Diversity Statement
Identities are complex. For example, I am a female, first-generation Japanese, Chinese-Indonesian American graphic designer who enjoys working in the digital landscape and exploring design ethics / philosophy / theory while bopping to mid-2000s emo music. I know that each part of my own identity is important and so I strive to recognize and see the different parts that build an identity in others, both in those I work with and those I teach.
Intersectionality is an incredibly important distinction to further understand what it means to be diverse and to promote diversity in the workplace, classroom, and content.
In the classroom, I am very cognizant that students come in with various, complex identities that make them who they are and different from one another. I do not believe that students should simply be seen in a singular student-body, but rather a collection of individuals with unique voices and perspectives. As such, it is important that I allow a space for all of them to express themselves and their opinions without toxicity and harsh judgement. I do this by creating space for open communication by establishing trust between myself and students as well as between students.
As an educator, I have the privilege of being able to choose who and what I show to students. I look for and showcase designers and ideas that are not singular in identity and representation. I believe, especially with the influence of "The Algorithm," it is important to actively broaden our horizons. Thus, I put in extra effort to seek for new designers of various backgrounds.
Moreover, I believe in questioning the status quo and strive to work harder to question not just the standard of a program's practices but also my own biases and beliefs. Unlearning can be a difficult process, but in actively listening and searching I hope to be an example for students to question their own biases. It is good to ask questions out loud and to wonder "why is it like this?" because sometimes we forget to ask.
Ultimately, I believe diversity is more complex than just "being more diverse." It is acknowledging individuals as individuals. It is to actively search and question my biases. It is to ask the system, why. And it is to challenge who and what dominates.