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Recognizing Leaders in Diversity & Inclusion in Design
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dmi:Diversity in Design Manifesto


Getting a seat at the table enables us to increase our level of influence, visibility, and impact within the organization. If we want our table to reflect the influence of the many cultures, ethnicities, generations, and various backgrounds and experience levels of the changing workforce, then we need to open up and change the seats available at the table.

- Shirley Davis,



Recognizing Leaders in Diversity & Inclusion in Design


DMI is committed to recognizing both organizations and individuals for their efforts to develop more diverse teams and organizational cultures.


September 2019

Jerry Kathman and Bob Schwartz Receive Diversity in Design Leadership Award


On September 15th, the dmi Board of Directors recognized Board Chairs Emeriti: Jerry Kathman and Bob Schwartz with a Diversity in Design Leadership Award for Lifetime Achievement in Design, Design Education, Design Management, Mentorship, and for their unwavering support of Diversity in Design.


Pictured here from left to right are: Carole Bilson, DMI President, Jerry Kathman (Awardee) and Chairman LPK, Bob Schwartz (Awardee) and VP Design GE Healthcare, Kevin Bethune, DMI Board Chair.


May 2019

Noel Mayo, Ph.D., wins dmi: Pioneer in Design Award at the dmi:Diversity in Design Conference, Washington D.C., May 16th, 201


Noel Mayo has never accepted the barriers in his path - he’s simply worked through them with calm, perseverance, grit, and humanity. Mayo was the first black graduate to receive a B.S. degree in Industrial Design from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1960. He was the first and longest working black owner of an Industrial Design consultancy with clients such as Lutron Electronics, NASA, IBM, the Department of Commerce and Agriculture, Black and Decker, the Museum of American Jewish History, and the Philadelphia International Airport. He holds over 1200 patents.


Noel later became chairperson of Industrial Design department at his alma mater, making him the first African American chairperson of an industrial design program in the United States. He held that post for eleven years and was awarded an honorary D.F.A. degree from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1981. In 1989 he was named the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Art and Design Technology at Ohio State University where he taught product, interior and graphic design. He has been a dedicated mentor through his career and has been instrumental in establishing various mentoring programs for minorities. In addition he established a directory of minority professionals in industrial, graphic, interior and architectural design. A former student, Uday Dandavate said of him “I have seen students who could never have dreamt of completing their education due to social, financial, or cultural barriers, being able to meet their academic goals due to the support from Noel. I was one of them.” Another said “Noel steers students without their realizing they’re being steered… not to tell them what to do, but rather, lead them towards their own destiny.“ It’s a fitting legacy for Dr. Noel Mayo, a great man whom DMI honored with the dmi:Diversity in Design Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2019.


November 2018

Chuck Harrison - In Memoriam


Chuck Harrison counted many “firsts” among his achievements. He was one of the first four African American Industrial Designers of his era, the first African-American executive to work at Sears Roebuck & Company, and the first African American Industrial Designer to head up the Design Department at a major corporation. But he will be remembered for much more...Read More



October 2018

Smart Panda Labs
Our first commendation goes to DMI member Cheryl Myers and Smart Panda Labs who have been awarded the Orlando Business Journal's Diversity Award. Says Cheryl:

"The DMI conference in Cincinnati helped Smart Panda Labs pinpoint where we excel. Our organization was launched nine years ago with D&I built into our processes and culture and the DMI conference motivated us to do more. We are actively looking at ways we can continue to promote D&I within our organization, help other companies implement these strategies, and reach out to minority-owned organizations to help them grow."



To be recognized for your work to develop more diverse and inclusive teams and cultures, connect with us. We want to recognize leaders who are making a change.


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Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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