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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Fall residency guest designer: Antoinette Carroll

September 24, 2020

We are pleased to announce our first Guest Design for the upcoming October residency at VCFA in the MFA in Graphic Design program: Antoinette Carroll!

Antionette D. Carroll is the President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a nonprofit educating, training, and challenging Black and Latinx youth to become leaders designing healthy and racially equitable communities. Within this capacity, Antionette has pioneered a new, award-winning form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design – named a Fast Company World Changing Idea Finalist in General Excellence and Urban Design. (Since launching in March 2018, thousands have downloaded and/or purchased the supplemental Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide: Through this capacity, Antionette has received several recognitions including being named a GDUSA Person to Watch, Echoing Green Global Fellow, TED Fellow, Essence Magazine’s Woke 100, Next City Vanguard, Camelback Ventures Fellow, and St. Louis Visionary Awards Community Impact Honoree.

Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for non-profits working for social justice, human rights, diversity, equity, and inclusion as a communications specialist. Prior to Creative Reaction Lab, Antionette was the Head of Communications for Diversity Awareness Partnership, a Saint Louis based nonprofit that works to increase awareness, facilitate engagement and provide education about diversity and inclusion. Within this role, she led the nonprofit’s graphic design, advertising, fundraising, and communications efforts. Two of her major projects included (1) co-designing, with the Head of Education and Training, Diversity Awareness Partnership’s Professional Development Seminar Series around diversity and inclusion topics for DEI and HR professionals and (2) designing and launching the citywide “Listen. Talk. Learn.” public awareness campaign in response the unrest in Ferguson. With the organizational staff, she also co-created the community-wide “Listen. Talk. Learn.” training program. This experience, amongst others, led to her current work as a social entrepreneur, nonprofit leader, and design activist.

In 2014, Antionette was named the Founding Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force of AIGA, the professional association of design. Notably, within her role, she: (1) Grew the task force to 22 members representing 12 states; (2) Pitched and created the full-time, in-house Diversity and Inclusion Residency; (3) Conducted the first staff diversity training in AIGA’s 102-year history; (4) Restarted the Design Journeys archive highlighting prominent designers of color throughout design history; and, (5) Co-planned, and presented at, the Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Summit, training over 250 chapter leaders on the role of diversity and inclusion within design.

Additionally, with her encouragement, AIGA created the first Racial Justice by Design program, with Antionette co-organizing and assuming the role of online producer for the national Town Hall in 2016. Currently, she’s an AIGA National Board Director and Chair Emerita of the Task Force working on long-term strategic initiatives such as the Design Census Program with Google and national Design for Inclusivity Summit with Microsoft. She’s the co-founder of the Design + Diversity Conference and Fellowship. Antionette also sits on several awards and programming committees for local and national non-profits, including the steering committee for Adobe’s World Interaction Design Day, Sappi Ideas That Matter, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, Great Rivers Greenway’s Chouteau Greenway Design Competition, City of St. Louis’ Resiliency Office (supported by Rockefeller Foundation) and formerly the founding anti-bias/anti-racism committee for City Garden Montessori School.

Antionette also is an international speaker and facilitator, previously speaking at TED, School of Visual Arts, Facebook, Capital One, Harvard, Stanford University, Microsoft, NASA, TEDxHerndon and TEDxGatewayArch, AIGA National Conference, The Ohio State University, and more.