Skip to Content
Texas State University


April 9-10, 2021

Black Design

Past. Present. Future.

Presented by IBM

The Intersection of Race and Practice

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. Presentations will offer a safe space at the intersection of race and practice. The conference will also feature a career fair.

Career Fair

Career Services will present a designer-focused career fair on Friday, April 9, to connect numerous designers of color with employers who seek to hire them. The career fair represents a concentrated effort to diversify and promote inclusion efforts in professional practice.

Honoring Our Ancestors

The first category, Honoring Our Ancestors, explores design pioneers and unsung heroes. The opening speaker will introduce the panelists as well as their generation’s obstacles of practice. This introduction will lead to a moderated panel discussion among design pioneers and will close with a speaker who connects our pioneers’ influence with the work of today’s industry.

Honoring our Present

The second category, Honoring Our Present, will focus on current thought leaders and pioneers in our industry today. This panel will explore current trends and issues, as well as advice for design aspirants.

Honoring the Diaspora

The third category, Honoring the Diaspora, will highlight the global reach of black designers. The opening speaker will explore the Black diaspora and some of the subjects investigated by non-American designers. This panel will unpack African influence on the design industry and what decolonizing Design means to foreign designers. The second half of this discussion will bring in some of our design pioneers, our current design thought leaders, and foreign designers. A few quick questions will be asked to create parallels and bridge the diaspora.

Honoring Our Future

The conference's Career Fair will connect attendees with employers who seek to recruit designers of color. Partnered employers will participate in virtual information sessions, potential mock interviews, portfolio reviews, and design challenges. The goal is to create a catalyst moment in diversifying the field of Design.

Attendance Is Free

Texas State University presents this conference at no cost to students and young designers — all of it made possible by corporate sponsorships and individual donations to the State of Black Design Event Excellence Fund.