IBM Design is committed to creating a culture of racial equity for designers at our company and across the industry. We envision a culture where Black designers and Black lives are respected, celebrated, and are able to bring their full selves to everything they do. We unequivocally declare Black Lives Matter.
We in IBM Design, from leadership to individual designers, believe the change we effect will positively impact Black designers who need our focus now. We acknowledge that systemic racism targets other groups and the work we do can also effect change for them. We strive toward creating a design industry where people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, religions, ages, abilities, orientations, social classes, and cultures are met with equity.
We all carry implicit biases, which are the unconscious attitudes that shape our understanding and actions. They are with us all the time and make their way into our work. We recognize and acknowledge our biases, practice humility, and retain a continued commitment to learning about ourselves and others. As we design, we mitigate bias by incorporating diverse perspectives through co-creation with those who have a range of lived experiences.
Collaborate with people of all talents, perspectives, and insights to create better solutions that truly represent the people we design for.
An equitable future requires deliberate, sustained, antiracist action. We take actions as individuals every day to stand against racism, so that over time, we change mindsets and build a culture of racial equity. We balance creating a safe and inclusive workplace for all IBM designers by respectfully meeting colleagues where they are in their journey to practicing antiracism.
Advocate, partner, and support colleagues through inclusion in teamwork and opportunity, practice clear and empathetic communication, and speak up against racism and microaggressions.
Leadership requires promoting and holding ourselves and our IBM Design community accountable to our racial equity values in our workplace and design industry. We take responsibility as individuals and as a community for using restorative practices that emphasize building healthy, trusting workplace relationships. We lead though implementing equitable hiring, ethical technology, and influencing other organizations to uphold human-centered values and effect change.
Practice leadership by promoting racial equity values, standing up, speaking out, and proactively designing an equitable future.
We are transparent in acknowledging how historical racial and social injustice has resulted in the status quo, and we use data to expose and break down systems of oppression. Research enables us to make decisions with data and evidence, and uncover insights that can drive stronger narratives of change that support racial equity. We practice design research in such a way as to understand systemic problems, inform our actions, and measure our impact.
Seek out deeper understanding through antiracist research practices and methods to decolonize design and address the inter-generational trauma of white supremacy.
Racial inequity is the result of pervasive societal systems that were built over many centuries to promote white privilege. Yet systems of oppression cannot simply be fixed—they need to be reimagined. We engage in comprehensive, sustained action at the individual and community levels to rethink the status quo and design an equitable system.
Challenge the status quo—raise awareness, ask questions, and remind colleagues. Incorporate equity into each iteration and get it on those roadmaps.
History, arts, and culture
- The 1619 Project (The New York Times Magazine) — Examine United States History through the lens of the Black experience starting from slavery.
- Equal Justice Initiative — Learn about the history of race in the United States from this organization focused on protecting the most vulnerable people in society.
- Schomburg Center’s Black Liberation Reading List (NY Public Library) — Explore books related to Black history, arts, and culture.
Healing from racism
- Cultural Somatics Training and Institute — Take a course to learn about Racialized Trauma and how to address it.
- My Grandmothers Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem — Explore the concept of Racialized Trauma.
- Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (W.K. Kellogg Foundation) — Discover a process that promotes community healing from racism and supports actionable change.
Take antiracism action
- The Antiracism Activation Kit — Get practical guidance on how to enact antiracism.
- How to be antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi — This #1 NY Times Best Seller challenges readers to think about how they can contribute to creating an antiracist society.
- Leverage Points by Donella Meadows — Learn about strategy for effecting social change from this MacArthur Fellow.
- Project Implicit (Harvard University) — Take an Implicit Association Test (IAT) to explore your potential bias.
- Racial Equity Tools — Find resources to support racial equity work.
- Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center) — Learn how to talk about anti-bias with children and youth.
Social justice movement organizations
- Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc. — Become informed about this global organization actively working in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada to address white supremacy and violence against Black communities.
- NAACP — Learn about this organization that was founded in 1909 and played a historic role in the United States Civil Rights Movement.
Design + tech
- Black Designers: Forward in Action Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV (PRINT) by Cheryl D. Holmes-Miller — Learn about the history and current state of Black designers.
- IBM Design for AI — Learn about AI and related ethical guidelines.
- Tech Can [Do] Better — Participate in this community to work toward polices that improve the experience of Black employees in the tech industry.
- What does it mean to decolonize design?: Dismantling design history 101 (AIGA Eye on Design) — Read one perspective on the meaning of decolonization in context of design.