Designing Change: How to advocate for diversity in the DC design space

Saturday / September 19 / 1:00 PM


There’s no question about it. Black and Brown designers make a daily impact on creative industries, including design. Yet AIGA’s 2019 Design Census showed only 11% of those surveyed identified as African American or Hispanic.

This begs the question: How can we improve diversity in design? This is a challenge we must address within the design fields in general, which is crucial for making progress in the DMV.

Join our panel of senior Black and Brown creatives to learn:

  • How they navigate their careers in design
  • How they work to diversify their industry
  • How to support POC designers in the workplace and our community

Participants will get to hear directly from our speakers, moderated by Maurice Cherry – host of the Revision Path podcast – about these topics and more, and will split up into breakouts for an intimate, in-depth exploration. Make sure to select what topic you’d like to explore further when registering and come prepared for a critically important conversation.

Event Sponsor: DCUX

DCUX is a community for UX, design, and creative professionals. Organized by UXPA DC, DCUX offers innovative meetups, workshops, and conferences that offer professional development, networking, and speaking opportunities for people at any stage of their career. Join us at to learn more and get involved!


Date & Time

Saturday, September 19

1:00 PM - 3:30 PM




Maurice Cherry

Founder and Host of Revision Path

He | Him | His

Maurice Cherry is principal and creative director at Lunch, an award-winning multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta, GA. Prior to this, Maurice served as Senior Creative Strategist at Glitch. These days, Maurice is perhaps most well-known for his award-winning podcast Revision Path, which showcases Black designers, developers, and digital creators from all over the world. Other projects of Maurice’s include the Black Weblog Awards, 28 Days of the Web, The Year of Tea, and the design anthology RECOGNIZE.


Earl Gray

UX Digital Service Expert for the Defense Digital Service

He | Him | His

Earl Gray is currently a UX Digital Service Expert for the Defense Digital Service, where he works alongside a “SWAT team of nerds” in order to improve technology across the Department of Defense. Earl began his career in 2010 in game design and animation working alongside Liv Games, an independent game studio based in California. Since then, he has worked for employers such as Gallup, Slalom, and Accenture/Fjord—focusing primarily on the public sector. Earl studied at the University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps!) and is pursuing his Masters in Design Management & Communications from Georgetown University. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife of five years, his 2-year old son, and cat (even though he’s a dog person).


Elaine Lopez

Faculty in Graphic Design, AICAD Fellow at Maryland Institute College of Art

She | Her | Hers

Elaine Lopez (b.1984 Miami, FL) is a Cuban-American designer, researcher, artist, and educator whose work explores the intersection of cultural identity, equity, and diversity within the field of design. She currently teaches graphic design at the Maryland Institute College of Art as a recipient of the AICAD Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship.


Marlene Marmolejos

Motion Designer, Director

She | Her | Hers

Marlene creates, directs and produces video content that celebrates afro-caribbean culture, incites change, and pushes the boundaries of belonging through motion graphics and animation. She created the brand Motion Mami with her partner, Frandiego, to create spaces where women of color are empowered on the screen and behind the scene. She’s worked with globally recognized brands including Amazon, BET, RocNation as well as with established artists like Major Lazor, Alicia Keys, and Ceraadi.


Jacinda Walker

Founder and Creative Director of designExplorr

She | Her | Hers

Jacinda Walker, MFA is renowned for her work in design, diversity, research, and strategy. She is the founder and creative director of designExplorr, a social enterprise whose mission addresses the diversity gap within the design profession. Her solutions-based thesis Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines has been hailed as breakthrough research work. Ms. Walker’s future goals are to help scale diversity in design initiatives within education institutions, corporations, organizations, and museums.


Platform and Prerequisites

This event will be streamed via Zoom. In order to participate fully, attendees should plan to join on the Zoom app via their computer, tablet, or mobile device with enough bandwidth to support viewing video. This event will feature breakout sessions — while not required, we encourage participants to join with their video on to help foster a more intimate space for conversation.

In order to ensure only those who have registered for the event are able to attend — and to create space for intimate conversations — only those whose display name fully matches the name on our registration list will be admitted from the waiting room. You can find more about joining our virtual events, including how to connect, directions to troubleshoot, and information about our refund policy in our FAQ.

Accessibility and Accommodations

All DCDW events will have real-time CART (live captioning) services. If you need any additional accommodations, please contact us before 9/14 by, through the provided Google Form, or by phone. We honor your privacy and no personally identifying information (e.g. your name) is required to request an accommodation.

  • Request an accommodation through this Google Form
  • Email us at
  • Call our Accessibility Lead, Josh Kim, by phone at 571-302-1504

You can learn more about how we’re making DC Design Week an accessible experience by visiting our page on accessibility.

Code of Conduct

All AIGA DC events adhere to our Code of Conduct .

More Information

Built by 100% volunteer power, DC Design Week is an annual celebration of this community, hosted by AIGA DC. AIGA Member On-Sale begins 9/5 at 10:00am and the General Public On-Sale begins 9/10 at 10:00am. 100% of the proceeds from DCDW events go toward future AIGA DC programming and the Design Continuum Fund (DCF) scholarship fund. We believe in fostering the next generation of designers through helping local design-minded and underrepresented students as they pursue their education.

Interested in becoming a member? To gain early access to our most exclusive events and year-long discounts, sign up to become a member today!

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