2021 Virtual Conference

Live Speakers 



Keynote Speaker


Jacinda Walker, MFA


Jacinda Walker, MFA is renowned for her work in design, diversity, research, and strategy. She is the founder and creative director of designExplorr, a social enterprise whose mission addresses the diversity gap within the design profession. Her research on Design Journeys: Strategies for Increasing Diversity in Design Disciplines has been hailed as breakthrough work. This solutions-based thesis explores diversity in design disciplines and investigates effective strategies to expose Black and Latino youth to design careers. Ms. Walker’s future goals are to help scale diversity in design initiatives within education institutions, corporations, organizations, and museums.

DesignExplorr is a social enterprise whose mission aims to diversify the design profession by increasing access within education and corporate organizations. We do this through collaborations that develop youth activities, coordinate diversity-building initiatives, and connect stakeholders to resources. The number one design goal is to empower today’s youth with real-world skills, connections, and opportunities so that tomorrow’s design profession has all the best people leading the way. Log onto designExplorr.com to discover more about our work developing youth activities and establishing design education initiatives.





Keynote Speaker

Tristan Ahtone - Writer, Reporter, Rabble-Rouser

Tristan Ahtone is a member of the Kiowa Tribe and is editor-in-chief at the Texas Observer. He has reported for multiple outlets including PBS NewsHour, National Native News, NPR, Al Jazeera America and High Country News, where he served as Indigenous Affairs editor. Tristan’s stories have won multiple honors, including investigative awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Gannett Foundation. He additionally was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard University in 2017. Tristan is a director of the Muckrock Foundation and is a former president of the Native American Journalists Association.



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