AIGA NY Community Update: Fall 2020

AIGA NY
3 min readOct 30, 2020

Hello AIGA NY Community,

Four months ago, our Executive Director wrote to you about anti-racism, community and our path to rebuilding. Since then, we have been listening to our community, re-envisioning our chapter, and working on the changes we need to move forward as a part of AIGA.

As a volunteer board, we are stewards of the New York chapter and our local design community. We’ve discussed, debated, and considered many paths forward for AIGA NY. We are determined to take the most responsible and effective one, and right now we believe that is to focus on our own chapter, advocating for the changes that we’d like to see from all of AIGA, and building a coalition of community support to help guide us along the way.

Who is the AIGA NY Board?
We are small business owners, freelancers, full-timers, educators, caretakers, and members of the New York design community. We serve as volunteers in two-year terms.

What we’ve been working on
Listening and learning from you all to inform what we work on next.

  • We have been discussing writings and statements by Black people in the design community in New York, across the country, and over time. These lived experiences reveal patterns of racism within AIGA behavior, culture, and leadership on the national and chapter level.
  • We have been learning from the work of purpose-driven design communities that center marginalized people, focus on justice, and challenge harmful power dynamics.
  • We conducted a survey where 184 people in our community shared their concerns and calls for change. If you participated, thank you. We will be following up with the results in a future update.

What We’re Working On Next
Structural changes

  • Building equity directly into our chapter’s mission statement and bylaws to share in February 2021
  • Formalizing our governance with a focus on more transparent and accountable decision-making processes
  • Programming events with a renewed focus on inclusion and the needs of the current moment

Community work

  • Creating a new code of conduct for our chapter and community
  • Building a coalition of stakeholders with shared goals
  • Continuing to work with educators on urgent resource needs for students

Better communication

  • Establishing more open communication about the board’s work, planning, and process
  • Improving the ways we ask for feedback and insights from the community
  • Sharing quarterly community updates about our deliberations and the rationale for our decisions moving forward

We know this work is hard and change is necessary and long overdue. Our job is to serve you all and advocate for a more inclusive, just, and equitable design community.

We want to hear from you. Send us your questions and notes at questions@aigany.org.

Thank you,
The AIGA NY Board
Chelsea Goldwell, President
Khoi Uong, Vice President
Victor Ng, Treasurer
Stacey Panousopoulos, Executive Director
Lyanne Dubon-Aguilar
Hanah Ho
Jane Kim
Caspar Lam
Kat McCord
Elliot Salazar
Isabel Sierra Gómez de León
Janet Esquirol Sylvan
Ken Tanabe
Isabel Urbina Peña
John Rudikoff, Legal Counsel
Jennifer Kinon, Emeritus

Grid of headshots of the aiga new york board and executive director

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AIGA NY

AIGA NY • Professional Association for Design, New York Chapter