Last week, in our continued celebration of Black History Month, Adobe’s Black Employee Network hosted “Black People Create. Diversity in Creativity,” an event which saw creative industry leaders creating a conversation around diversity, inclusion and representation in creative spaces.
The keynote speakers included Terry White, Photographer and Principal Creative Cloud Evangelist; Cadence Patrick, Student Ambassador for Black Girl Code; and Temi Coker, Adobe Creative Cloud Resident and Digital Artist. And ended with a panel discussion with Ty’ler Banks, Kendall “Boo Boo” Howse, Gemikia Henderson, and Maurice Woods. Here are our top takeaways from the event.
1. Use creativity to give back
One of the first themes of the night was all about using creativity to give back to the community. Adobe invited organization like Black Girls Code, Ryse Center and Inneract Project, to show attendees how they can get involved and give back. Even more, BEN also collected donations to support First Exposures, a San Francisco-based charity that empowers youth of color through photography.
Not only that, during Temi Coker’s keynote, he shared how he gives back through the photography program he started at his old high school. There, he gets to work with young students and inspire them through art. Temi ultimately shared with the audience that his passion is to help people tell their stories through different digital mediums.
2. Opportunity means having the chance to try new things
As a member of Black Girls Code, Cadence Patrick talked enthusiastically about her experience with the organization. Through Black Girls Code, Cadence has been able to attend and lead workshops on 3D printing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, filmmaking, and more! And it’s because of these workshops that Cadence has been able to realize and pursue her passion. When youth are able to experience new skills and are exposed to new forms of art and technology, that’s when they can better plan out their future.
3. Anybody can solve the problem of representation
Terry White’s closing keynote was all about his stock photography business and incorporating representation in his work. His message was clear—anybody with a camera can solve the problem of representation in stock photography. “People want to see representation in photography. Nothing’s stopping you from contributing” he said. The core of his message: take action! Terry also showed the audience his tips and tricks for making profitable stock photography. All this combined left the audience eager to started contributing to Adobe Stock.
4. Embody your community in your work
The key theme in the closing panel discussion was all about bringing one’s community into their work. It was clear that each of the panelists found inspiration from their community and regularly work to embody it in their work.
For Gemikia Henderson, video producer and director, she uses her memories growing up in Richmond, California as a way to tell and share personal stories. “Despite the hardships of the community I grew up in, I love it” she said.
Maurice Woods, who also grew up in Richmond, California supports his community through his company, First Exposures, which empowers youth who grew up in similar situations and hardships.
As for Ty’ler Banks, photographer, she shared similar ideas with Terry White. “When I take photos of people that look like me, it makes me feel different” she said when describing her pride of taking photos of people who represent her own background.
Lastly, Kendall Howse, Designer, was candid about how he embodies his community, “I try to get more of my community to my job” he said about assembling a team of designers that diversify the workplace.
This Black History Month, Adobe has been celebrating diverse representation at work and in the creative endeavors we enable as a company. We hope that all those who attended our first “Black People Create. Diversity in Creativity” event were given profound insight and were provided an environment where they could connect with their community.
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