In the US, black people are often viewed as inferior because of the color of their skin. Passed by in society as less than, or ignorant due to systemic racism and social biases that often depict black as the race to immediately question, suspect, fear and demean. As a result, police brutality against Black Americans has become a sore topic of conversation that many are afraid to address for fear of retaliation by non-black adversaries. Imagine if you lived in a country where being black got you killed for shopping (George Floyd), jogging (Ahmaud Arbery), driving (Philando Castile), selling CDs (Alton Sterling), yelling (Tony Robinson), parking (Markeis McGlockton), wearing a hoodie at night (Treyvon Martin), holding a phone (Stephon Clark), sitting in a car (Michael Brown), having a toy gun (Tamir Rice), sitting in a van (Freddie Gray), having a broken taillight (Walter Scott), and sleeping (Breonna Taylor). This. Must. End.
We have been absolutely disgusted and utterly heartbroken to watch recent racially charged events unfold, demonstrating the abhorrent and vicious treatment of the Black community in America. At AIGA Hampton Roads, we believe in the power of individuals to create great things — and we also believe in the power of individuals to create great change. If we as a creative community can amplify the voice of design, we can create the vision for a future without. It is all of our responsibility to take action to dismantle the systems of oppression and racism, and today we are sharing AIGA Hampton Roads’ commitment to do more.
We’re Committing to Change
AIGA Hampton Roads will start by donating $250 to two local Black owned non-profit organizations to work towards reforming our social justice system and alleviating racial inequality in the US.
- The Contemporary Arts Foundation, an organization located in Newport News and helmed by talented artist Asa Jackson is dedicated to engaging communities of Hampton Roads through artist development, arts education, and public art projects.
- The Urban League of Hampton Roads, founded in 1978, with a mission to assist African-Americans and others in the achievement of social and economic equality. Their mission is to enable African Americans and others to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.
As your AIGA Hampton Roads board of directors, we have made a pledge to continue to build and develop partnerships with these organizations, through volunteerism and partnerships. We are determined to support diversity through advocacy and action. We are going to continue to make it a priority to promote and provide visibility for Black creatives, their voices, and platforms to enact change.
AIGA Hampton Roads has always been a place where all can thrive and achieve their full potential, without bias and other unfair processes that hinder success.This is an incredibly difficult and emotional time for many, especially our Black colleagues. We recognize that we cannot focus on outward change without first looking inward. And we can’t seek to overcome racial injustice on our own. We will all need to work together to affect permanent change. The change we all need to see won’t happen overnight — it will take a committed and concerted effort. We support and stand in solidarity with our Black community.
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