CHICAGO — Today IIDA announced the creation of the Equity Council comprised of association and chapter leaders. The Council will further IIDA’s commitment to increasing inclusion, access, opportunity, and diversity throughout all facets and activities of the Association and the profession of interior design.
With an association-wide value to fully recognize that equity, justice, humanity, and dignity are fundamental and indispensable to the practice of design, the Equity Council will further expand the opportunities and wherewithal of designers by producing, developing, and providing a series of tangible actionable tools, steps, and strategies. In accordance with prioritizing industry-wide diversity initiatives, IIDA will conduct a comprehensive demographic survey to access true numbers around representation in the interior design industry.
“Our association as a whole, and each chapter within it, is passionately committed to ensuring that the world in which we live and the industry in which we work are prioritizing equity and inclusion for all,” said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO, Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA. “The Equity Council functions as one of IIDA’s many efforts to hold our industry accountable to its standards and values.”
The Equity Council shall:
- Lead IIDA in developing effective initiatives to support the Association, its chapters, and the profession in all efforts to increase the representation of identified historically underrepresented design professionals.
- Create new anti-racist and anti-bias policies, goals, and objectives that will encourage the Association, stakeholders, and the design industry at large to strive for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Work proactively and collaboratively with all convened bodies within the Association (the International Board, Chapter Leadership Council, College of Fellows, and other task forces and committees) to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion actively and visibly.
- Assess and identify how symptoms of systemic racism and unconscious bias can be acknowledged and eradicated within the Association and the profession at large.
Chairs of the Equity Council include JLL Vice President Ronnie Belizaire, FIIDA; Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA; Object Agency (O|A) Founder and Principal Jon Otis, IIDA; IIDA Director of Member Services Monae Redmond; and Pivot Interiors Chief Revenue Officer Amy Storek, Ind. IIDA.
“I felt compelled to join the Council’s leadership because it would give me the opportunity to advocate for the change I want to see in the design industry,” said Belizaire. “I am passionate about making design more equitable all while making room for more diverse design professionals who will make design work more inclusive. Ultimately, I want design to be more widely accessible to groups historically left out of the industry and its processes, and I hope IIDA’s Equity Council can begin to address these challenges and provide recommendations to improve upon EDI initiatives.”
The Council will include five committees as follows:
- Education, led by Jon Otis, IIDA
- Leadership, led by Ronnie Belizaire, FIIDA
- Programming, led by Amy Storek, Ind. IIDA
- Public/Industry Awareness, led by Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA
- Strategic Partnerships, led by Monae Redmond