This New Program Exists to Support Black Designers

published Jul 30, 2020
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Credit: BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy

How is your social media feed looking these days? The calls for justice that ignited conversations about systemic racism and inequality, the surge of outspoken posts supporting Black Lives Matter, and sharing the spotlight with Black-owned businesses, have largely gone quiet in comparison to just a few short weeks ago. But dismantling systemic racism is an ongoing, united effort. And in the interior design industry, one that often overlooks the work and voices of Black designers, the Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN) is one organization on a mission to create real, lasting change. 

While social media activism has slowed, BIDN is keeping the momentum going and has called for members of the design community to “Turn Your Intention into Action,” with the launch of its Ally Program, a monthly membership for individual design firms and corporate brands.

The program includes two types of monthly memberships: One for individual firms at $95 a month, and another for corporate brands at $295 a month. Membership fees go toward BIDN’s initiatives to boost the visibility of Black designers and to close the inequality gap, through program development and its annual member conference. 

You might have heard about BIDN after their “The Designer Ally’s How To” list went viral on social media, which included actionable steps to help create a more inclusive design industry.

The organization’s mission is “to promote diversity and inclusion within the interior design industry by highlighting designers of color and supporting Black designers with business development opportunities.” In addition to its database of Black designers and robust social media presence, BIDN knows that it takes more than likes and hashtags to embody what it means to be a true ally. “The BIDN Ally membership program is more of a commitment than simply sharing support on social media one day during the year,” BIDN president Keia McSwain told HouseBeautiful.

You don’t have to be a Black designer to sign up for the Ally Program, or to join BIDN. Both are open to non-Black designers, as long as you are committed to learning, taking action, and having conversations that move the needle forward.