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To our AIGA NY community,

Over the past several weeks, in Tweets, Slack messages, emails, town halls, and personal notes, our community has voiced pain and frustration at AIGA National's legacy of silence and denial of systemic racism. The police killing of George Floyd, the global movement to end racism and redefine justice, and AIGA National's inadequate response has forced a long-overdue conversation within the organization. We are finally talking about how AIGA National and the decisions of its previous executive leadership continue to harm its members, but especially Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people of color within its community.

AIGA NY also has more work to do. As Executive Director, I have worked with our boards to make this chapter more equitable, but we must do better. We have not done nearly enough for our most marginalized members. We must interrogate our own biases, practices, and history as a predominantly white professional association representing designers in one of the most diverse cities in the country. And AIGA NY must honor and accelerate the progress to dismantle these systems altogether and codify anti-racism values into our chapter.

To the board members — past and current — who have tirelessly donated your time to reform AIGA NY from within: you inspire us. To the board members who recently submitted their resignations from AIGA NY: we are in solidarity with you. And to all the marginalized folks from our New York community who have been affected by years of our complicity: we are taking immediate action.

In the coming weeks, I will convene the AIGA NY board to outline our plans and demands to AIGA National. Already, work is happening on the National level to address this urgent moment, and the voices of our community are critical to shaping this response.

I live to serve this community, feel it very deep, and take it to heart that there is no space to wait and see.

Much love and respect,
Stacey Panousopoulos
Executive Director, AIGA NY

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