To foster a diverse and inclusive design community, AIGA West Michigan established a Diversity & Inclusion Director position as well as a full committee in 2014. Since then, the D&I Committee has developed AIGA WM’s vision, mission, and objectives regarding diversity and inclusion, and facilitated several activities and events to support that organizational commitment. These actions, along with the committee’s diligence, has helped foster necessary conversations and introspection within the chapter regarding diversity & inclusion.

All though much work has been done, there is still much more work to be done. Together the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Board of Directors are creating an action plan based on the current vision and mission, and measurable action steps will be developed to help the chapter achieve its objectives.

On April 25, Shavon Doyle-Holton, Senior Consultant at Inclusive Performance Strategies, and member of the D&I Committee, facilitated a board-wide discussion on how to gain a clear understanding of member perspectives on D&I, and how members want and need to be supported.

Over the next three months AIGA WM leadership will focus on achieving the following objectives:

  1. Obtain perspectives on the chapter’s progress regarding D&I from its membership:
    1. Conduct a chapter-wide survey and/or listening to gather perspectives from members regarding the chapter’s progress, to understand the current demographics of chapter membership, and to obtain insights on members’ successes and challenges with D&I regarding their own professional spaces. This information will be utilized to inform action steps and enhance programming and other chapter resources. The inquiry of this survey will be informed by board discussion, and will be finalized by the D&I Director and committee.
  2. Know and understand chapter leadership’s capacity to support D&I commitment moving forward:
    1. Conduct a survey for all directors to complete to capture perspectives on the chapter’s progress regarding D&I to date, in addition providing personal reflection on individual capacity to support D&I.
    2. Facilitate a full-board session to discuss board and membership surveys and obtain further qualitative feedback regarding chapter progress and the board’s capacity to support diversity and inclusion. This is an opportunity to unearth any “confirmations and contradictions” to identify strengths and opportunities for growth throughout our chapter.
  3. Utilize this information to develop a D&I strategic action plan over the next 1 – 2 years.

Though we’ve taken the first critical steps in demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion as a chapter, we know we have much more work to do. Your voice is critical to this conversation and we look forward to your input. If you would like to be more involved in this conversation or have any questions please reach out directly to anyone on the Board of Directors.