December 3, 2022

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DxD and Amazon Mark Design= First Year Success With Plan to Scale the Initiative

Amazon enters 2nd year of collation work with Diversify by Design (DxD) to bring design education to historically excluded youth.

“We are excited to have Project Osmosis join Design=. Their experience and expertise adds another dimension that will increase the initiative’s impact and reach.”

— Kass Escalera, Sr. Program Manager, Amazon

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, US, May 4, 2022 / — Diversify by Design (DxD) announced today that program partner Project Osmosis will join Foundational Sponsor Amazon to expand DxD’s initiative, Design= in the program’s second year.

DxD is a coalition of diverse organizations and individuals committed to catalyzing racial equity in the design industry at each touchpoint of the ecosystem: youth exposure, education, experience, employment, and empowerment throughout the designer’s experience. Only at this level of attention will DxD and its partners affect change and close the gap on the racial disparities of the field for a more equitable profession for people of color.

Design=, a key initiative of DxD, brought Foundational Sponsor Amazon and DxD program partner designExplorr together in 2021 to introduce design, design concepts, and design as a career to youth from underrepresented backgrounds in the midwest region. In just under three months, Design= delivered 22 workshops to more than 400 middle- and high-school students in inner city Akron, Cleveland, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, far exceeding the initiative’s year one goals.

In year two, Design= is deepening its impact in the midwest and expanding its reach to the mid-atlantic region, focusing on the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. DxD program partner, designExplorr — an organization whose mission is to diversify the design profession by expanding access to design education for youth — will once again deliver Design=’s design education workshops to historically excluded youth in these targeted regions.

Design=’s greatest expansion in year two will be realized through the development of its signature “train the trainers” module. DxD program partner Project Osmosis — a non-profit organization established to further “design education for underserved minority youth” whose mission is devoted to preserving and promoting the enduring achievements of both professional designers and mentoring the talents of youth — will be joining Amazon and leading the module’s creation.

“We are excited to have Project Osmosis join Design=.” said Kass Escalera, Sr. Program Manager, Amazon. “Their experience and expertise adds another dimension that will increase the initiative’s impact and reach.”

“Having DxD program partner Project Osmosis join the Design= team brings the coalition that much closer to fulfilling our mission.” said Andréa Pellegrino, CEO, of DxD’s managing entity Impact Collaborative. “Extending and growing the reach of the experts with lived-experience — at eye-level with the problems — who are and have been so effective at changing the lives of young people, is exactly what DxD is striving to do with industry collaborators, like Amazon.

Project Osmosis Executive Director, Vernon Lockhart, summed up the initiative’s expansion best, “The Design= train the trainers assets will create opportunities and resources that will reach those in communities that are overlooked and creatively underserved.”

Christina DeSantis
Diversify by Design
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This news story originally appeared at Education - Social Gov on 5 May 2022