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SF Design Week is coming but it is NOT business as usual

San Francisco Design Week stands with our Black colleagues and community who are facing and overcoming challenges during this time.

Collectively, we need to do better and take action to help our fellow citizens who face social injustice. While we don’t have the answers, we realize we have an opportunity: at its core, San Francisco Design Week is a platform for the voices of our community.

We are about to convene online with thousands of talented individuals who are all passionate about design—to harness the power of
design to do better. It’s an opportunity to come together, participate in honest discussions, and work together towards a better future
for all.

We don’t have all the answers, yet this is a start

With the continued lack of equity in our society and acts of violence and racism against Black citizens with the state-sanctioned murders of George Floyd, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Michael Brown, Stephon Clark, as a community we still have significant work to do. We’ve taken some time to pause and look closely at our own practices to be more intentional in supporting our Black design community. While we’ve taken actions to make sure more Black designers voices are heard, we recognize it’s still falling short and are working to resolve this by reaching out to designers who we don’t hear from enough. Beyond this, there are still many areas where we can do better. For one, we intend to strengthen our guidelines for Community Organizer participation in the festival to make sure events on our website are more inclusive and represent more Black voices. We acknowledge these shortcomings and will continue to evolve SF Design Week as a platform for all the voices of our community.

When promoting your event or SF Design Week

  • Please acknowledge the challenges our Black design community is experiencing and offer your support. This year’s festival is NOT business as usual, let’s not go about business as if we’re unaffected. We have a platform and the voices to bring about change. Let’s use it! #notbusinessasusual #sfdesignweek #SFDW
  • It’s not too late to elevate the voices of our Black community by making space on your speaker list

  • Let us know, and we’ll update your page and send them speaker credentials. Alternatively, if you know of someone who’s voice should be heard, make introductions and we’ll offer them space to speak during design week.
  • We continue to offer free tickets to those in marginalized or underserved communities sponsored by Google

  • Please share this link with organizations you support and are doing important work or your colleagues who are struggling due to layoffs or other challenges.
  • Donate to organizations doing important work

  • There are many worthy organizations to donate to during these times so choose one that resonates with you. We recommend Inneract Project for the impactful work they do empowering the Next Generation of Black and Brown Designers
  • Take some time to unlearn today

  • Words of wisdom from Schessa Garbutt @the_schessa, Founder of Firebrand Creative House: “You may have made some mistakes and missteps in the past, but words like these aren’t meant to make you afraid to act. You are not cancelled. This is a part of the work, the learning and unlearning that we’re doing together, without ego.”
    Read her Medium post on why Black Lives Matter is Not a Design Challenge
  • Let’s do better

  • If you have ideas on ways we can support your studios actions or need resources please reach out to us. Whether it’s day-to-day business or hiring practices or client work, now is the time to review our systems and make changes to how we operate.
  • On behalf of the SF Design Week Team, we look forward to
    welcoming you next week.

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