IBM Announcing title sponsorship of upcoming conference Black Design: Past, Present, Future

Oen Michael Hammonds
IBM Design
Published in
3 min readMar 19, 2021

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IBM Be Equal logo + Black Design: Past, Present, Future logo

IBM is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Texas State University Communication Design program to offer an exciting two-day virtual conference: Black Design: Past, Present, and Future. The April event will bring together aspiring designers, academic and industry professionals for select networking opportunities, career development workshops, and important panel discussions with leaders in the field.

What is Black Design: Past, Present, and Future?

On April 9–10, 2021, this 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.

The conference will also feature a career fair, which intends to connect numerous designers of color to employers who seek to hire them. The career fair’s success will be a targeted effort to increase diversity in professional practice. Simultaneously, the presentations will be a safe space where the intersection of race and practice overlap.

Why IBM as a title sponsor?

The frustration of racial inequity has been cast under a stark spotlight that no one can ignore, and the reality is, things aren’t going to change unless we take concerted steps to change them. Enough is enough. We have to do better. It is time we challenge the systems in place and design a better future.

IBM is committed to creating a culture of racial equity for designers at our company and across the industry. We envision a culture where Black designers and Black lives are respected, celebrated, and able to bring their full selves to everything they do.

Learn more about the Field Guide for Managers and Leaders from the Racial Equity in Design initiative

How will IBM show up to the conference?

Attendees of the conference will interact with designers from IBM who are slated to moderate sessions and participate on panels. IBMers will share what design means to the company, and you will also get an understanding of how IBM Design is contributing to the industry and fiercely acting upon Racial Equity in Design for all.

For the career fair, we will have representatives from multiple design roles available to network and answer questions from attendees. Students and professionals who are interested in roles at IBM, head over to ibm.com/employment.

What outcomes do we hope to see?

This conference is a great way for communities of designers to come together, to listen, learn, and take action. One of our biggest outcomes we hope to see is increased representation in the field of design — at IBM and everywhere else. We want for those who come from non-traditional paths to find they have opportunities in design and that their lived experience is valued. We want to learn from the past and for new systems and new ways of working to emerge that will have a positive impact on us as humans.

Registration is now open!

👉🏿 Register for the Conference
👉🏿 Register for the Career Fair: Students // Professionals

For questions: email Omari Souza at blackdesign@txstate.edu.

Other resources:
👉🏿 Learn more about Racial Equity in Design
👉🏿 Learn more about IBM Design
👉🏿 Check out last year’s event: State of Black Design

The above story is personal and does not necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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