Introduction to the Design & Equity Speaker Series (January 18, 2021)

The three events that comprise the Design and Equity speaker series will be one way (among several) that the O’More College can, and must, respond to historic underrepresentation within our disciplines. For far too long, this problem has contributed to discrimination within our fields, excluding populations from design education, occupations, and services, which have been left less vibrant and relevant because of this exclusion. Yet we are heartened by the recent sea change in public awareness to systemic bias, and seek opportunities to respond to these overdue calls for equity. Differences that distinguish each of us make all of us more creative. Not only should we recognize those differences, but we must value them and counter forces that traditionally interpret them as reasons to prohibit diverse populations from joining our classrooms, professions, and communities.

We were intentional about planning this inaugural event to coincide with the holiday that celebrates the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Consider these words that he wrote over sixty years ago:

True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.

I am committed to the belief that all of us are gifted by God with creativity, insight, and potential to help envision, design, and realize communities that are more equitable—and thus, more peaceful. I am so grateful to be part of the O’More community, which recognizes our need for change and our capacity to make change: especially our students who are the future. With an aching recognition of the need for all aspects of society to be imbued with greater equity, we embrace the power of design—and of designers—to make the world more beautiful and more just.

Again, thank you for joining us tonight, and for joining us in this important work.

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