QTBIPOC Design empowers LGBTQ+ BIPOC designers with education, mentorship, and networking opportunities. By educating and empowering marginalized communities through workshops and masterclasses, QTBIPOC Design hopes to make design teams more equitable by infusing the design industry with more diverse perspectives. We spoke with Steven Wakabayashi, Founder of QTBIPOC Design.
Let’s kick this off with an introduction!
Hi! My name is Steven Wakabayashi (he/him), located in New York City, and I founded a nonprofit organization called QTBIPOC Design, which provides free and accessible design education to LGBTQ+ designers of color. We host monthly UX classes, socials, and launched our own UX bootcamp course to provide design and UX education to invisible communities within our industry.
Tell us a bit about QTBIPOC Design and how your organization came to exist.
After being in the design and UX industry for quite some time, I was often the only queer person of color in meetings and creative teams. Even with the biggest companies in the world, diversity has been a persistent issue.
With the increased visibility of BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement happening last year, I was extremely motivated to make a shift in impacting and protecting our most marginalized voices – especially our Black, Brown, and Trans communities. Layered with the intersection of tech and design, queer people of color are severely underrepresented and lack the dedicated resources and community needed to succeed within our industry.
Our organization seeks to increase diversity of queer designers of color by empowering them with the knowledge about our design industry, education on design tools and methodologies, and networking with other queer designers of color, recruiters, and organizations looking to connect.
And how are you partnering with Hired?
We are excited to partner with Hired and collaborate on ways that we can further empower our queer communities of color. From hosting portfolio reviews to connecting our talent with recruiters and companies, we are so ecstatic about partnering with an organization that is also passionate about hiring and empowering our communities.
What are some initiatives that your organization is currently working on?
Each month, we host a series of events from UX Nights (monthly education on UX domain), book club (reading books at the intersection of design, race, and technology), design jam (practicing design, strategy, and ideation as a community), and social nights (hosting game nights to connect with our community). To check out our monthly events, visit our Eventbrite.
Recently, we launched our first UX bootcamp course that provides free education of UX principles, design practice, and job interviewing skills.