2018 Summer Convening

Toward an Antiracist Art & Design Field

How can we construct an antiracist art and design practice? How do our curriculum, research practices, and models reinforce or dismantle problematic racial hierarchies? What role does simply occupying space play in this endeavor?


The Antiracist Classroom is a student-led organization at the Art Center College of Design. We’re a group of mostly graduate and undergraduate students, some staff and faculty, who are committed to cultivating racial equity in art and design education, research, and practice. This event is centered around people, practices, works of art and design, and spaces that seek to embody or enhance racial equity. We see racial equity as the condition of freedom from racially determined experiences and life outcomes, as derived from an intentional and meticulous dismantling of white supremacist frameworks that undergird the institutions in which we operate.

Design is touted the world over as a force for global transformation and speculation. Meanwhile, many institutions of design—schools, firms, city offices, nonprofits, and more—still fail to imagine and form themselves into institutions that veritably unsettle age-old racial hegemonies and grapple with what it takes to right an obviously imbalanced ship.    

The purpose of this convening is to provide a series of opportunities for young creators—of color, especially—to engage with and through art, design, media and/or technology. We aim for the content to ignite and sustain a movement toward a more racially equitable, informed, and carefully-considered practice and lifetime learning environment. Participants will be able to actively:

Take up Space.

Occupy physical and virtual space with social events, media, objects, works of art and design, installations and experiences that provoke dialogue, challenge the norm and inspire views of race and equity that we don’t typically encounter in our fields.

Construct a Counter-Canon.

Equip more artists / designers of color [and become equipped themselves] to produce and document art, design, media, technology and writing that contributes to a counter canon or forces the prevailing canon to shift.

Imagine and Manifest Alternatives.

Experiment with and model ways that institutions (colleges, design firms, governments, and more) might consider transforming their curriculum, policies, and programming to construct a more inclusive, equitable, critical, or representative reality.



July 13 - 14, 2018


Art Center College of Design

Who Should Attend

Our intended audience is artists, designers, technologists, and media creators — especially, but not limited to, people of color — who want to contribute to cultivating an antiracist educational and professional field. This includes:

  • Graduate and undergraduate students;
  • Early career practitioners (e.g. artists, designers, others in relevant roles);
  • Educators, staff, and administration at art / technology / design educational institutions, primarily post-secondary institutions and high schools

What to Expect

This convening will contain a mix of sessions, social spaces, and media. We’ll be opening a call for proposals and ideas soon, so stay tuned. The following list offers some examples of the types of content we’re expecting, but it’s just a start:

  • Have you done a research project or paper that hasn’t yet seen the light of day?
  • Do you want to teach a co-making workshop on how crocheting is the key to both peak personal relaxation in the midst of an unbearable graduate workload and physicalizing the interconnections between critical race theory and the postmodern implications of race, class and gender?   
  • Do you and some friends want to create a ___________ [poster series, painting, set of sculptures, zine, fill in the blank] based on your experience with racial microaggressions as a designer of color in a sea of white?
  • Would you like to co-facilitate a discussion about a topic you’ve been dying to talk about but no one around you is equipped / willing to have the conversation?  
  • Do you want a group of thoughtful, critical, people of color to give you feedback on a work-in-progress?
  • Is there a site, organization, gallery, or event somewhere in LA that people absolutely must experience as part of this event?
  • Is there some skill or topic you want to learn more about that would take your research or racial justice practice to the next level?  
  • Is there someone you’re dying to hear speak about representation in entertainment design? 

    Stay tuned for more information about submitting ideas.

Want to help plan the convening? 

We’re seeking steering committee members who can provide support / leadership in the following ways, but specific roles will be assigned as needed:

  • Help curate work, vet proposals for sessions and overall help develop the voice of the exhibition and types of content we want to invite
  • Reach out to potential speakers, facilitators, contributors of art / design projects
  • Create a visual identity for the convening and materials  
  • Manage speakers and partners
  • Recruit and coordinate volunteers for day-of events
  • Manage logistics and materials for on-site and off-site events

Interested? Email Lauren, Bianca and Godiva at antiracistclassroom@gmail.com with the following information by 2/20:

  • A brief statement about why you’re interested
  • Your resume
  • Link to a website or portfolio where we can get a sense of your projects / practice

And, join us on Tuesday, February 20 at 2:30 PM on the Rooftop of the 950 Building for lunch and a brief info session to learn more. 

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