Resources for Racial Equity in Craft and Design

June 14, 2020

There’s much work to be done right now to build a more just, inclusive, and equitable world. As we reflect on how we at NBSS can strive to be allies for positive change, we’ve come across some resources that promote racial and ethnic diversity in our fields.

Connect with those who are already doing this work, and support the efforts of those uplifting their communities. This list just scratches the surface—please send your suggested community resources to and we’ll continue to update this post over time.

crafting the futureCrafting the Future

Crafting the Future is a collective of artists concerned about the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the fields of craft, art, and design. Working together and combining our resources, we support the careers of young, underrepresented artists by connecting them to opportunities that will help them thrive.

African American cultural heritage action fundAfrican American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

Led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the African American Cultural Heritage Fund is a multi-year initiative to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African-American activism and achievement.

Black-founded or Black-run Arts Organizations in BostonBlack-founded and Black-run Arts Organizations in Boston

The City of Boston Arts & Culture office pulled together a list of Black-run and Black-founded arts organizations, equity/anti-racism organizations in Boston, plus other relevant resources. See the spreadsheet.

National Skills CoalitionNational Skills Coalition

National Skills Coalition works towards an America that grows its economy by investing in its people so that every worker has the skills to compete and prosper. They continue to mobilize support for a new national skills agenda that cuts across public policies, and simultaneously serves a wide range of U.S. workers and industries. View their Roadmap for Racial Equity.

american Craft councilAmerican Craft Council

ACC is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that preserves, cultivates, and celebrates craft and communal heritage. ACC also hosts the American Craft Forum series which looks at designing solutions for an equitable and sustainable craft economy.

artists for humanityArtists for Humanity

Artists For Humanity (AFH) is a Black-founded nonprofit that provides under-resourced teens the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design. Bridging economic, racial, and social divisions, AFH enriches urban communities by introducing young people’s creativity to the business community.

black artists and designers guildBlack Artists + Designers Guild

BADG is a global platform representing a curated collective of independent Black artists, makers, and designers across various art and design disciplines who are at the top of their respective fields. The organization strives towards creating an inclusive arts and design environment, through equity and inclusivity.

Black Craftspeople Digital ArchiveBlack Craftspeople Digital Archive

The Black Craftspeople Digital Archive seeks to enhance what we know about black craftspeople by telling both a spatial story and a historically informed story that highlights the lives of black craftspeople and the objects they produced. You can follow along with their work on Instagram @blackcraftspeopleda.

black makers matterBlack Makers Matter

Black Makers Matter is a coalition of black makers united to bring about and implement cultural transformation in the sewing and crafting industry. Follow along with their efforts on Instagram at @blkmakersmatter.

art equityartEquity

artEquity offers training and consulting services to create and sustain a culture of equity and inclusion through the arts and culture. Topics address structural and systemic issues of identity, power-sharing language and communication, team building, and strategies to initiate and normalize equity-based approaches.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture collectionsSmithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

NMAAHC offers numerous digital resources, including online exhibitions and collections, curator chats, and a “Talking About Race” web portal. You can search the museum’s extensive collection of objects, craft, and artifacts by medium or subject.

BIPOC jewelry communityWJA for People of Color

There’s a movement afoot to create a new association that would promote BIPOC members of the jewelry industry. The group’s goals would include promoting diversity at different levels of the industry, from trade shows to retail floors to boardrooms; holding networking events; and funding scholarships, grants, and mentorship programs and more. Its founding principles were spelled out in an open letter, spearheaded by New York City jewelry designer Angely Martinez and signed by 29 BIPOC designers.


Looking for more info and inspiration? Check out Standing Up to Racism in the Arts: What We Can All Do, from Craft Council UK, and view this list of anti-racism resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein.