our greatest challenges, we develop ideas that initiate change.

Empower
When we incorporate meaningful dialogue with human-centered design, we create empathetic experiences that transform those ideas into actions with impactful and measurable results.

 

There are times to listen and learn, and there are times to take action

Speakers
AIGA NE will continue to host well-known speakers from both the design and diversity and inclusion spaces and hold panels and workshops to discuss the issues of equity as they impact us and our world at large. Past design and diversity speakers include: Carlos Estrada, Antionette Carroll, Timothy Hykes, Jessica Arana, and Robyn Kanner.

 


Education
Through our summer Creative Mentor Tour program, we connect with minority and underserved students who have historically been provided fewer opportunities to explore viable career paths in the arts. By partnering with local agencies, design firms, tech companies, and in-house teams, AIGA Nebraska aims to introduce, inspire, and encourage middle school and high school students to consider becoming creative professionals in the future.

Professional Development
In our 4-part Bias Busting lunch and learn professional development series, we are raising awareness, sparking conversations, and initiating action by exploring how our environments and experiences create and reinforce biases and can affect our perceptions, decisions, and interactions. We get to the heart of the issue when we understand why we make the choices we do and start to implement changes in our behavior, both personally and professionally. This creates a more inviting workplace and community that allows anyone, regardless of their age, gender, gender identity, physical abilities, religion, body size, or sexual orientation, to contribute and innovate without hesitation or fear. We also get to explore the city and support locally owned restaurants as well!

Building Empathy
Together with the Omaha Public Library, we host The Human Library. This popular global event is designed to connect people who wouldn’t otherwise cross paths. Individuals with diverse life experiences act as human books and can be ‘checked out’ for conversations. It’s an opportunity to connect with others, share stories, ask questions, and challenge biases through open and honest dialogue.

 

2018 Diversity and Inclusion Calendar

Spring – Stefan Bucher | Mentor Workshop at Omaha North High School

Summer – Bias Busting | 4-part lunch and learn series all about bias and how it affects us personally and professionally
Session 1, Bias Basics
Session 2, Bias in the Workplace
Session 3, Bias in Networking
Session 4, Bias in Design

Summer – Creative Mentor Series  | students from Partnership4Kids tour Omaha Steaks and Hayneedle

October 17Human Library with the Omaha Public Library, at the W. Dale Clark Main Library from 4-7pm

 

Get Involved

If you are interested in working with AIGA Nebraska to create positive change in our organization and throughout our community, contact our Director of Diversity, Cathy Solarana, to find out how to become more involved at diversity@nebraska.aiga.org.

 

Interested in supporting our Diversity and Inclusion efforts?

Our goal is to make all our Diversity and Inclusion events free to the public. However, there are still expenses. Contributing to our D&I efforts would enable us to increase the number of free events, expand the promotion of events with posters and flyers, give out promotional materials to expand awareness, and provide snacks and beverages to the volunteers. All contributions are greatly appreciated and used efficiently to bring the best experiences to the public. Contact our Director of Diversity, Cathy Solarana, to find out how to sponsor or donate at diversity@nebraska.aiga.org.

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