The Retail Design Institute has formed a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council aimed at addressing intolerance throughout the Institute’s membership and communities. In light of recent cultural and societal events, most notably the profound impact the Black Lives Matter movement and protests, the Institute’s leadership felt it imperative to demonstrate a commitment to change by action across the organization.
“Engaging with our communities also means recognizing that as an Institute we have not done enough to eliminate unspoken bias and racism within our industry,” explained International President Ray Ehscheid, RDI, IIDA. The association waited to make a public statement through social media channels supporting Black Lives Matter, he continued, “Not due to a reluctance to stand up, but rather a strong belief that we need to demonstrate substantial change to ensure authenticity.”
Members from across the Institute have joined the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, and under the leadership of Andrew Lee, RDI, Assoc. AIA, have issued a position statement to members which can be found online (www.retaildesigninstitute.org).
In the statement, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council outlined its goals which have been organized around three pillars: Listen, Share and Create. Each pillar drives through the creation of tactics and goals to support the Institutes overall objectives. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council continues by noting, “We ask our membership to join us and hold the Institute accountable to ensure that our deeds match our words. The Council is committed to increasing our intentional support for our Black members, colleagues and professionals throughout our industry. We honor their wisdom and will listen to them, learning, unlearning, growing and responding.”
About the Retail Design Institute:
Founded in 1961, the Institute is the largest and oldest association for design professionals working in the retail industry. It is a collaborative community where sharing ideas, knowledge and passion enable members to fulfill the fast-paced planning and design needs of retail. Membership includes architects, graphic designers, lighting designers, interior designers, store planners, visual merchandisers, resource designers, brand strategists, educators, trade partners, trade media and students of design.