On 26th September, New-York based designers Amelie Lamont and Timothy Goodman took to Twitter to happily announce their new pet project: People of Craft, an online directory of creative people of color- from artists to writers, entrepreneuers to creative directors.
Lamont tweeted her latest goal for the project, stringing together a series of 140-character messages that resembled somewhat of a mission statement: “As a person of color, I find that we often get placed into boxes. These boxes end up defining how people think of us,” she wrote.
“My hope is that with this directory, we can start acknowledging that people of color also have the capacity to be multidimensional creatives worthy of the same attention their white peers receive, relegating them only to a checkbox of ethinicity,” she continued.
When we spoke to the founders of the website, it was two-weeks post launch and they were already stoked and a little overwhelmed about the response they received for the project. “We’ve already received around 250 new requests to be added to the directory, which began with around 300 people,” says Goodman. Lamont chimes in: “And that’s a really good indicator that this is something that people want.”
This platform joins various other niche website groups of databases such as Women who Draw, Queer Cartoonists, Women Photography and Cartoonists of Color, which are encouraging inclusivity and intersectionality across creative fields.
The concept of People of Craft began germinating when both of them met at a conference of WebVisions design. Lamont who is black, Jamaican-American, and from New York, is a product designer and writer who works at the New York Times. Goodman who is white and hails from Cleveland, is a freelance graphic designer and an author who has Airbnb, Google and the New Yorker as list of clients.
Goodman and Lamont harbored the same intentions about the lack of diversity in the graphic design field, as well as across the entire professional creative landscape. Both had voiced their concern through various platforms and through personal projects. Lamont runs a website ‘Good For PoC’ which is a website for the people of color which creates safe, thrivable and support environments for employees of color. Goodman for this part, has made it a personal mission to encourage fellow creatives, white men in particular, to advocate for increased diversity in their offices, as well as the conferences and lectures they commit to.
The pair wanted to take some action. “There are two camps, there’s one where you’re complaining about it, and there’s another where you do something about it,” Lamont offers. “So we said, ‘Okay, we talk about this a lot, so let’s actually do something.’”
“This project was born through that shared activism, in a way – a desire to create a platform that can be used for good,” Goodman adds.
They both work for the fruition of the website ‘People of Craft’ which was not an easy task for two designers with rigorous day schedules. “We wanted to get it out as fast as we could, because we both wanted to start this conversation,” says Goodman. Lamont notes that the website was created quickly just as a reply to companies whose reply at all such conferences to questions about hiring people of color and could not address the lack of diversity amongst their employees and participants “We can’t find these people.”
“Now our response is, ‘You’re just not looking hard enough. Here’s literally an entire database of them,’” Lamont says.