On Friday, 13 August, SIGGRAPH 2021 is set to host the Panel “Creating a Diverse Workplace With Authentic Multicultural Voices: How Can We Create Real Long-Term Equality?”, which will offer an honest, blunt discussion of the non-white studio experience from persons of color. Panelists for the session include Dr. Lincoln Johnson (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Los Angeles Community College District), Sonya Carey (The Animation Lounge, Industrial Brothers), Magdiela Duhamel (Nickelodeon, LatinX in Animation), and Dr. Margaret Martin (Harmony Project), and the session will be moderated by Dr. Pat Beckmann Wells (Bunsella Studios, Irvine Valley College).
Society is motivated to examine the issue of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) more than it ever has before. And, persons of color are being sought out to share their voices in an effort to help solve the issue; however, they are at risk of being tokenized. It’s encouraging for diverse voices to have a seat at the table, and many believe that the greatest change can come from creating a pathway to communities through education at the K-12 level.
The aforementioned experts will address these topics and more. Each expert participant we will hear from is regularly approached by schools and organizations to assist in making change happen due to their decades-long backgrounds in training members of diverse or low-income communities for the entertainment workplace. But, the schools and initiatives reaching out to them — mostly — did not exist a few years ago.
This onslaught of sudden opportunity is quite massive. As a result, the forum during SIGGRAPH 2021 is a chance to reach many organizations at once and, hopefully, to inspire the SIGGRAPH community to create sincere outreach events and liaisons with underrepresented communities that are in need of a structured, financed, and supported education pathway into this industry.
Read on for four resources to further your DEI education, whether you are able to join the SIGGRAPH 2021 Panel or not. Then, ask yourself: How can I be part of the solution to creating long-term equality?
No. 1 – Fast Facts About Arts Education
No. 2 – The Future of Work in Black America
There is a well-documented, persistent, and growing racial wealth gap between African American families and white families in the United States. Studies indicate the median white family in the United States holds more than 10 times the wealth of the median African American family.
No. 3 – Inclusion and Compassion
Notes Carey, “I read a lot of articles about introducing more compassion into the studio experience. […] Being thoughtful, kind, quiet, and compassionate are all considered signs of weakness, according to what I’ve observed, and it might be true. But, those traits are so necessary when it comes to inclusion and change.”
No. 4 – Good Jobs Project, 2019 Report
According to 2019 research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), as part of the Good Jobs Project, white workers have benefited from historical and systemic educational and economic advantages to build a disproportionate edge in the educational pipeline and the workforce that will continue to last for decades.
For more discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion in the computer graphics community, tune in to the Diversity Summit during SIGGRAPH 2021, which is open to all registration levels. Not registered? Click here to register for the virtual conference.