2020 Speakers

Thank you to our founding team members, the 2020 speakers for Black Designers Ignite!

Shout out to the 2020 organizing team behind the scenes And big thank yous to our special guests Glennette Clark, Cheryl D. Miller and Merryanne Loum Martin.

ZARIAH CAMERON

2020 Student Keynote Speaker
Atlanta, GA

“Hi everyone, I’m Zariah Cameron. I’m going into my junior year of college at North Carolina A&T (HBCU). I’m studying graphic design but a UX designer by trade. I’m originally from Atlanta, Georgia.

I truly believe in showcasing more black design work and having more black representation within the design industry, and I believe @black.ignite is trying to do just that! I will be giving my perspective on how we can push for a more inclusive and diverse design industry from a student’s point of view.”

Email: zcameron36@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

MITZI OKOU

2020 Keynote Speaker
San Diego, CA

Mitzi is a UX and visual designer from Atlanta, Georgia. After she received her Bachelors degree in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to San Diego, California where she currently works as an interaction and visual designer at HP. As an up and coming UX and visual designer, she has placed in hackathons put on by companies and institutions such as IDEO, SCAD and MIT that solved for issues ranging from the wealth inequality in the music industry to federal socio-economic injustice.

As a design activist, Mitzi recently organized a free and accessible virtual conference called “Where are the Black designers?” that highlighted and brought awareness to allies within the creative and tech industry about the experiences and struggles of being a black designer within the field. She hopes to use the platform to support black designers throughout their career and help them create their own narrative by connecting them with the established legacy of the black design community, creating a hub of resources, and establishing inclusive spaces within the tech and creative field.

Email: mitzi.okou@gmail.com
Read her bio on Instagram

JESS MCKENZIE

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Detroit, MI


Jess McKenzie is a self-taught web and graphic designer from Detroit, MI. Her skills include branding identity, leadership, front end development, and digital marketing. She is the CEO of Black Velvet Media and Founder of The Creative Armory LLC. She has a keen eye for photography, and loves working with small business owners and non-profit organizations to bring their creative visions to life.

Email: jess@thecreativearmory.com
her bio on Instagram

HAROLD ABRAMS

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
New York, NY

Harold Abrams is an award winning multimedia producer of creative editorial and visual content for television, print and online distribution. Harold has produced TV programming for VH1, MTV and PBS, is editor of brandnewdaydesigns.com; a website on art and design and illustrator of greeting cards, t-shirts and promotional items featuring contemporary imagery of black people.

“Through my work, my mission is to highlight the impact design, art and media has on our daily lives and be a positive force in turning ideas into reality.”

Email: DesignsByHarold@gmail.com
his bio on Instagram

AMANDA S. POWELL

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Atlanta, GA

Amanda S. Powell is an Atlanta native who always had a passion for helping people. This passion helped fuel her to break into a career of UX Design. Amanda has an unknown, autoimmune inflammatory disorder which causes her to be visually impaired with uveitis and cataracts. She doesn’t let this hinder her path though. Being a visually impaired designer has pushed her to advocate for higher accessibility standards not only in her and her team’s designs but also in the work place. Her goal is to break the stigma of accessibility being a “chore” for companies and designers to do and educate people on accessibility resources and best practices. When Amanda isn’t designing or advocating for accessibility, you can find her running around with her son, Liam or her nose in a book. She loves volunteering, finding new restaurants to try, and all things Harry Potter!

Email: powellsamanda@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

PATIENCE WOOLRIDGE

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Phoenix, AZ

Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Patience attended the University of Cincinnati and majored in Digital Design, graduating in 2010 at the start of the UI/UX boom. She spent the next several years working at startups and other smaller companies focusing on advanced problem solving and creating beautiful solutions. She spent her spare time freelancing for non-profits and entrepreneurs to continue strengthen her design skills even more. This sort of flexibility enabled her to remain sharp with Interactive Design as well as Branding & Identity, and to even explore other areas of Design like Print, Motion, Front End Dev, and more.

To take her career to the next level, she moved out west to attend grad school at Arizona State University. While taking classes full-time, she juggled working in-house at the Design School as a Graphic Designer and freelancing for a tech agency creating complex software interfaces. In May of 2019, Patience graduated with a Masters in Visual Communication Design. She then focused on UI/UX, becoming the Design Lead for the same tech agency, then later became the Art Director of a startup marketing agency. With the worldwide, multi-industry upheaval, she is excited to venture back into the Tech and Digital space, bringing her Interaction Design expertise with the agility of the startup mindset.

Email: patience.woolridge@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

ALYSSA NEFF

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Milwaukee, WI

Alyssa Neff is a Milwaukee based fashion designer. This SCAD alumni returned to her midwestern roots after graduating, to focus on creating opportunity for local creatives. After working for a couple of corporations, whose environments were less than ideal she transitioned to freelancing in 2018. In 2019 she opened The Space MKE, creative studio & co•op, a safe space for artists to create.

Email: alyssa_neff11@yahoo.com
her bio on Instagram

MELINDA MEME ANDERSON

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Detroit, MI

Melinda Anderson is an award-winning event designer and producer. “I am born and raised in Detroit, Istudied architecture at the University of Michigan and set design in Palermo,Italy. I have travelled extensively internationally and have lived in Berlin,and Florence. Upon returning to Detroit,I worked for an architecture firm that specialized in aviation architecture. However at 911, a AIA toon architecture was put on hold and I was laid off. That was okay as the job was not as creative as I had hoped it to be. Almost every designer dreams of being the next architectural superstar. These things take time,hard hard work, and luck. Not to say that I did was not able to cut it,but being hands on designing was more of my thing.

So while I worked for the architecture firm, I fell in love with event design as a volunteer on an event and now have developed a penchant for juxtaposing the ephemeral and highlighting the Detroit creative community. Detroit is the LOVE of my life and I am happy to use design to show my city off and to change lives.I am thrilled to be sharing my work on the Black Ignite virtual stage!”

Email: studiomdetroit@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

ALEXANDRIA BATCHELOR

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Brooklyn, NY

“Hi, I’m Alexandria Batchelor I’m a full-time freelance art director who specializes in branding, graphic design, and illustration. I moonlight as a lead colorist for an indie comic book production studio that focuses on black speculative narratives. In my free time, I write and illustrate my own Afrofuturist characters and stories. I also love watching anime (sci-fi, horror, and bad reality TV), drinking tea, practicing yoga, playing video games, learning new languages, rollerblading, hiking, camping, and creating moments filled with black joy. …but you can call me Foxee… “Why Foxee?” My design alias is based on Pam Grier’s 1974 character Foxy Brown, a role that not only redefined black beauty, sexuality, and womanhood but symbolized female empowerment that inspired women to fight for themselves and what they believe in. Foxee Design thus represents my efforts in redefining industry standards with art and design that represents minorities (primarily black women), respects other cultures, and builds safe communities for diverse audiences.”

Email: foxeedesign@gmail.com
Read her bio on Instagram

FRANKLYN BUCKNOR

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
San Francisco, CA

“I was the kind of child who, like many others, wondered: Why is the sky blue? I’ve wondered why trees dance & sway in the breeze. I’ve wondered why a droplet of rain is shaped the way it is, why certain plants might arrange their petals differently based on their structure & proximity to the sun, & of course, the age old question: Why are we here? Finding meaningful answers to questions rooted in natural philosophy led me to become a mechanical engineer, to more intimately understand the mechanisms & nature (the physics) that guide our internal & external worlds. I find the act of creating a truly divine process; fundamentally, the act of the gods is to create.
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People of color are a rarity in STEM— and my soul burns with passion when I consider the contributions I’ve been able to give the world as an engineer & creator. I am grateful for my parents who started new lives & made endless sacrifices for me. I feel compelled to shout that this world needs more women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ individuals, economically diverse individuals, & humans of diverse backgrounds & opinions who are scientifically literate. I believe I need to help humanity have a more harmonic relationship with nature while expanding what ‘technology’ means & looks like. I believe advanced solutions for modern problems demand designs that internalize & reflect nature. We cannot create [technically complex] objects or experiences that better humanity wholistically if those responsible for said innovations are not representing or advocating for those other than themselves; never mind those who cannot or do not have the means or platform to advocate for themselves. I don’t mean to say that diversity is required because a homogenous subset of humans who happen to represent the statistical minority (underscored by historical, institutionalized, & internalized power structures) are incapable of empathy, but the number of times optical technologies like facial recognition might fail because my skin is dark, or how many times people with accents must repeat requests for voice recognition technologies proves the point.”

Email: heythereimfrank@gmail.com
his bio on Instagram

ASHLEY FLETCHER

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Washington, DC

Ashley Fletcher is a multimedia graphic designer based in Washington, DC. Her work explores how visual storytelling ignites brands and amplifies voices. Recently she has taken a deeper look at how human-centered design restores our connection with our community. Ashley is a 2020 Graphic Design MFA graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Email: hello@ashley-fletcher.com
her bio on Instagram

AUNTEE RIK

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Atlanta, GA

Auntee Rik – the biz organizeher™ – is a former brand and WordPress designer turned trusted operations and systems specialist who has a knack for taking her clients’ businesses from disorganized and disheveled to efficient and optimized. Her no-nonsense, get-you-together approach is refreshing and reassuring to her clients and everyone she comes in contact with.

Auntee currently resides in the Atlanta Metro area. When she’s not snatching the back end of your business (or your edges), she can be found enjoying a decadent dessert with a side of organic tea blends, checking out cool design and trying her hand at candle-making.

Email: hey@aunteerik.com
her bio on Instagram



STEFFI REYES-THOMAS

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
San Diego, CA

Steffi (she/her) is on track to change design as we see it today. She graduated with a BFA in Interior Architecture and Design. Holistic design is her passion! Wellness is now changing design through human-centered practices. She is committed to only specifying solutions that avoid polluting and off-gassing. With that said, Steffi always aims to incorporate materials that are sustainably sourced and safe for inhabitants. 

She pushes for greener practices and advancements in public health within the built environment via USGBC and the International WELL Building Institute.

Email: steffireyesthomas@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

JESSICA JEAN-BAPTISTE

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Baldwin, NY


Jessica Jean-Baptiste is an Industrial designer based in Long Island, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Parsons School of Design and now works as a lighting designer for HVL Group. Jessica is passionate about interior design, art, architecture, and furniture design. She believes in the power of good design to make a meaningful impact in the world and strives to create innovative products and services which can enrich people’s lives.

Email: jessicajeanbaptistedesign@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

NYASIA SYLVESTER

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
New York, NY

“My name is Nyasia sylvester I’m a New york based content creator that specializes in photography. I started out doing fashion photography but after a couple of years of finding my footing then switched to a documentary style of shooting. I’m inspired by life experiences and telling those experiences through a series of images. Im also inspired by changing the narrative around topics that are deemed “taboo” Im also fueled by my community and helping/inspiring the youth and letting them know that a career in the arts is not only doable but an amazing life path.”

Email: nyasiasylvester@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

KAMI X

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Brooklyn, NY

Kami X is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in graphic and fashion design. Self-proclaimed ‘designer of all things cute’, she is influenced by Japanese, y2k, and alt fashion. As a first-generation Trinidadian- American who is plus-sized, black, and queer; Kami has many unique perspectives to share. Kami mainly uses her platform to advocate for body positivity, anti-racism, and anti-capitalism all with a ‘kawaii’ aesthetic.

Email: kamilahxx@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

KEVIN BLACK

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Brooklyn, NY

“He” is Kevin Black, (@iamkevinblack) creative director and entrepreneur of rising notoriety whose creations have been featured in a number of print publications and event circuits in cities across the country. From Central State to Columbus College of Art and Design, sewing classes to hands-on retail purchasing and shared local shows to New York Fashion Week, Black has developed every facet of his skill set through a tenacious work ethic and an unparalleled eye for detail.

Since his humble beginnings in which attention was solely on ready-to-wear ensembles, Black has been able to dress celebrities, grow a team and continue to foster the creative ethos that embodies all brands under FND Firm. His introduction to widespread name recognition with Kevin Black Collection came in the ever-ubiquitous landscape of social media when celebrity and reality star Angela Simmons donned an original creation for a publicized benefit.
It was then he realized that his ideas needed to “get from [his] brain to the world.” Black began to transition focus from ready-to-wear design to creating event pieces more evocative of the high-end audience he continues to cultivate. By working with celebrity stylists and their clients to produce handmade red carpet visions, as well as gaining a sponsorship with Christian Louboutin, he underwent a re-branding of sorts over the course of his initial foray into high fashion.

At the end of days spent catering to client requests, fabric purchasing, and handling the various minutiae associated with his role in creative directorship, Black still ultimately strives to imbue his looks with the same attention and care that goes into their creation. He believes that designers “transfer love” by making clothing that makes their customers feel “beautiful, empowered, and successful.” It is this vision that propels the brand forward, and in doing so perpetuates the underlying truth of when you look good, you feel good and in turn, create good.

Email: Kevin@iamkevinblack.com
Read his bio on Instagram

SHANAE ULLMAN

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
St. Louis, MO

I’m a Senior UX Designer and Team Lead at The Boeing Company and also run a small design agency on the side called Nerdy Diva that offers UX research and design for startup founders and clients in government and enterprise. I got my graduate degree from Northeastern University and began my career in tech at Red Hat and IBM. After that I worked in UX at Maryville University and I’m now at Corporate IT co-leading a distributed team of and where I’m a member of the UX Community of Excellence Steering Committee, Human Factors and Ergonomics Community of Excellence Steering Committee, and Boeing Women in Cloud Steering Committee. Teaching is a passion of mine. I have  taught UX/UI, design and development courses at Fisher College, Maryville University, and Northeastern University. I was also a guest speaker at Harvard University Extension School for Jen Kramer’s Graduate Digital Media course. I enjoy speaking about UX, leadership, and diversity. I’m a two-time UXPA speaker talking on Diversity & Design and Teaching UX. I also enjoy speaking with young people at area high schools.”

Email: hello@nerdydiva.com
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MADDIE METIVIER

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Parlin, NJ

Creativity is engraved in the DNA of black souls. Maddie was introduced to this at a very young age via her Father (an illustrator turned engineer) and her uncle (a hyper realism painter). This led her to a life of “Seeing things differently”.

Earning a B.F.A from Howard University she has gone on to co-found her own creative agency @ojii.creative and serves as Creative Director of a non-profit organization @codehouseorg. Maddie has had the pleasure of working with numerous minority owned companies during the beginning of her career and plans to continue to be a resource for her community when it comes to enhancing the visual literacy of the businesses her community owns.

Maddie has always found her soul in the realm of Black Art History and the importance of it’s preservation. Her current personal work aims to educate others on the astronomical influence of Black art on pop culture dating from antiquity to modern times. She hopes to bring this knowledge and excitement to the Black Designers Ignite family on August 27th and allow all to “See things differently”.

Email: maddie@ojiicreative.co
her bio on Instagram

DR. ANGIE SCOTT

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Savannah, GA

Dr. Angie Scott is an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Georgia Southern University and owner of Angie Scott Design. Her research takes a preventative approach to the interior environment focusing on the intersection of the built environment and well-being, and the built environment and culture. Through these perspectives, she focuses on mental health, stress reduction, and occupant satisfaction. Scott earned a Ph.D. in interior design with a focus on evidence-based design from the University of Minnesota and has worked in the interior design profession as a practitioner, educator, and researcher for nearly 20 years. She was recently named a WELL Community Advisor for the International WELL Building Institute and was named an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Ones to Watch award winner and scholar. In addition to residential well-being design services, her practice focuses on equity consulting for architecture and design firms and organizations. Through the lens of well-being and social justice, she hopes to empower people as change agents for the greater good.
her bio on Instagram

Email: angie@angiescottdesign.com

QIL

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Philadelphia, PA

Qil is a metalsmith from West Philly. Their afrofuturistic brand, BLACKMARZIAN, aims to generate a new Black visual language of identification for the liberated self. This carries the intention of urging Black collective liberation into existence. Through working with metals that are not precious by name, but by nature, Qil seeks to create accessible jewelry defined by Astro-Blackness.

Email: aqil@blackmarzian.com
their bio on Instagram

JULIA WEATHERSPOON

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
San Francisco, CA

Julia Weatherspoon (@julia_lenae1908) is an architectural designer on a mission to create more inclusive spaces within design. She uses her voice to increase visibility and representation in the industry and challenges people to look at design through an equity lens. She has experience working on an array of architecture projects of various scales from the macro to the micro. We’re talking workplace commercial interiors, aviation, community and civic design, higher education, you name it! Her inspiration is driven by the belief that architecture and design can do a lot more for us. When we are given the keys, it has the power to change our perspective, elevate the human experience, and transform our lives. Her passion has brought her to moderate and speak on a number of panels including San Francisco Design Week 2018 and AIGA Pasadena 2019. She has also been featured in Architect Magazine in December 2018.

Email: jlweatherspoon1@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

ASH LEVEL

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Brooklyn, NY

Ash Level: Leader and visual artist. Self-taught creative director with an entrepreneurial spirit. Guided by strategy. Inspired by community and relationships. Recognized by TIME Magazine for photography + D&AD for creative leadership. Committed to securing spaces for Black creatives to consistently thrive in their creativity. 10+ years of experience working with youth organizations in Los Angeles and New York City.

Most recent passion project: volunteering and designing for a non-profit dedicated to ending starvation. Providing opportunities to enrich the mind, body and spirit of LA + NYC’s homeless communities. Launched Ash Academy: donation based design education platform for the community by the community, where highly-regarded creatives share their secrets.

Established Presence of Colour: @presenceofcolour a creative service agency. Ash believes we cannot rely on a non-inclusive, performative ad industry for change. Looking for funding, connections and resources to build POC to its full potential with the goal to create a workplace that embodies the world we want to live in, instead of replicating this one.

Email: picturelevel@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

LAUREN SLOAN

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
New York, NY

Lauren Sloan is a graphic designer who is interested in creating experiences at the intersection of the built environment and interactive technology. As a designer, Lauren strives to be effective. She desires for people to see her work and become curious. In her spare time she paints and operates @TrifectaMediaGroupNYC, an integrated marketing consultancy with her sisters.

Email: design@laurensloan.com
her bio on Instagram

ANIQUA WILKERSON

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
New York, NY

Aniqua W. decided to specialize in creating dolls when she opted to challenge herself a little. Because she had become so skilled in creating without needing blueprints, she decided to take a look at what designs were already around. She was surprised to find that she only came across two designers who were creating Black/African/African American dolls. What surprised her even more
was that neither of the designers were Black/ African/African American. It was at this point that Aniqua had officially found her thing. Aniqua’s collection of Black/Brown dolls (Beautifully Brown Doll Collection) is about more than just doll making. It’s about representation through positive imagery. It’s about creating designs in a rainbow of brown skin tones and hairstyles/textures that realistically depict children of color. The mission of this wonderfully unique doll collection is to promote pride and confidence in children of color, particularly girls in efforts to combat self hate. Her dolls have been a teaching tools created with love and purpose much like the individuals who purchase them. In April 2017 Aniqua started what she has

called the “My Kinda Thing University” a virtual handmade school comprised of over 30 courses geared towards teaching other crocheters how to create dolls of color. It has become her mission to not only contribute to the store of positive imagery for children of color, but to encourage others to do the same. She has shared some of her most sought after techniques through teaching these courses and makes it clear that “in order to truly create diverse doll designs you will need to do more than just use brown yarn.

Email: mykindathing@yahoo.com
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JENN PIATKOWSKI

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
San Antonio, TX

Oh hey look guys, it’s Jenn! A one (wo)man design studio with over five years of international experience in branding, strategy, and overall high-quality design. She helps brands with all sorts of services and focuses on making them fun for their audiences and fun for her cool clients. She has worked with an army of clients worldwide, from small shops in Texas to internationally known corporations.

From the horse’s mouth: “I’ve taken all these experiences and apply them to my work to make it feel out of this world but still relevant and approachable to regular people. Because at the end of the day, “peoples is peoples” and they are the ones who interact with brands everyday.”

Email: jennifer@creative-curls.com
Read her bio on Instagram

AMIR ELABBADY

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Minneapolis, MN

Amir Elabbady was born and raised in Minneapolis, Home of George Floyd (Rest in Power). Amir currently is a Senior User Experience Designer for Accenture and attended the University of Minnesota, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Design Studies, Applied Business, and Management. As a UX designer, he helps improve product interactions, interfaces, and experiences to create user-centered products. Specializing in information architecture and user research, Amir has spent more than 400 hours giving design lectures and workshops. Amir has also worked with over fifteen Fortune 500 companies to help implement the effective user-centered design principles to ensure the emotional desires, needs, and goals of their customers are discovered and understood while meeting the business requirements and the context in which these coalesce. In his free time, Amir loves getting together with his family and friends as well as anything to do with soccer! #TeamLiverpool

Email: amir.elabbady@gmail.com
his bio on Instagram

JERMAINE BARKER

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Astoria, Queens, NY

My name is Jermaine Barker. I was born and raised in Queens, New York, and I also have dual citizenship for Canada. I am a senior graphic designer at iHeart Media NYC. I am responsible for the ideation, creation, and development of dozens of graphic assets for shows, including The Breakfast Club, Angie Martinez, Power 105.1FM, and other iHeart nationwide promotional event campaigns. I have practiced in a variety of design avenues throughout my seven years within the design space. My work can be viewed at JermaineBarker.com.

My passion is music entertainment and media design within the culture. With my time outside of work, I enjoy working on projects that evolve my creativity and allow me to learn. My goal is to grow and implicate as a creative through various mediums. Unfortunately, I never had a mentor, clarity of career path, or someone to help navigate my interest in the design world and its many avenues. That’s why I want to help BIPOC designers at earlier stages of their careers gain knowledge on design techniques and clarity around career paths. I want to support younger designers in ways I wish I had breaking in.”

Email: Jermaine.Barker@gmail.com
his bio on Instagram

DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Chicago, IL

Danielle A. Scruggs is a photo editor, photographer, and writer based in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the Kalish Workshop for Visual Editing and the New York Times Portfolio Review in 2018. Danielle is also the founder and editor of  Black Women Directors, a digital library highlighting the work of Black women and non-binary people in film. Her editorial work has appeared in AARP, Buzzfeed News, ESPN, Financial Times, New Republic, New York Times, NPR, Taste, VICE, and Washingtonian magazine. She has exhibited her personal work across the United States and has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Byrdcliffe, and the Wassaic Project. She has written about art, culture, and film for Rangefinder, Essence, Teen Vogue, ARTS.BLACK, Artsy Magazine, and Observer.com. Danielle is a board member of Authority Collective , a general member of Diversify.Photo and was a Women Photograph 2018-2019 mentor, all groups committed to creating equity and parity within the visual storytelling field.

Email: danielle@daniellescruggs.com
her bio on Instagram

NANA AKOSUA

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
New York, NY

“Hello there, my name is Nana Akosua Achampong. I’m a born and raised New Yorker, from Long Island. I gained my Visual Arts Degree from Purchase College where I studied Graphic Design and Printmaking. I am a Visual Artist as well.

One of the things I love to create most, both digitally and by hand, are doodles and I’m really big on that. I highly recommend it. Doodling has been a great form of expression for me and it’s what led me to create Ausoka Designs. Feel free to check out some of my pattern work on my IG page @AusokaDesigns and via my webstorefronts on both Redbubble & Society6. “

Email: naachampong@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

MAYA RHINEHART

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Springfield, MA

Maya is a self-taught product designer, artist, ex-civil engineer, mental health advocate, Spanish language learner, and aspiring writer. Over the past few years, she has embarked on a self-compassion and acceptance journey that has led her across the globe. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, designing + building websites for non-profits, mentoring junior designers, and perfecting her chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Email: maya.rhinehart@gmail.com
her bio on Instagram

JASMINE KENT

2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Baltimore, MD

Jasmine Kent is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received her B.S. in Architecture and competed in D1 NCAA Track & Field.  After attending the 2014 IDSA National Conference in Austin, TX, Jasmine chose ID as a career path and earned her Master’s of Industrial Design from North Carolina State University in 2018. Currently, Jasmine works as an Apparel Designer creating Run specific sportswear at Under Armour in Baltimore, MD. She believes that at the intersection of art, sport, and culture is innovation and liberation. One of her notable projects at Under Armour is the Infinity Bra, rooted in biomechanics research, thoughtful design, and validated by women.  

Jasmine is very passionate about creating community for black designers everywhere. With a group of black designers, she co-created Hue Design Summit in 2016, an annual un-conference for black designers and developers of color to cultivate community. Jasmine serves as their Community Strategist where she develops outreach initiatives to connect the community with engaging speakers/workshop leaders, corporate partners, and influential black designers.

Outside of design, Jasmine is passionate about black maternal health, empowering birth, and building. On August 17th, she began her Birth Doula certification journey and she is currently renovating her basement into a she-shed. Stay tuned for her more creations and birth stories!

Email: Jasmine.kent02@gmail.com
Read her bio on Instagram

Annis r. sands

2020 Black Designers Ignite MC
New York, NY

Big love to our 2020 Black Ignite MC Annis R. Sands, an Afro-Caribbean feminist, historian, and media scholar. Sands is a Dartmouth College alumna and a graduate student at MIT studying Caribbean media and US Empire through media institutions + infrastructures. She is interested in using media + technology to design communities that amplify and share the knowledge and experiences of underrepresented communities and people. Some of the projects she worked on include founding diaspora ting (@diasporating on Twitter) in 2020; co-founding Dartmouth Caribbean Carnival based off her undergraduate research on Empire Windrush and Claudia Jones back in 2013; #VibraniumCulture symposium back at MIT in 2018; and the #NYCStandswithFerguson art showcase fundraiser for youth protesters in Ferguson back in 2014. She is currently finishing her thesis, tentatively titled: “Extracting Paradise: The Caribbean’s Fraught Media Relationship with US Empire.” While also working on the Open Your Purse, Media + Entertainment accountability tracker project through Mozilla’s Open Lab to track anti-Black racism, Black representation at the firms, investment in Black communities, and media + entertainment’s response to the latest police murders of Black women, men, and children. Sands specializes in studying the African diasporic studies (the Caribbean + Tanzania), history, VOD // streaming platforms, and antitrust policy for media + tech companies in her research.

Email: sands.annis@gmail.com
Read her bio on Instagram

🔥 IGNITE WITH US 🔥