Equity Council

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Four Pillars of the Design Industry Pledge

culture of inclusion

Culture of Inclusion

We will create an inclusive culture that incorporates equity in all the ways we work, interact and design. We will ensure that all in our community are thriving, centering on Black, Indigenous and Latinx people while also including Asian Americans, Arab Americans and other people of color. We know this is the foundational building block for all JEDI progress. We will implement best practices and measure our progress by creating a JEDI strategic action plan that promotes a more inclusive culture.

diversity

Diversity

Building a diverse industry requires assessing the racial and cultural diversity of our teams across our organizations, from entry level to the C-suite. We will increase diversity by creating equitable hiring practices and by making more opportunities accessible and available, centering on Black, Indigenous and Latinx people who are most under-represented, while also including Asian Americans, Arab Americans and other POC who also face exclusion. We will ensure clear pathways and support for the advancement of all employees who identify as POC.

education

Education

We will provide education and JEDI training to all employees on key concepts and practices necessary for building an antiracist culture and inclusive organization. Building our capacity to do this work will require regular and ongoing JEDI training.

communication

Communication

We will implement communication practices that elevate JEDI, both within our organization and outwardly to clients and the broader industry. Being transparent about the work we are doing will help us hold ourselves accountable.

Resources

Here are some best practices and resources to help you begin or continue your JEDI and racial equity work. We encourage your team to do their own research which in itself is an educational process and can help you better identify resources most useful for your organization or company.

About Equity Council

Equity Council is a consortium of designers and design industry professionals. Though Equity Council was formed within the IIDA NY Chapter, it is intended to function as an independent, open and inclusive body of participants who may or may not be members of IIDA. Our goal is for chapters of Equity Council to be seeded throughout all regional chapters of IIDA and provide a global network of resources for JEDI work within the design industry.

Founding Members

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YETTA BANKS

Former VP of Design and Construction, VIACOM

Yetta Banks, is an architect, interior designer, real estate executive and former Vice President of Design & Construction and Strategy at Viacom, where she spent nearly two decades. She is passionate about creating workplaces that are transformational in their approach and supportive of an enterprise’s culture. She serves on the Board of directors for Housing Works, a New York City based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness, and is co-founder and COO of Global Gift Registry, a grassroots organization that enables donors to provide essential supplies to homeless families and expecting mothers. Yetta holds degrees in Architecture and Interior Design from Georgia Institute of Technology and The American Intercontinental University. She studied Architecture at, Ecole d’La Villette, in Paris, France.

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HANA GETACHEW

Creative Director, Bolé Road Textiles

Hana Getachew is the founder and creative director of Bolé Road Textiles, an artisanal home décor brand.  Hana was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and after a few years in Montreal, her family settled in New York. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in interior design, Hana was formerly Associate Principal at Studios Architecture in New York City. During her time there she helped design the flagships and headquarters of some of the city’s most prominent companies. She started Bolé Road Textiles out of a desire to merge her love of Ethiopian handwoven fabrics with her career in interior design. Her designs for Bolé Road are a homage to that cultural inheritance and a reflection of her own personal global modern aesthetic.

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ERIN RUBY, CID, IIDA

Founder, Erin Ruby Design, LLC
IIDA NY President (2020-2021)

Erin Ruby is an interior designer, product designer and founder of a multidisciplinary design practice based in Harlem, NY. She has been a leader in the Corporate Interiors sector for over 20 years. Actively involved with IIDA NY since 2006, she currently serves as chapter President for the 2020-2021 season. Erin’s experiences growing up in culturally diverse neighborhoods and cities across the country shaped her worldview and taught her to harness her creativity to serve marginalized communities. She is an alumni of the Pathways To Equity training program offered through Open Architecture Collaborative, which provides designers with knowledge and adaptive skills to engage in meaningful community partnerships. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2000 with a BS in Interior Design.

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ELSIE ST. LÉGER, Assoc. IIDA

Asst. PM, Interiors, NYU Langone Health
IIDA NY President-Elect (2020-2021)

After a successful career in magazine editorial working for such publications as Rolling Stone and People, Elsie St. Léger chose to pursue a path in interior design and began working in the industry while earning her BFA at New York School of Interior Design. St. Léger first landed in the residential sector before moving to healthcare design as assistant project manager at NYU Langone Health. St. Léger believes in giving back to the industry that has given her so much and began volunteering with IIDA NY in 2008, and was part of the leadership of LMNOP, a New York City–based professional development and networking organization that is now evolved into the  chapter. As the incoming president of IIDA NY, she looks forward to playing a more vital role in the chapter’s push toward accountability and diversity within the A&D community.  

We Can Shape This Together

As we move courageously into the work of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and hold ourselves accountable, we may sometimes fall short of our aspirations. If we work together on these goals, it is the journey and work that will transform our organizations, our industry, and the broader world.