Why is there a lack of diversity in the design professions? The answer stems from systemic challenges minorities and people of color experience every day. This panel discussion takes a deeper look at how education plays a role in both the diversification and segregation of career paths. Our panelists will identify the ways in which the education system can affect the diversity gap in the design industry, from challenges and successes within the public school system, to alternative education programs and governmental policies.
Join us in July for UNITE at Reebok for an important conversation about education, diversity, and design.
Doors Open • 5:30 – 6pm
Program & Q&A • 6 – 7:00pm
Networking • 7:00 – 7:30pm
Moderator & Panelists
Moderator: Lenka Patten, Vice President, HR Reebok Brand
As Vice President, Head of HR Reebok Brand, Lenka drives HR strategy design and implementation across the global Reebok organization. She ensures that best-in-class HR initiatives, programs and activities drive a consistent and engaging employee experience and support key business objectives.
In her role, Lenka is responsible for ensuring that Reebok puts its employees at the heart of everything the company does. She has spent many years working in roles spanning across all aspects of human resources, particularly HR strategy, talent management, employee relations, compensation and people analytics, and organizational development. Prior to joining Reebok, Lenka held several HR leadership roles in the financial industry working for companies such as Fidelity Investments and State Street.
For more than twenty years has designed and implemented cross-system coalitions and programs aimed at supporting in-and-out-of-school time learning communities and systems, centered on the diverse needs of all young people especially those impacted by systems of oppression. He has led the development of the Cambridge Expanded Learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (EL STEAM) and Middle School Networks. He is also a Cambridge Public School Administrator serving in the role of Director of Learning Partnerships, and a founding member of the Young People’s Project, and has worked with young people, educators, policy-makers and leaders throughout the United States, Costa Rica and Tanzania.
Cambridge Educators Design Lab uses community-driven design to address pressing challenges in education. The Design Lab strives to change the historically top-down approach in education, to create opportunities for students and educators to invent novel solutions, and to leverage community partnerships in a powerful new way. Angie received her M.B.A. from Babson College, M.Ed. from Boston University, and B.A. from the University of Michigan. For two decades, she worked as a classroom teacher as well as a literacy coach. She is currently the District Design and Innovation Coach for the Cambridge Public Schools. Angie is passionate about the intersection of education, innovation and social change and is working on how public schools can change the way problems are identified and addressed as a district. She believes that all students and teachers are innovators when given the time, space, and opportunity to do so.
Allentza Michel is a civic designer, urban planner, artist, social justice policy advocate, and researcher. She brings over 17 years of diverse experience across economic and workforce development, education, food security, public health and transportation that informs her current work in civic design, community, and organizational development, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion). Allentza Michel is also the founder and principal of Powerful Pathways, a global planning, design and creative placemaking consultancy and project incubator. She was the inaugural fellow at the Association for Community Design in 2015, has an MPP from Tufts University, and studied design and public policy at Rhode Island School of Design, media design at Emerson College and human-centered design from IDEO.
UNITE Panel Series
UNITE is a quarterly event series showcasing the intersection of design and everything else. Each UNITE event brings together four thought leaders around a complex topic like entrepreneurship, healthcare, data visualization, and local manufacturing – and only one of the panelists is a designer. During the event, all four panelists bring a unique perspective to the conversation and interact with the audience to explore the topic. Following each discussion are drinks, networking, music, and fun. UNITE events are hosted and sponsored by various generous businesses of the Greater Boston area. If you are interested in hosting one of these events, please check out our host page here for more information.