A design profession that reflects the rich diversity of our society

Transformation of the design industry begins by recognizing the extraordinary racial disparities within the field and addressing them head on.

That’s why D×D focuses on five critical, interconnected aspects of the design ecosystem: Exposure, Education, Experience, Employment, and Empowerment. D×D tackles these inequities by elevating proven program models and co-creating new initiatives only where solution gaps are present.

Through deep collaboration, D×D partners bring the solutions, people, and resources required to activate measurable, systemic change—change they would be unable to deliver on their own.

How we got here won’t move us forward.

The design community and those who rely on and benefit from it have lamented the “whiteness” of the industry for decades, but done too little to seek direction and support from those at eye level with the challenges. Instead, solutions have been created from the very purview that created the problems, with many organizations deploying top-down approaches to solve for their own internal issues, rather than creating a pathway for large-scale change.

For decades, Black and Brown designers have shared powerful stories that reveal the obstacles they’ve faced (and continue to face) in developing and applying their talents: lack of opportunity, awareness, access, advancement, support, inclusion, and empowerment. 

Simultaneously, many have been doing the hard work of developing resources and programs to circumvent these obstacles, yet haven’t received consistent support to make the impact that’s needed.


A committed coalition

Common obstacles to meaningful action on pervasive social issues include knowing where to start, what to build, and how to maintain focus over time.

That’s why D×D employs a coalition framework to break down racial inequities across the design industry. By bringing together organizations that are at eye level with the challenges faced—and companies, agencies, communities, and institutions committed to being part of the solution—sustainable, large-scale change is possible.

Cross-sector collaboration

The coalition is fueled by the experiences of bold leaders from the public, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors who work together to shape best practices and advise the coalition’s priorities.

Coordinated response

Central to the success of D×D is a team focused on achieving the goals of each initiative and measuring the impact over time.

Societal impact

D×D’s activities and initiatives are intent on accelerating the diversification of the design industry, resulting in products, services, systems, environments, and experiences that are relevant, accessible, and available to everyone.

Why does D×D exist?

We’ve seen the fallout of well-meaning programming that unintentionally (and in many cases, unknowingly) erases the efforts of those at eye-level with the problems, needs, and solutions. Our commitment to elevating the work of our program partners, who are already in the business of effecting change for people of color, is the cornerstone of the coalition.

Together, the coalition builds and manages collaborative, coordinated, effective efforts that move us towards a more diverse and inclusive design profession.

Align partners to effectively address each step of the design journey
Share best practices and resources
Help scale proven program models
Co-create new programs to address solution gaps
Execute plans by driving accountability
Measure impact qualitatively and quantitatively
Determine entry and expansion points

Each member of the D×D coalition brings their strength.

Our advisors shape the coalition’s priorities.

D×D’s dedicated advisors define, prioritize, and help develop what the coalition works on from the lenses of their lived experiences.

Partners bring this work to life.

It takes a village. D×D is a coalition of partners comprised of grassroots and community organizations building social justice solutions; corporations, agencies, and associations committed to the hard work of creating diverse, equitable, inclusive workplaces; and educational institutions and nonprofits focused on engaging the next generation of designers. Each partner supports, informs, and/or activates D×D priorities.

Our managing entity handles the day-to-day.

Behind the scenes of the coalition is Impact Collaborative, a women-owned social innovation firm that develops and orchestrates the advisor and partner network, as well as the D×D initiatives that emerge from the coalition’s work. The firm provides strategic guidance; research and planning; program facilitation, implementation, and measurement; as well as holistic communications planning and execution. This frees up partners and advisors to focus on what they do best—apply their expertise, influence, and resources towards achieving D×D’s shared goals.

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