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Focal Point, a women of color storytelling event

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Grand Studio

444 North Wells Street

#301

Chicago, IL 60654

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Description

Who gets to tell our stories? It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves for far too long. The design industry has long only had one voice at the forefront, and that is going to change. As Katherine Darnstadt, founder of Latent Design and all around badass said, “If you want to change the story, we have to change the storyteller.” And this is the goal of Focal Point. We’re giving a platform for women of color designers to tell their stories about their life, work, and being in the industry.


Our inaugural event on July 25 event features four speakers who have been given the challenging of telling us in 6.5 minutes why they had to pursue their current career. It will be an evening of discovery, socializing, and finally getting to hear the stories of women who look like us. Come celebrate and mingle with us as we embark on an intimate evening of stories from Carmen, Karen, Lisa, and Theresa.


We’d like to thank Skill Scout, Grand Studio, and colored for sponsoring this event.


Agenda

6:00-6:20: Arrival, Networking, & Snacking

6:20-6:30: Welcome

6:30-7:00: Talks

7:00-7:15: Speaker Q&A

7:15-7:30: Closing

7:30-8:00: Hanging Out



Speakers


Carmen L. McDonald, Product Design Lead at CDW and Co-founder of DesignTech

Carm has had a love affair with all things design as early as she could remember. Formally trained in Architecture, she transitioned to a career in Web Design and as her career progressed, found herself immersed in user experience and interaction design. She currently serves as Product Design Lead at CDW and teaches part-time UX courses and bootcamps at General Assembly.

Active in Chicago’s technology and start-up community, she sits on the advisory board of ITA’s Women Influence Chicago Initiative, provides UX mentorship at 1871 and is co-founder of DesignTech, an all-inclusive community that supports women and minority women in design and non-coding technical roles thru education and professional development.

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Karen Spears, Founder at Kareacter

Karen’s mission is to create a world of possibility for women in design and entrepreneurship.

She is the owner of Kareracter, a creative studio building brands with personality.

We offer visual solutions to clients who are socially-driven, innovative, and women-led organizations that support a team of emerging women designers. We aim to be the home-base for emerging designers looking to create meaningful work in an environment that celebrates their personal and creative identity.

This past June, Karen was awarded the AIGA Emerging Designer Award for 2018.


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Lisa Beasley, Co-found and Creative Director of The Nova Collective

Lisa Beasley is a actor, comedian, writer, producer, and entrepreneur. Originally from Gary, IN, Lisa graduated from Emerson School of The Visual and Performing Arts. Lisa is an HBCU alum with a B.A. in Music and attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles. Since, Lisa has performed in theaters all over the country. Lisa is known for her digital, commercial, & television work on ABC, NBC, COMEDY CENTRAL, as well as an on-air personality for ABC's WINDY CITY LIVE. Her writing and work has been featured in BET, BUSTLE, SYFY, AV CLUB, EBONY, ESSENCE, COMPLEX, BLACK ENTERPRISE, and HUFFINGTON POST. Lisa is the Co-founder and Creative Director of The Nova Collective, a company devoted to transforming company cultures. She currently lives on the South Side of Chicago. IG, Twitter: @lisabexperience


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Theresa Stewart, HBIC at colored and founder of colored collective

Theresa Stewart is a Designer and Cultural Consultant who has been crafting meaningful experience in a range of industries, including consumer electronics, retail, and healthcare. In addition to design, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has been a fierce advocate for creating spaces for designers of color in the industry. The focus of her company, colored, is to help design organizations create more inclusive environments for black and brown designers by identify gaps in their inclusion efforts and creating solutions, including policy, recruitment, and retention strategies. Additionally, she serves as the Design Ethics Chair for AIGA Chicago, a new position created based on her recommendation.




Sponsors

Grand Studio

Grand Studio is digital strategy and product design consultancy in Chicago, working with future thinking and innovative clients in a range of industries.


Skill Scout

Skill Scout is a media company that helps employers tell their stories on video as a way to attract and retain talent. Inspired by the motto that you cannot be what you cannot see Skill Scout's team is passionate about celebrating the world of work and using the camera lens to expose candidates to thriving careers. Since their founding in 2014 they have supported companies from world class brands like Nike and American Airlines to small manufacturers in the Chicago suburbs. A certified Woman Owned business, Skill Scout is deeply committed to building a diverse team with a focus on becoming an employer of choice for women of color.



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Date and Time

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Grand Studio

444 North Wells Street

#301

Chicago, IL 60654

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