This podcast was recorded during our second DAYLIGHT event of Season two, Equity, held on March 21, 2019. This conversation was between Antionette Carroll, founder, President & CEO of Creative Reaction Lab and Brian Payne, President & CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Lourenzo Giple: [00:00:00] Hello. You're listening to the DAYLIGHT podcast series created by People for Urban Progress and Exhibit Columbus, made possible with the support of the Cummins Foundation, and brought to you by Ambrose Property Group and Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Lourenzo Giple: [00:00:00] Daylight Season 2 brings together national and local thought leaders around the topic of inclusive design. In this season we have authentic conversations on the realities of equity, dignity, and justice as it relates the responsible design for Indianapolis. As Indianapolis grows and changes, these hard-hitting topics have an impact on the overall city and thus have an impact on you.
Lourenzo Giple: [00:00:36] Daylight Season 2, Episode 2, Equity. This podcast was recorded on April 24th, 2019. During the event,we heard from Antoinette Carroll Founder, President, and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab. And Bryan Payne, President and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Mali Jeffers: [00:00:59] Welcome to installment number two of the DAYLIGHT series. Thank you all for being here. [claps] My name is Mali Jeffers and I lead marketing and corporate responsibility efforts for Ambrose Property Group, primarily for the Waterside project, which is just behind us, across the river and is the redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant site. So for anyone not aware, there is a one hundred and three acre parking lot that way that will become about a twenty five block expansion of downtown Indianapolis. So Ambrose Property Group and CICF are co presenting this series and we're really proud to be the sponsor and we're really happy that conversations like this are going on. So that is my job tonight and I'm now turning it over. Thank you again for being here.
BRIAN PAYNE + CICF'S NEW STRATEGIC PLAN
Brian Payne: [00:02:02] It's great to be here. PUP, I've loved People for Urban Progress from the very first day I ever heard about it. It's one of my favorite organizations for so many reasons and I just love hanging around PUP and I've–I think I own four bags and I've certainly haven't invested enough, I understand that. So we did this event, I don't know if it was a week ago or two weeks ago, where we announced our new strategic plan, and our initiatives, and our new mission statement and how many people were able to to be there? I just want to get a sense of, OK so you know a good number but not all. And then, and then also that–the day before that Gregory Meriweather who was–who I want really wanted, I met with him today, Greg did you make it? All right I guess he didn't make it, I was hoping he would join us today. Anyway a community activist in town, the day before, emailed me Kyle Korver is essay. How many people have heard of Kyle or read–how people have heard of this essay that came out about privilege as a white player in the NBA? A few, how many have read it? OK. So one of the things you all need to do, really, especially if you're white, is you need to read–just google Kyle Korver, k o r v e r, Kyle Korver essay. And it's this incredibly beautiful, poetic essay about how a really a journeyman white player in the NBA is treated differently, and way better, than the black stars of the NBA. And it's beautiful. He's had his own journey... You have to read it and I have to read it again because I've only read it once and I really, I really remember it, but I need to read it again.
Brian Payne: [00:03:59] So we've had a journey. We're in, we're in the beginnings of a journey at CICF and our new mission statement is: We want to mobilize people ideas and investments toward creating a community where all individuals have the equitable opportunity to reach their full potential no matter place, race, or identity. And within that we have five initiatives. We have economic-we have five initiatives and right now about 18 projects within those. Big ideas, 18 big ideas within those. But the five initiatives are criminal justice reform, economic mobility for all, helping empowering neighborhoods and placemaking. And I'm going to forget one was that 3 or 4 am. What was that? [speaking to audience] No I meant to bring it by my cheat sheet but, but under wrapping whatever that, if there was one I missed. [Clayton from the audience: "Family stabilization."] Family stabilization. Clayton De Fur. Who is our Senior Grants Officer and he comes wherever I speak and he makes everything work.
Brian Payne: [00:05:18] Appreciate that. And family stabilization, but then wrapping around all of those and/or foundationally supporting all of those, really both, is dismantling systemic and institutional racism in central Indiana. And so that's what we're going to be about for the next generation, the next two generations. I hope we make significant progress in the next 40 to 50 years. But we have a five year plan, the first five years, but this is a generational commitment. And I just want to give you a couple of examples of the way we're thinking, and I'm choosing the ones that I think that in listening and getting to meet Antionette, who I'm so excited that I've gotten to meet her, and I'm–I know that we're going to bring her–we're going to we're going to convince her to bring her programs, and her ideas, and her talent to Indianapolis on a more permanent basis. But she talks a lot about or, has done one of her programs about looking at the challenge of transportation in St. Louis, I believe that... I mean she's from St. Louis as you'll find more about, but I think it was St. Louis that she did this project about really looking from a design perspective of the challenges of transportation, especially for people of color living in disinvested neighborhoods. And so, we have a big personal mobility network project that I'm really excited about and I see Mary Chandler and Cummins as a major partner on this and Tom Linebarger, the CEO of Cummins, is chairing our corporate advisory committee which is really where all the energy of this is right now is out of the corporate advisory committee, and we have this great partnership with Ford Smart Mobility.
Brian Payne: [00:05:18] But this idea came to me about four years ago. And when it came to me it was really another idea about how to make Indianapolis a better place to recruit young professionals from around the country. That's when I first, when I first thought about it, that's what it was. And that's what it was for over a year until in one week I had three meetings; one was with Terri Morris Downs who runs the Immigrant Welcome Center, and one was with Matt Hall who runs veterans-veterans services for Mayor Hoggset. And I can never remember who the third meeting with was with, because I have so many meetings, but in one week I had three meetings and after that week is like oh my gosh this is the right project, but for the wrong people. It's the right project, but for the wrong reasons. And that flipped it into an equity design project. I didn't know the language then, Antionette is teaching me more about the language that I think is so awesome I'm going to use, but it became more about helping people who cannot afford a car, who do not have a car, get to where they need. As opposed as a nice, fun, amenity for the people who could afford one or two cars, but want to, you know, want to transport themselves in a different more fun, you know, economical or ecological way. So that flipped and we know, what we've learned, is if we get that right it's incredibly complex, but we have so much positive momentum and we could-we might create a transportation system better than any other transportation system in America. That is the possibility and if we do that, and we do it the right way, and we serve people who cannot afford a car, we do not have a car, then we'll serve everybody. If it will serve people equitably then everyone will be able to benefit. And that won't–that's, in the counter of that it's not true. If we serve young professionals, we would no way serve people in neighborhoods who really needed a car or needed transportation. So that's been a big learning experience. And I wanted to bring that one up.
Brian Payne: [00:09:28] A second example is we have this ambassador program. And one of the things, I get the privilege of interviewing Antionette after she is done speaking, and I'm always interested in how things evolve in community. So our ambassador program was this idea that we wanted to get some feedback directly from people in the neighborhoods for our strategic plan. And it was, it was... you know it just it was like a research idea. But the ambassadors were so impressive. They moved us, our staff and our board, so greatly that we've decided to keep a lot of them on working with us, to keep continuing to inform our our work and actually more than that there are partners in our work, and at a certain significant level they're leaders in our work. And then I see lots–Antionette and I already talked about how some of her programs could merge with our ambassador program and be even way more impactful.
Brian Payne: [00:10:31] The third thing I just wanted to mention because again, this is all about all of us learning, is that we had this great meeting the other day and Clayton was in this and we were–so we were gonna we have about 250,000 dollars that we haven't spent for out of a fund, The Margot Eccles Fund, for arts or artists. And we said we're going to make this all about, it's going to be an equitable, equity-focused arts fund. And so we came into this meeting and we had some of our ambassadors there, we had really–Mali was there, and we had a great representation of artists, and people of color, and who were not part of our foundation in a formal way. And we came in and already the ideas were evolving early in the meeting but then we kind of defaulted into foundation world and it's like we started to like try to get that thing done by the end of the two hour meeting, because we were trying to get this money out. And what hit us is was, wait a minute let's stop. Let's take a breath. A lot of breaths, and let's go talk to a lot of artists of color in neighborhoods and say what would the process be that helped you the most? Instead of us guessing at a process, even it's for their benefit, it's all about them.. But it's me and my staff, in two hours designing a process with good intentions but through ignorance. Even though we're good grant makers we've gotta understand.. I think we understand white grant making process really well, and now we want to understand other kinds of process for other people like artists, and people of color in separate, more customized neighborhoods. So we stopped. And now we're gonna go talk to artists in neighborhoods and say what would be a good process for you? How can we give this money away that would help you, and your neighbors, and your neighbor artists, and artists and other neighborhoods... what do you think we should do? And then we're going to design a process around what they tell us to do.
Brian Payne: [00:12:42] And I think that's the learning that we're in. It's a major major moment for us. It's been a three year journey. It's going to be a 50 year journey, and we hope not to default into old bad habits. And listening to people like Antionette is a huge part of our education. So I'm thrilled to be here, thanks for listening, let's bring on the headliner.
ANTIONETTE CARROLL + CREATIVE REACTION LAB PRESENTATION
Donna Sink: [00:13:26] All right. Thank you, Hannah. Thank you for fixing that. Thank you Brian. I've lived in Indianapolis. I was in Philly for 10 years before moving here 13 years ago. And I love this community so much. And a lot of the reason is because of the work that Brian Payne and CICF are doing. I loved Indianapolis, I really do. [applause] But part of the daylight series intent is to bring people from other places in, also. So that we are hearing from our own people and we're also hearing from people from other places. So I am so thrilled to welcome Antionette D. Carroll. Antionette is the founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a non-profit organization in St. Louis that is educating and deploying youth leadership to challenge racial inequities impacting black and Latinx populations. Now in the architecture world, where I live, we are working hard to try to figure out how to bring more black and Latinx voices and professionals into our profession and what we keep saying is we have to get to young people. We have to reach youth populations, we have to reach elementary and high school kids and that's how we get people interested and feeling like they can have an impact on their built environment and their community. So Antionette is doing this. Within this capacity Antionette has pioneered a new award-winning form of creative problem solving called Equity-Centered Community Design. She has received several recognitions and awards including being named a 2018 Echoing Green Global Fellow. She's a TED fellow. She's a Camelback Ventures fellow. Additionally, in 2014 Antionette was named the founding chair of the diversity and inclusion task force of the AIGA, which is the graphic, graphic design–the professional, sorry, the AIGA, the Professional Association of Design. Currently, Antionette is an AIGA national board director and chair emerita of the task force working on long term strategic initiatives, such as the Design Census program with Google, and the National Design for Inclusivity Summit with Microsoft. She is the co-founder of the Design and Diversity conference and fellowship and we are so excited to see some of her work. Welcome, Antionette.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:15:50] Hi everyone. [quiet responses] Look I drove here this morning, really early. I am a night owl. Hello, how are you? [laughter, louder responses] Give me a little bit more, OK. I'm really excited to be here it's actually my second time in Indianapolis. I've noticed that that is the question I've received the most today. So is this your first time here? And I'm like No. But probably the longest I have spent in the city because I'm always in and out. But it's been very hospitable it's been amazing connecting with PUP and all the individuals doing great work here. And I'm excited to share some of the work I've been doing on St. Louis as well as to have honestly a dialogue with you all. I think many times when we come into spaces like this, there's this assumption that the person at the front of the room is the only person with expertise and power and knowledge and I very much challenge that mindset. I believe everyone's a living expert around different issues and different topics and that that should be highlighted in many spaces. And so I'm excited to have that dialogue with you today.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:16:55] So a little bit about myself. Thank you for reading that bio, I was very grateful that you didn't read the extra long bio because admittedly, I'm a fellow of too many things and I think I'm at probably number 22, Next City Vanguard, all these things... But for me what a lot of these opportunities that I've had, it really came from the reality that I came from a historically under-invested community. I was a first generation college student. Neither one of my parents graduated from high school. I literally grew up thinking that the goal was to make nineteen thousand dollars a year. And so all of these opportunities I've had is because I have not had a traditional trajectory of being able to have access to many rooms. And I also recognize that if I'm able to get into these programs, then the young people that I work with also will be able to have access to these spaces that we historically do not know about. Prior to starting Creative Reaction Lab in 2014, which I'll talk about in a minute, I was actually working in marketing and advertising for almost 10 years. My last position I was head of communications at a diverse inclusion nonprofit and there was a lot happening on the ground in St. Louis under my tenure at this organization including the unrest in Ferguson. And I also am a former Ferguson resident and when I was invited to a lot of those tables I was never invited as someone that had an expertise as an African-American woman, I wasn't invited as someone who had experience living in Ferguson or dealing with segregation in the region, I was invited because I had a title. And I saw it as a problem and a challenge and I wanted to create a framework and platform that community members can have ownership on what they want to see their community and their cities look like. And so that is actually what ultimately led to Creative Reaction Lab. One of the things I do not have one here is that I am a mother of twin boys and I like to highlight them and my husband. My husband is technically here in the city, not here in the room. He's been to too many talks at this point so he's like I'll just be sleep in the car, let me know when we're driving home. But you know I do a lot of my work for them especially being a mom of two black boys, being married to a black man and having fears around if they will be okay or if they'll survive and the reality they would have in life, and seeing the challenges my husband and my family members have gone through. And so I want to make sure I bring their presence in this room even if they are not in the room with me today.
[00:19:38] This thing is really tall. [motions podium] I believe I'm tall but I'm really short. So most people when they think about my story especially as they start to learn about me over the last few years they usually associate my name with Ferguson. That's usually what happens. But one of the things I want to highlight is that there were many, many people on the ground doing work in Ferguson and there's many, many people on the ground now that are still doing work across the region that do not have access to platforms and spaces like this. And so I do not bring up Ferguson as a way to say look, look at what we've done. It's more of me highlighting that the work was happening before August 2014 and the work continues beyond August 2014 and many people are actually surprised that this year our five year anniversary of the unrest and Michael Brown Jr. being killed. The fact that so much has happened and yet so little has happened in the five years is astonishing and something that is a continual reminder of why we need to continue to do this work. But, in 2014 in St. Louis it was the time in which we were actually celebrating our 250 eighth birthday. There was a lot of galas and a lot of you know birthday cakes around the city. Seriously, there was literally 250 birthday cakes around the city. And there was certain communities that were saying look how amazing we've been for 250 years. Imagine two hundred and fifty more.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:21:15] And then August 2014 happened and there was a community that has always been there it wasn't like they just came out of anywhere, they were always there, but it was a community that has been historically a race said Actually you're not that great and let's show you why and let's show you how, and let's actually try to do something about that. And I was one of the individuals that was invited to a lot of the professional tables, but I wanted to go back to the roots of community. And so I decided in 2014 to, at that time honestly wasn't an event to create–I mean wasn't an organization, it was as event–to create creative reaction out which was a 24-hour challenge. There was no intention for me to start my own organization. One, again, I'm a mom, who has time for that? And honestly, if you hear my bio clearly I don't sleep - who volunteers for that? So I brought people together–at that time I really was focused on traditional designers, creative practitioners, and activists–to have them come up with their own interventions to address the St. Louis racial divide that was within our region and in many forms and iterations that it comes up. And many people ask Why did I want designers to be in a room so much? And the reality was that design is literally everything and everywhere and we navigate complexity in ambiguous situations every single day, we create literally from just blankness. But yet, when we think about a lot of the social ills we have a society, we don't think about the creative mindset that it will take to actually dismantle and challenge a lot of that. And so I wanted to move designers out of this let's create a poster or a logo or whatever it may be to let's actually design a movement and let's design interventions that has better outcomes for all.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:23:12] And it was quote unquote successful. You would argue as was successful because it started our organization. We received national press. We receive funding nationally. But yet, I started to realize that it was more than just the traditional designers that needed to be in a room. Of course I had the activists in the room as well, but honestly the more everyday living expert designers across every industry that actually needed to be a part of this effort. So it really made me challenge my own mindsets on who actually should be in a certain space. But I want to quickly just go over three of the five initiatives that came out of that, just to give a few examples. One was called The Vibe Switch campaign, which how many people have heard of Candy Chang? Show of hands, anyone? Anyone heard of Before I Die wall? Yeah more people. So CandyChang, she actually is a TED fellow as well in new–I want to say New Orleans, created the Before I Die wall as she's really big on kind of more participatory design. And the group members that created this had never heard of her, but for them their big thing was how do we challenge the narratives around identity and the stereotypes that we all face every single day. And they want to do it in a public engagement way. And so it was this public facing chalkboard, it actually also included pop up exhibits and digital media platform efforts as well, that allowed people to really discuss how they've been stereotyped. And then, at the same time take ownership of their identity and not allow people to dictate what or who they were. And this project was actually the longest running, all of the five projects were actually activated in St. Louis. This project was the longest running out of all of them and actually just stopped last year and it was one where it really started this conversation around this similarity that we have around oppression and being stereotyped, but also the differences that we have and how do we acknowledge the differences, and appreciate it, but then also challenge it at the same time.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:25:24] Another project was the Connected for Justice campaign and this project actually penned a new form of approaching things called Civic Matchmaking. It was created by a woman named De Nichols. If you do not don't know De Nichols, check her out she's amazing. Many of-actually some of her work was acquired by the Smithsonian, African-American History and Culture Museum. And with De and her team, she wanted to bring people together to have this kind of repository of how we actually could create our own community interventions through digital media as well as on the ground efforts. It took the form of a website. It was people that essentially came up with ideas and then people came to volunteer to help them make it happen. When this project was shut down in November 2014 because it was only intended for the original protests, over several hundred actions had occurred because of this one site and because of the team effort and what they wanted to do whether it was diversifying books within the different stores, to actually leading the creation of the Mirror Casket project which was a walk through protest when they built a live-a life sized casket actually out of mirrors and had people question will I end up in it in this box or did I act-could I be a person that leads to someone ending up in this box, so there was a lot of efforts that came from that.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:26:52] And then another project was the Red Table Project and this project was looking at how do we bring people to together over one of the most profound cultural denominators we have which is food. And for this project it really was looking at this, we have a major issue saying laws around segregation, but particularly geographic segregation, and we have had several-many documentaries created about us. One of them is called the Delmar Divide with BBC actually did a mini-documentary on us, and on one side the street you have primarily African-American, lower income, you know liquor stores... not really that many assets in the neighborhood. And then on the other side you have Forest Park, you have high-rise hotels, primarily white-it's actually 70 percent white, more affluent. And they never cross. And the life expectancy is very different. I knew this reality too well because my godparents, who are white, live on this side with the park, and my mother and my siblings lived on the side-actually they lived in a condemned home. And so this starkness was a reality and they wanted to create this opportunity for people to cross the street and come together and not first have conversations on how do we address issues around race, because that's not something you start a conversation with, not in St. Louis at least, but [laughs] you know what's your favorite movie? Or you know, what's your zodiac sign? But honestly, how to become neighbors? Because we've all lost that that neighborly connection. I'll admit, I don't know my own neighbors. My husband do, he's-he's more friendly than me. [laughs] You know it's one of those, where that was something that was rich in certain communities that we've lost and we actually need to find a way to also cross that.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:28:55] So all of this kind of led to my mission, partly due to the market and people asking us to bring Creative Reaction Lab's mindset to other cities, also deepening our work and St. Louis, but then also because I felt it was my call anyway just naturally from the type of work that I was doing. But then May 2nd 2018 happened. So we're almost at the one year anniversary of this. I received a phone call and I was actually in the middle of our fundraising campaign for Give S.T.O. day I don't know if you have a equivalent of it here but it's like a crowdfunding day, and my sister had called me and told me that my 14 year-old brother had been shot. And we were told he was shot in the arm, I rushed to get my siblings that I'm one and only people in my family have a car. And I took them to the hospital and before we were able to get upstairs they said he had died. And when this happened it was one of those things that I realized that it wasn't enough to just talk about the personal interaction, but we also had to think about the systems of the things that are in place that led to what had happened. Because for me I didn't look at it as, I just lost my brother that day, I actually saw us losing two black men, potentially, that day because the boy that committed the act was 13. He killed him literally in his bedroom over his iPhone. And it made me question what type of institutions and systems have we put in place that has led to this form of survivor and kind of lashing out mentality that-that's hurting so many communities, not just the black community, but so many communities. And so it changed my mission per say and more led to my purpose of why I should do the work that I should do.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:31:03] Because the reality is that racism is a major public health issue whether we want to call it that or not. It's not just someone saying something derogatory in your face, it is something that is literally impacting our life expectancy and our quality of life. And there are so many communities that many times are not even aware of the systems in place that has led to this decreasing and all of that. And there's not just qualitative kind of data, on us but also quantitative data. You know Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that every 7 minutes a black person died prematurely due to the effects of racial discrimination. And I know that reality not only with my brother, but also the reality that yet in my family I have not had black males make it past the age of 56. Yet in my family.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:31:58] This is something that is deeply embedded and is not enough to just have diversity awareness. It's not enough to just have unconscious bias training and then say All right I'm fixed, wonderful. It's something that is going to be hard and it's messy and it's complex and that it takes so many people across many different aisles to do this work to actually get it done.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:32:23] So that led to my purpose and my purpose is framed in this mindset. I personally believe that systems of oppression, inequalities. inequities they are by design. But I also believe that they can be redesigned. Because I'm an optimist. And I understand that if they had-if we have the ability, and I say we as a humankind, have the ability to design these systems then we also have the ability to dismantle them and actually create a movement of redesigners for justice which is something that I am working towards and want us to ultimately do together.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:33:01] So at our organization we, as stated in my bio, directly work with black and latinx you to address racial and health inequities. We actually do say racial and health inequities so people know the intersection of it, and for us we understand that if we actually are going to address these systems of inequities we can't just focus on the people and traditional quote unquote power because this work is centuries long. I tell people all the time I see my work as cathedral building. I probably will not see that cathedral in my lifetime, but the foundation of it is so important that that continually drives the work that I am trying to do. And I'm OK with that. We've never had an equitable society. I would argue we've never really had an inclusive society, so that mean there's a lot of steps that we have to get to to really be able to get to that space that we are all so easily throwing into our value statements, but maybe not holding ourselves fully accountable towards. But then the other duality of our mission is that we're trying to change the way people address systemic oppression. And for us we're looking at four sectors to do it that we call narrative and livelihood shapers and it's the education media government and health sectors. These sectors actually impact our quality of life, life expectancy, and the narratives that we have about ourselves and the narratives that we have about others.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:34:25] And the conversation we had earlier one of the things we discussed is that many people don't even talk about media that much but really think about what narratives and biases that we have based on the media that we see. And it's not just journalism. Design, even graphic design, is a media. Like I came from advertising. Our job, literally, it was to put things in people face all the time and the representation and the narratives that we fed through that actually gave people the mindset of what-how certain things are, if they didn't have a direct relationship with it. And so we believe that we have to create a impact in all these sectors for the change to happen.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:35:05] A colleague of mine in Cincinnati says design is not about making things look good but making things work. And that function piece is key. Don't get me wrong I love a nice beautiful piece. These slides are not ugly. Just saying. [laughs] However, it's not enough just for it to visually look good. What is the actual function and purpose and outcome of the design. Why is it there?
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:35:37] So for context, the way that we define design is that is the intention and unintentional impact behind an outcome. IBM defined design as the intention behind the outcome in the '60s. We added an unintentional impact, because for us good intentions are not enough. Too many times I've heard We had the best intentions. That's wonderful, but what's the actual impact of your work? What's the actual outcome of it? We can no longer hide, intentions doesn't allow for accountability. It doesn't. And it's not me saying people shouldn't challenge, and try, and fail because that's part of the process, that's natural. But we should still hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hold ourselves accountable beyond just good intentions. And we also believe that human-centered approaches are not enough because unfortunately the way that many people define human-centered is if, is as if we're cartoon characters in a comic book and there's just that one frame. We're not thinking about the systems, the traumas, the acts of resilience that these people have had to have. We just think of what we see in that moment and now all of a sudden I'm being human-centered. For us we need more than that. So we're trying to build a movement of a new type of civic leader that moves beyond human-centered approaches, that we're calling equity designers and design allies working in solidarity. And here's what I mean by that. One, equity designers are always thinking about fairness and justice and not just Let's give everyone the same thing. And that's hard.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:37:17] As someone that runs a company, I-even when I think about pay for my staff how do I give equitable pay? Not how do I give pay of equality, how do I give equitable pay? And there is no there is no foundation for that, it's testing and failing and understanding and learning, and honestly being transparent and vulnerable in that process. So other people feel OK failing, to. Because if we don't try, it's not going to happen. But for us, also, equity designers they put people in equity first, calling both out, they're embedded in the community they're working to change–so in other words avoiding savior complexity as much as possible because they are then thus impacted by whatever the intervention is they develop because they're there. They're also constantly iterating making and testing on interventions. They build upon existing resources that are there because there's already fantastic cultural assets in many communities, and they make sure they are not erasing what's already happening in the community. And then lastly, they have lived experience with the inequity. And we get pushback on this sometimes because many people ask Well why are we asking people that have been historically under-invested to be the ones to do the work when they didn't actually create the system that made this happen? We are not challenging that mindset. That's why we created the design ally. Because for us that lived experience is key. That knowledge is profound and it shouldn't be undervalued. These individuals are living experts but the design ally has a similar charge. However, they will leverage their power and access on behalf of the equity designer. They may not directly be embedded in the community, but they have some indirect connection and there's some accountability there for this work to actually happen.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:39:12] And at our organization we use these frameworks and foundations to actually get us towards building this movement of leaders, and so we have our process we pioneer call Equity-Centered Community Design. We also think that there are strong frameworks in the social entrepreneurship space and the community organizing space because honestly a lot of work get done because of community organizers, they just don't get the credit as much as they should. And also the intrepreneurs and some people don't know what I mean by intrepreneurs. They essentially are within already pre-established built structures and they are working for change from within. So for instance Brian as an intrepreneur and as one of those I used to tell me when I was an intrepreneur before I was an entrepreneur. My people-my bosses loved me and hated me at the same time, because I always was challenging what they were talking about. Don't come at me telling me this is how it's always been because I personally don't care. And so we need those from within.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:40:16] If you did not receive this card I think we have some at the back, but our process that we pioneer was recognized by Fast Company which, OK, that's great, but for us the thing about this process is one, this is not linear. As you notice there's no start and there's no endpoint, because a work around equity there's no start and there's no endpoint. Also there's an intersection of history and healing and understanding power dynamics within every step of the process. As I tell people all the time Your trauma doesn't go away just because you decided you were going to prototype something today. You're bringing that into the room with you just like you're bringing your resiliency in the room with you and we need to acknowledge that across every step of the process. Another thing is really big for us is inviting diverse co-creators again, thinking about the living expertise, building your own humility to actually become empathetic because I hear so many people talk about empathy and then I'm the person that ask, OK, How are you doing that again? Because just fixing a tire beside someone at the same time is not making you empathetic. Sorry. Because for you you may be fixing a tire for an agenda that you have set around this project, for this individual they may be had their car stop on now five times in the last year and them fixing this tire is just another reminder of the different issues they have to face every single day. It is very hard to think that you can walk in someone's shoes by having this temporary moment. We have to have the humility of vulnerability and challenging ourselves. And then another thing that's really important for us, is thinking about the actual accountability piece of testing and learning. What's the actual exit strategy of what you're creating? In the design space, we tend to be very transactional. It is really the nature of majority of our businesses is that we are consultants and I challenge that notion because it's hard to create equity work when you are leading through the lens of transaction. Equity work is deep, is long, and is ongoing. And so I challenge different people to move beyond what is this one temporary project to what is this deep investment that I will continue to have.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:42:31] And so by learning this process we are having people become equity designers and design allies. As stated for us, the people most impacted by the issues are closest to their approaches to address them. That is our our framework and our mindset and Bryan Stevenson talks about proximity a lot in his work, he thinks the same. And here's a photo of some of our equity designers we worked with this past summer. These are high school students in St. Louis. They decided last summer they were going to address the mental and physical well-being challenges for youth of color. They decided they were going to create a short film; a student-ran podcast; they reimagined school assemblies through a health equity lens; and they also created a backpack for thinking about the economic disparities that high school students have mid-year. That's high school.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:43:20] We can have so much more of that, but again we recognize the allyship is important and central to this work. One main piece I want to highlight here, is that just like you have a privilege, right, like I have privileged identities, I'm-you know able-bodied, I'm heterosexual, I have all these different privileges... I also have different identities that lead to oppression. So there is-there are certain spaces that I can be an equity designer and are certain spaces that I should be a design ally. I can be an equity designer when it comes to African-American rights, but I cannot be an equity designer when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights. I can be a design ally. And understanding when to center your power went to step back and center the power of others, is very important. And for us to have the equitable outcomes we need both at the table to make it happen. And if your communities and teams don't consist of both, I challenge you today to ask the question why? And what am I going to do about that? [applause] Thank you.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:44:25] So one of my last slides I wanted to show, actually the project Brian mentioned was with equity designers and design allies in St. Louis. These are college students we had an all black male cohort. They were looking at public transportation access in St. Louis, and particularly the light rail-proposed light rail expansion in a historically under-invested community. And they found that many community members, even though there have been so many town halls, didn't even know that this was happening and that some were excited; some asked about business development; many asked about displacement and thought about what does this actually mean for our community? But at the end of the day it starts with you and it starts with the individual, institutions are made of individuals. And for us to change we need to acknowledge that reality. And that you all have the power to design better outcomes and design perspectives, and it's all about us stepping into that power to do it.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:45:23] So I appreciate you taking the time to listen to this little conversation today. But I know Brian and I are about to talk. So please feel free to ask any additional questions that you may have.
Brian Payne: [00:45:40] Antionette, that was terrific. Thank you so much for being here and for that, beginning of an education for us all. I, in prepping for this, I've listened to a couple of podcasts that, do you have your own podcast at Creative Reaction Lab too, or not?
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:45:57] Not with Creative Reaction Lab, I have Design + Diversity podcasts, that's my other business that was not mentioned.
Brian Payne: [00:46:02] Ok. So I listened to her as a, as a guest on other people's podcasts and so just just search for her on on podcasts and there's some wonderful things.. she also has a Tedx talk on the website that's amazing and really kind of captures a lot of this in about six minutes. But what are the things that I heard you say on a podcast I just thought was so wonderful that I wanted you to repeat it to all of us, the definition of oppression. I thought it was so poetic and important.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:46:33] So a few years ago a few colleagues and myself met in Oakland, California to think about how do we collectively build this new type of design framework called equity design so Equity-Centered Community Design is one under that umbrella. There's also a laboratory design that's equity by design. There's different things happening around the country, and one of the things that-it's very important for us is language setting. We believe language is one of the biggest barriers that we have in actually working together. We assume everyone has the same definition as ourselves and then that leads to a lot of breakdowns. And one the terms that we felt that needed to really be defined was oppression, and we collectively decided that oppression was defined as the mistreatment of others at scale. And understanding that it's again not just looking at that first one individual interaction, but what is the actual scale and impact of this? It's like when you think of poverty that is something that usually is talked about at scale. You can have those interact individual interactions but there's still this scale component that makes it more disheartening and honestly profound and for us oppression was the same thing that needed to have kind of that type of framing before we've moved on.
Brian Payne: [00:47:51] So that as we were talking before about your summer academy and training equity designers you also train, do you also train design allies? Is that part of the training or is that...
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:48:05] Mmhmm.
Brian Payne: [00:48:05] OK. So so, I know your start-you've been doing that in St. Louis. You've got it up and you're gonna have it up and going in Chicago. So can you tell us a little bit more about what that summer academy looks like? Because I know there's people in this room that with proper investment from others, maybe would want to run one of these summer academies at their organization so. [applause] So if you could... like the age group and and how it rolls out, how many weeks, and do the kids get-do the kids get transported? Do they get paid?
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:48:43] You're asking for a grant proposal. Ok.
Brian Payne: [00:48:45] Yeah, I am.. [laughter] I'm asking for a grant proposal and you can design the proposal process. So there you go.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:48:54] I'm not going to challenge that. So just for a little framing, so our organization we have directly actually three youth programs we have our Young Leaders for Civic Change, which is actually a weekend bootcamp model and we actually partner with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to pilot this program in Denver-Aurora next month actually, during my birthday weekend because I don't sleep... And so in Denver-Aurora that weekend bootcamp is going to focus on food justice and understanding the kind of disparity around that. Then we have our Design to Better our Community Summer Academy, which I will talk about in a second I just want to give the framing, and then the Community Design Apprenticeship program targets college-aged youth and that is a program is actually a nine month long program that also is deep within the community. The one that we held was around public transportation. We have two more coming up this year looking at gun violence as well as housing displacement within the St. Louis region.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:49:54] But the summer academy is probably the most intensive out of all of them. It targets high school students. We work with them for six weeks, four days a week, five hours a day. We provide them with food, we provide them with transportation we-because we very much think about the reality that you know not everyone has access to reliable transportation, especially in St. Louis, we don't have a strong public transportation system. And so we, whether it's us purchasing lifts are actually giving them metro passes wherever it may be, we try to think about the different things they need to be successful and within that six-week program is really broken down first, of them thinking about the role of themselves and understanding their own history and also understanding the history of their community, because many times they're not even taught that as well, and the intersection of race there. Then the after that they focus on conducting their own community research within their own neighborhoods, learning about what issues the community want to address. From there they do root cause analysis, they select one of the topics, and then they focus the remainder of the summer academy developing their own prototypes to interventions to address that challenge. And so with them focusing on mental and physical well-being that came from them conducting research in the community, and one of things we're very intentional about what the summer academy is that the topic is not already pre-determined. That they themselves are the researchers, they are the ones-themselves lead the entire process all the way to the very end when they do their final presentations to the community. I did not get up once to introduce them, to transition, they completely planned the entire program. They let the entire program. And it was phenomenal seeing the youth own that. One last piece I will add to that is it is a near peer program, so it's completely facilitated by youth as well. We define youth as 26 and under. So the program lead is usually between 23 to 26 and the college age mentors are typical college age of 18 to 20, 22. And so for us it was important, again to not only think about the high schoolers, but also how do we develop the leadership skills of young talent across the entire program.
Brian Payne: [00:52:21] That's great. What's the ideal cohort number? How many, as you have done this how will-we talking about 20 youth? What's the number that you kind of look to pull together?
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:52:30] Typically between 20-25. I will say that has been a challenge for us. Most philanthropic organizations wants to see big numbers. They define impact as quantity versus quality. I literally had-literally a funder say You're not served enough youth for us to give you money. Yet, they weren't thinking about the fact that they'd literally developed four interventions that's reaching thousands of community members. They literally was just looking at the fact that we only serve so many students.
Brian Payne: [00:53:02] I hate foundations by the way, so [laughter]. I used to, when I ran the IRT and actually there were good foundations, but a lot of them were misguided I must admit. There's a lot of summer youth job focus in our city. Would it be appropriate or inappropriate if we did that and we paid the students to participate. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing?
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:53:30] I think that's a great thing, I think here's, here's my thought. So with our summer academy because we are still a startup we don't pay-we weren't able to pay them hourly, but the students didn't know at the end we actually gave them all gift cards for their time. They-I made sure that we did that. Like I don't care what we need to do, we were going to pay them something. For our Community Design Apprenticeship program, they actually receive a stipend to participate in that program as well. And whether its a young, youth program or honestly you're engaging with living experts in your own projects, people should be paid for their time. And at Creative Reaction Lab, like I said we'd be trainings and workshops across the country, with institutions. We actually include in our budget what we call the living expert stipend. So if we're talking to people we give them money. If they are coming on as code designers, we give them money. And I've talked to a few design firms and they always are bewildered by this. They're like Well how how are you, how are you paying them? And I'm like just like you include your time in the budget, include their time in the budget. And so we need to value people for their knowledge and expertise and pay them for it.
Brian Payne: [00:54:41] I know a lot of people know this in this room, but I remember learning this maybe... I don't know seven eight years ago when I was at a I was facilitating a neighborhood meeting on the South Side about Reconnecting to Our Waterways and in the course of the conversation one of the neighbors said Is this part of your job, right? And I said Yeah it is. And they said So you get paid to be at this meeting. And I said Yes I do. And they said well I have to pay to be at this meeting, I have to lose an hour of work or two hours, I have to cover child care costs so I can.,, It cost me a lot of money to be at this meeting and it seems that you get paid to be that this meeeting. That, that's had a profound effect on me. And so what we've we're trying to rethink when we want people in the neighborhoods to be at meetings that we look at compensating them in some way and we're trying to move toward that more consistently. We've done it. I don't think we're consistent enough about it, but we're looking into that.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:55:37] I will say when we did the apprenticeship program, one did things one the questions we were asking ourselves was what is the cost of inefficient public transit? And we were talking about it financially, what it literally-was the financially cost? But then also what is the cost time wise. It made me think about you know my my mother that literally she rides the bus, I think maybe like three four hours a day just to get to work and the same to get home. What would she be able to do with her life with an extra four to eight hours of her own time. And so we don't really think about the value of time as much as we should. Financially, as well as the fact that people are giving up their own interests and desires and I think that person said it best sometimes they are even paying for an efficient service, which is is unfair. But yet it has become a norm of our system, which is problematic.
Brian Payne: [00:56:35] I want to first of all, if there is any not for profits who are interested in maybe running a summer youth academy in partnership with Creative Reaction Lab let me know please. And...
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:56:48] I will tell you I was not here to pitch but [laughs] I'm not going to turn it down.
Brian Payne: [00:56:53] No, I'm here to pitch. I want to explore a little bit about gentrification then we're gonna open this up to your questions. So we at CICF we're really... I'm fascinated by the challenge of gentrification. I used to not try to say the word because I think the word is so you know, so there's no definition, everyone has a different definition of it. But this idea that you know we want investment in our neighborhoods, but we want it to be appropriate investment. And I've, I've kind of in my own learning journey figured out that you know what we want is we want investment that doesn't only not displace people from the cost of real estate or the cost of taxes on real estate or rent on real estate, but we also don't want to displace people's heritage, culture, neighborhood destinations. I mean this idea in Seattle, I learned you know and I get so sick of the Liberals from California where I came from, who speak a game, great game, and put us down in the Midwest, but they actually are doing way more harm in most ways then we are through their growth, and their insensitivity, and their ignorance or and their ignorance but also their arrogance. And I get really upset about my my West Coast friends and that are out there. But this idea of you know, that they they just like there's you know there's a black neighborhood. And of course the beauty shop and the barber shop are keys and those get run out. But but yeah but they don't think of it that way, they think the the the coffee shop and the brewpub is is the next coolest thing. I used to think that way I'm learning not to think that way. But so how do, how do we design? How would equity designers and design allies, how can we think of neighborhood investment in a way that continues, or builds equity, and takes good advantage of economic investment and doesn't doesn't allow or it kind of doesn't enable displacement either cultural or physical displacement.
Antionette D. Carroll: [00:59:08] So that's an interesting question. I feel like that's asking me how to solve poverty which I don't have the answer to. And it, because here's the reality. I didn't mention it in my talk but I, you never really hear me use the term solution. And that's because I believe solution has this finite one size fits all approach and I'm more I always say approaches are interventions and the reason I say that is because I think as so many different things that are needed these different drops in a bucket for us to get to a certain place of equity. And so when I think about gentrification, it's interesting you bring it up because we just did a weekend boot camp in Oakland, literally maybe two weeks ago, and the topic was gentrification and housing displacement. There are so many different moving parts there, that, and so many different actors in that space that it really will require everyone coming together being angry, messy, honest, real, to really break down what is leading to allow this in the first place. Because here's the thing, there's one of that things we even talked about in that room was that there's many people that don't even view themselves as gentrifiers. And so if we don't even know we're a gentrifier or that we're being gentrified, then how are we even going to challenge what is already there.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:00:35] Again, like I grew up thinking that nineteen thousand dollars was a goal. It wasn't a bad thing for me. Like literally my family was like if you make ten dollars an hour you've made, it for us that equals success. We didn't view ourselves in poverty. We didn't you know... stamps and all of that was normal. And it wasn't until I had access to certain things that I realized that I had such a poverty of mind, in a sense, that I had to kind of unpack different things myself. And so when I think about gentrification we're talking about individuals that have historically been in a community that have been historically under-invested. They're frustrated. There's not a lot of resources and things there. But then when things are brought in either it's priced out you know, it's priced out or it's something that maybe they're not even interested in. Like again at Ferguson, there was craft breweries. I'm sorry, like Ferguson was not the most blighted community in the world. Please. You know it's just, it's the truth. Like I grew up, there was no craft breweries. Like what is this thing? So you know it's one of those where there's so many people that's making decisions on what a community should look like, when we haven't even had a conversation on what a community feels like for us. And in two, we actually have that again language setting. The rest of it is going to continue to happen. The people that are making the decision are saying you know this, you know investment for us is a new innovation hub, investment for us is arts. But yet, the community there may not have an interest in the innovation hub, or the arts for them it may mean something completely different. It may be spoken word and you know organic public art pieces opposed to let's bring in a shiny new gallery, but we haven't even had that conversation or we don't provide space for the conversation for the community to live there actually to imagine what the future of that community can look like. Most of time it's imposed upon them. And then we're saying how we're going to address gentrification, when we haven't even looked at the first ideas of of development in the first place.
Brian Payne: [01:02:44] Well that's it's very helpful for my evolution of thinking. Thank you. All right going to open this up to all of you. I want to, I'll bring you the microphone so we'll make sure everyone can hear you and I'll run as fast as I can. Who would like to ask a question?
Q + A WITH THE AUDIENCE
Audience Member: [01:02:58] Thank you both so much. I'm mesmerized by you, so thank you for coming to our city. So you spoke about how there are individuals who have been speaking up for generations and maybe they don't have the platform that you have, but they are fierce advocates for their rights. And then there are also folks like myself, who I acknowledge I have privilege and limitations but believe in the equity that you're speaking of. So what would you recommend we could do together to authentically collaborate and push some of these ideas forward in a way that's respecting both of our experiences and really being true to the shared beliefs that we have.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:03:41] Yeah. This might come out wrong but I'm going to say it anyway. Firstly you probably have to do is listen. And then on top of that, for that community be OK when they don't speak or talk. And the reason I say is, I have put myself in a position where I'm ok with being vulnerable, that I'm okay with sharing my traumas. Not everyone wants to do that, not everyone feels comfortable doing that. And sometimes even just allowing space for silence is a step in the first-the first step we need, anyway. I had a colleague that she does a lot of community arts work and she actually used to go to a neighborhood, that actually was Delmar neighborhood, and for the first two three years she just went there and just listened. She didn't she didn't come in with an agenda. She didn't come in with the objective. She just came in and just wanted to know who they were as human beings. What tends to happen is that a lot of this work tends to be very transactional and that I, you know, I want to do good so I'm going to come in and automatically I want you to help me do good. That's usually where it comes from. Opposed to just actually getting to know people, and then organically building together. I would say Creative Reaction Lab is where it is today because because of the people I've been able to connect with and not once did I actually come to people and say I want you to help us accomplish X Y and Z. I just had a conversation with them, some of them cried, some of them told me their first interaction with race, even though we maybe had just met and I decided to take that upon myself. But then here we are a few years down the line where some of those individuals now are saying let's collaborate and do this. Or let's, actually, I have this idea. Or what does this look like? And so I think we have lost that organic relationship building piece, and not looking at people as... repositories or research subjects or Google search engines themselves, but allowing people just to be people. And so I would challenge you to of course extend your network, but don't extend it just so you can have a certain outcome at the end of the day, extend network just because it's actually a great thing to have a fantastic network and people can challenge you and help you learn. And then the rest of it would kind of organically build up.
Audience Member: [01:06:22] OK, thank you.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:06:24] No problem.
Audience Member (2): [01:06:26] Yeah. I've lived in the inner city all my life. My family has been here for four generations, and when we move back to the city from New York-I mean from Chicago. I wanted to live where I grew up. So we bought a house in Meridian-Kessler, in the black part of Meridian-Kessler, but it really wasn't. But we we had a great neighborhood, and over the years my sons were saying Oh you need to move, you need to move and it's like no, this is a great neighborhood I don't have-you grew up here, you had fun here. We lived on Cherry Street, you know. And now we've got all this gentrification coming in and people were saying, Look at what we're doing, the newbies are making the neighborhood great. The neighborhood was always great. The neighborhood looks exactly the same. You know we had ally cleanups before, and it was just meet us out there, we'll be there, you be there.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:07:24] Right.
Audience Member (2): [01:07:25] We didn't organize and you know, we just did it. And that really really bothers me when my new neighbors say to me you know, Well why aren't you involved. It's like I've always been involved. I've been here. You came and changed the dialogue and that's the issue. When we have this gentrification, people come into places that are already good, they don't see it as good because it was black. But once they get in, the same houses, the same housing stock, the same streets... all of a sudden we get sidewalks, which I had been advocating for for 40 years. We get, you know a lot more quote participation for the things we have always tried to get, but we never could. You know, they they took the lifeblood out of our neighborhoods but, one way bussing, and then wanted to understand why the neighborhood went down. You took the lifeblood. You took everything out and then we still had to survive. So you know, when people come to me and say and I'm a realtor, I've talked to a real estate organization, and they were talking about all the great things they were doing. They had a thing on diversity, and I was only person of color in the room and it's like OK what's wrong with this picture? And they were saying, Well don't you want us to make stuff good? And said, You're making us feel bad. We're trying to do good for you and I said to them, I don't want to make you feel good. I want you to see me as an equal and then work with us to make everything good. That's the problem I see with gentrification.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:09:00] And I mean your job isn't to make people feel comfortable. And here's, my thought is that if you don't have dissent or discomfort I really wonder if you actually learning anything. And you know I want to thank you for that, that honesty and that vulnerability because it also made me think while you were talking. Who defines good? You know, who actually says whether something is good or not? Because I would argue I had a great childhood. I, yeah I mean I had things happen in my childhood, I mean I had-my brother was not the first victim of gun violence that I know. I lost my best friend in eighth grade due to a game of Russian roulette you know, but again, you know for me I still I don't look at my childhood and say all was horrible. I don't look at the fact that we didn't have a grocery store in our neighborhood, Oh it was horrible. I'm not saying that adding those things would not be an added benefit, of course. Like a lot of these are inequities, they're things that actually are impacting our our ability to survive.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:10:05] But, the thing about historically under-invested communities is that they've always been resilient and they've always been able to survive through love. And through greatness. The rest of it... when I define good, when I define community, usually love is at the opposite end of that equal sign. It's not whether I have a new Starbucks or not, because honestly I don't want to pay you that money anyway. So, you know. But again I think we've lost humanity with a lot of this work. And actually I don't even want to say lost, because I'm not gonna say we never had it, but the reality is that the history of this country is founded on a lot of problems. Even the fact that we say that the country was founded, even though there was already Indigenous communities that were here, right? All these narratives that we've been taught has led us to have this very ego-driven mindset and this savior mindset, across the boar. And one of the things that I started to do years ago was one, vocally acknowledge that I was a product of self and culture hate, and that I had to even unpack a lot of narratives that I was taught against my own people and how I was perpetuating some of the issues, and that if I can't start with me, how am I going to address this system is so. So I appreciate you being very honest about that, because I think those candid conversations are a start, but I also will challenge people in a room that have privilege and access and power, to understand that those conversations are not enough. That it's the action piece that needs to be happened and also that you should be compensated for your time for it. Giving that insight.
Brian Payne: [01:11:50] Ok we have five more minutes, we have two more questions, we have people already with their hands up. Now I've been asked that you make sure you speak right into the microphone for the podcast. We're hearing everyone fine, but we want to make sure the podcast captures you.
Audience Member (3): [01:12:05] So, thank you for what you do. I am honored to be here to actually hear the great work coming from a woman of color who is pouring back into our community. What-I'm originally from Chicago, so what I do know about Indianapolis is Jim Crow and how that thought process, how that is still today, embedded into the systems as you spoke, of but also embedded into the minds of those that have been displaced and discouraged for so long. So when we look at equality and we talk about privilege and being in a room with so many faces of privilege, how can, or how would you recommend, those individuals of privilege and those not of privilege to be able to have the conversation, but also the energy and effort to put behind it to make it equitable for all. Especially when we have to acknowledge where we are, who's in power, and not to say anything bad about Brian, but you know token white guy, a lot of money, talking about equity. I salute him for it. But I also realize that many people before him that talked about equity and talked about you know standardizing things, were assassinated. Let's just be clear on the history of who we are and where we are today. So what would be your recommendation on how, not just talking about making a change, but truly doing get together.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:13:48] You know one thing that is interesting you also brought up the assassination piece, because many people have not been paying attention that actually a lot of the most active protesters in Ferguson have been popping up dead, and a lot of the ones that-and I will tell people all time, I did some protesting, I was not one of the most active ones Creative Reaction Lab was my platform at that time. I was not on the ground every single day, I was I was with my kids. And you know, and that was a choice that I made. I have friends that was there every single day and I have friends that what did other means and methods of going about it, right? And when it comes to a lot of this work as it relates to equity, I think personally, I think equity has become another buzz word. Just like diversity, inclusion, and equality. Honestly a lot of these words mean absolutely nothing. And action, if I'm be very frank, I can't tell you how many times I've seen it in value statements and I'm like So what are you doing? Or we ask organizations to be transparent about what they're doing to try to attempt equity and the failures they've had, and many of them said well we're not there, yet, so we can't be public about it.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:14:59] And it's the same when it comes to us, as you said, us actually coming together to do the work, and it means being - at least for me I must speak from my lens, for me I made a decision that I will step up whenever I can step up, I will be that challenger, I've been on panels where I've actually called out panelists on the panel, even people of color. And we got-I had an African-American older woman say the people that are in a room are the ones, I believe the ones that should be in the room, if they're not in the room then they shouldn't have been there. And I was like Oh let me tell you what you're not going to do, because you know I took that challenge on. I made sure that I will step up and hold myself accountable to that and that means even having those hard conversations that challenge me and sometimes hurt me. When my brother was killed, I travel a lot, I was in a Lyft, and for some reason the Lyft driver, white male, decides to tell me he was married to a black woman, and that you know gun rights is a right, and that he's, you know, a former police officer... He went on this whole thing and my=I could have easily shut down in that moment. I had every right to, I could have cursed him out, I technically had a right to do that, too, but I actually had a dialogue with him. And by the end of the conversation we realized that there were some things we agreed on. There were some things we disagreed on, and we were able to leave the conversation fine.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:16:28] And when it comes to actually the action piece, I think it's the accountability of like money, evaluation, all these things need to come into play for it. And to just say I'm going to throw a hundred million dollars, and right now talking about the MacArthur Foundation, I'm not trying to be a hater but I'm just saying, say oh we're going to put one hundred million dollars toward a social good project, but then not actually think about the fact that the organizations you are saying are eligible for the social good project, have historically been funded-mostly historically led by white people. And so the people of color that have been talking about a lot of this work on the ground for years, are not even eligible for that investment and therefore you're creating a large disparity and inequity and doing counter to what you actually say you're trying to do. Being actually public and calling that out. And I don't think we have enough institutional leaders, I don't think we have enough...actually I would just put it on institutional leaders. I don't think we have enough institutional leaders doing that. Because I can't say we don't have enough community members doing it. It's like when people say, Oh you know equity is a problem. People of color look around and say, Duh. [agreeing, laughter]. Like when they say, Oh we're dying at an alarming rate. We...we've been saying this for years. There's been plenty of times where I've seen my white counterparts say the exact same thing that I've said and then people are like, Oh that that makes sense. And I'm like am-I actually used to ask myself, Am I speaking a different language? And that's not me being funny. I literally used to ask people, Is it hard-do you not understand what I'm saying? Because I feel like I'm saying the same thing, but yet you understand what they're saying, but you're not understanding me. Is it me? And so for me I originally went to the blame, but then I had to turn around and say no actually it's a larger systemic thing, and we need those institutional leaders, in this case, to actually be the ones that will be vulnerable with their failures, and not in reaction to something you, even though reaction's in our name. But most companies like Pepsi, Gucci, Prada, all the things that are happening right now they are responding because the community is saying, How dare you put out something that looks like blackface? How dare you sit here and say that you need soap to clean your black skin, knowing in the advertising industry that actually was something that used to be pushed through in print advertisement. Instead of having a reaction moment, why can't organization actually be transparent and vulnerable throughout the entire process, and I would argue Ford Foundation is one that's doing that, and showing this is how we are doing okay. This is actually how we are failing horribly. And let's be a part of that process. So this, in that moment I would put it on the institutional leaders, but I found that usually leads to institutional leaders of color that are the ones that will step up and do it, opposed to ones that are not of color. If I'm be honest.
Audience Member (4): [01:19:28] So I loved hearing your examples of how you're helping the community. If we shift to thinking about corporate America and organizations, does your design work, or do you have some examples of how you can work with human resources on their hiring practices, and their succession planning, and getting people in the companies that look differently.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:19:47] Yeah I will say we have done workshops and trainings for different institutions-Oh sorry I'm trying to see-workshops and training from different institutions from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, like philanthropic organizations, to association for clinicians for the underserved, so a health care organization, to also government. And corporate has been the hardest one to break into, for us. We actually get more interest from people to have some alignment with social good space, could I view health as alignment with social good, I view government as alignment with social good whether.. [laughter] the outcomes is what we want is different. But I have examples from there, like New York City did a project called-I want to say it's called, We Live Here, and they used our process to actually become more intentional around the role of history, and with race in their city before they did their actual community engagement work. It's actually going to be on our Impact Report coming up in the next few weeks. And they really, it made them-it forced them to realize that it wasn't enough to just convene community members together, but they had to think about the intersection of race and and what funding and support has looked like or not looked like in certain communities across the board. But corporate-wise, we've had several institutions say they had interest but they never follow through. Thus that's the challenge. And I even had recently had an organization ask us to come in and train their staff to be able to navigate racist donors. Literally. They said Our donors are saying racist things, can you train our staff on how to deal with that? And I was like, no. That's that's not what we do. I can send you to my old job, because they'll do that, you know because I think it's incomplete. A lot of diversity inclusion work, it's like they wanted us to tell Them this is how you deal with those conversations. And instead I said, No you need to actually-you need to ask the question oh how have we built a culture that allows our donors to feel okay to say these things, and that our news reporters and staff and everyone should be able to just deal with that. The fact that you are asking me this question, shows that you have some institutional issues and literally this person said I don't think, I don't think you can change how donors are. And I was like Actually let me give you some examples. [laughs] OK.
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:22:24] Because, there's Black Girls Who Code didn't take funding from Uber because of the mistreatment and the fact that they were given them inequitable funding. You know there's organization that, even though Ted is not the best organization in the world by far however, they even have been doing work and around you know sexual harassment, and actually kicking out people in their network that have perpetuated that. So unfortunately corporate it's own.... It's it's own problem. I'm a be honest, not like saying like, we shouldn't care. No no no, we're trying to where we're corporate but many times corporate get in our own way to actually do the work. But I love to talk to you more around strategies on how we can break that, because it needs to happen because that's where a lot of the funding actually tends to be. In corporate space.
Donna Sink: [01:23:20] Thank you Antionette and thank you Brian so much. [applause] I do have a couple of closing remarks. [applause]
Antionette D. Carroll: [01:23:39] So I forgot to mention like I said we have our postcard on our process but we also have different postcards in the back. If you didn't have one on your chair of part of our artwork for equity campaign. So we worked with designers and artists around the world to create custom graphics around justice, equality, and equity and what we have people do is actually write notes and letters to elected officials and business leaders around equity, and we mail them on behalf of the individuals. There's no charge. So if you're interested in that please feel free to fill one out. If you want to possibly host a postcard writing campaign or something in your community, we will provide the postcards completely free. And also we do have posters on our website of these as well if you want them.
Donna Sink: [01:24:24] Thank you. So a couple things. Because the key, one of the key things I took away from tonight's wonderful, difficult, challenging conversation was the action piece. I think Antionette said this a couple of times, what is the action piece. So I want to challenge everyone to take this conversation out into your community where you think the people who should have been here tonight listening to this, why weren't they? And can you get them here for the next one. That's your action piece. So the next one, the next DAYLIGHT. It's only in two weeks. So you still got the energy from tonight. In two weeks we will have our visiting speaker is Justin Garrett Moore. He's not really a visiting speaker because he is an Indianapolis native. But he's currently the superstar director of New York City's Public Design Commission and he will be here speaking with Starla Hart who is our local superstar, doing Director of Community Initiatives for 16 tech. They are going to explore dignity in design, dignity in design and specifically be talking about the intersection of Indiana Avenue and 16th Street. So historic, black neighborhood. [hand raise] Yes, please.
Audience Member (2): [01:25:36] Justin is my son.
Donna Sink: [01:25:44] Justin is your son? Well done. We love having-I've only seen him in other places, I've never seen him in Indianapolis, so I'm so happy we're bringing your baby home. After that then it'll be a little bit of a stretch to the twenty seventh of June and we will be bringing in Maurice Cox from the city of Detroit. My notes are all messed up here but you've probably heard a lot about amazing things happening in Detroit and Maurice Cox is the driver behind a lot of that so that will be wonderful. Both programs are going to be amazing. I do want to recognize that Mary Chandler is here Mary, sorry to put you on the spot. Mary is the CEO of the Cummins Foundation and the Cummins Foundation helped to make this event possible, and to make all of them possible. I'm so pleased to have all of you here tonight. And like I said like Antionette said there's an action piece. Go out into your communities,, talk to people, listen to people, and we'll see you back here in two weeks. Thank you.
CONCLUSION + THANKS
Lourenzo Giple: [01:26:47] You are listening to the DAYLIGHT podcast series. Made possible with the support of the Cummins Foundation, and brought to you by Ambrose Property Group and Central Indiana Community Foundation. A big thank you to our sponsors CVR, The Basement, Browning Investments, Hendricks Commercial Properties, Merritt Chase, Holladay Properties, and Plat Collective for making this series possible. A thank you to the staff of People for Urban Progress and Exhibit Columbus, and all the individuals involved in the creation of this speaker and podcast series.