Event description

Maurice Woods, co-founder of Inneract Project and Principle Designer at Microsoft talks with us about recent events, the work he’s doing with Inneract Project and where do we go from here?

About Inneract Project

Inneract Project empowers underrepresented youth through design education and links them to opportunities to explore design in career and life.
Inneract Project (IP) serves primarily middle and high school youth who identify as Black, Latinx and/or of low-income backgrounds. A professionally-supported organization, IP offers a pathway of free design classes and initiatives, in order to introduce youth to the field of design and help channel their creativity into viable career paths.


We believe that by developing pathways to the field of design and providing professional mentorship, we can boost student success, ultimately leading to an increase in diversity in design and technology. To achieve this, we engage practicing designers and other professionals to teach students about their respective disciplines.

Over 15 years we have been developing our program ecosystem to bring Black and Brown youth from middle school to a career in design.


IP’s vision is to bring design to more communities and increase Black and Latinx representation and leadership in technology and design by enabling a pathway of skills, resources and opportunities necessary to learn about and work in the field.

Theory of Change:

Our theory of change is to (1) provide nationwide classes with hands-on learning exercises to teach design, collaboration and critical thinking skills, (2) partner with design professionals, schools, community groups, companies and stakeholders in design and technology, (3) support multi-stakeholder networks and existing advocates to influence diversity practices and strategies, (4) share statistics and diversity approaches through research and communications, and (5) help provide access to educational and work opportunities for racially and economically diverse communities, then IP and its partners can substantially contribute to an increase in diversity in the fields of design and technology, which will create a better representation of ideas in new and existing businesses.

IP Founder:

Maurice Woods is the Executive Director and Founder of the Inneract Project (IP).

Born and raised in Richmond, CA, Maurice began his career as basketball player, playing professionally worldwide for 7 years to graduating from the University of Washington with a BFA and MFA in Visual Communication Design.

He created Inneract Project to bring design and youth from underserved communities together and ensure that people of color are supported and represented in design fields. What began in 2004 as a grassroots effort to teach design has become an organization, unwavering in its mission.

Since then, Maurice has served as Co-Chair of Education for the AIGA San Francisco and nationally as a Board of Advisor for the Diversity Archive Collection Exhibition, receiving the AIGA San Francisco Fellow Award in 2016 and the Jefferson Award. Professionally, Maurice has worked as a designer at the world’s largest independent design consultancy, Pentagram Design. He designed extensive identity, retail, exhibit and interactive programs for clients such as Nike, Greyhound, Symantec, Priceline.com, and Google.

In addition, Maurice currently works full-time as a senior designer at Microsoft.

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