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ASLA Members Advance African American Design Leadership at Harvard University’s 2019 Black in Design Conference

ASLA Diversity Summit participants, Camille Applewhite, ASLA, and Diane Jones Allen, FASLA, that spoke at the 2019 Black in Design Conference

The Black in Design Conference (BiD), organized by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design African American Student Union, recognizes the contributions of the African diaspora to the design fields and promotes discourse around the agency of the design professions to address and dismantle institutional barriers. Two ASLA Diversity Summit participants, Camille Applewhite, ASLA, and Diane Jones Allen, FASLA, led discussions on African American leadership in the design fields at the 2019 BiD.

Applewhite co-hosted a two-day workshop with Blackspace Chicago, BlackSpace NYC, and BlackSpace Oklahoma. The workshop explored speculative design that unpacked black empowerment in the future, designing intangible ideas into tools of the future, and heritage conservation through recognition of past identities and experiences affirming present and future beings.

Jones Allen was one of four women on the African American Design Nexus panel who has “fundamentally shaped the field through their visions for transformative design,” writes BiD. The African American Design Nexus honors the legacy of Black designers while exploring “the intersection of design, identity, and practice.”

The African American Design Nexus is the most significant undertaking of the Dean's Diversity Initiative and showcases a portfolio of projects aimed at recruiting students from underrepresented populations to the fields of architecture and landscape architecture. The project ensures equity and advancement of the best faculty and staff and maintains an inclusive environment that promotes an active, productive exchange of ideas. 

Harvard envisions this virtual collection as a beacon to attract and inspire the next generation of young designers.

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