With Unified Leadership, the Guild is Poised to Enhance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging within the organization.
(Black PR Wire) The Graphic Artists Guild is proud to announce a dynamic duo to the positions of co-chairs of the national Diversity committee, Yanique DaCosta and Delanie West.
“The Guild must be leading this important conversation in our role as an advocacy champion," West said, referencing the long-time advocacy focus the Guild has structured it’s programs around.
DaCosta, who since being appointed DEIB committee co-chair has also taken on the role of Guild President, brings 8 years of experience volunteering in Guild leadership including as the South regional representative, the Social Media and Advertising (SMAC) Committee chair, the Guild representative to the International Council of Design (ICoD), ICoD Vice President, and Guild Treasurer. Her creative firm, YKMD, stands as a standard for design excellence. DaCosta’s fully remote firm, staffed with team members from around the world, helps save time and money for corporate event marketing teams while providing thought provoking and impactful design solutions. DaCosta says that bridging the gap of inclusion for underrepresented groups has been a long time passion for her as a United States Immigrant from Jamaica.
“No matter where they are from, everyone working within my design firm should feel at home, supported and empowered. I believe it should feel the same for Guild membership.” -Yanique
These things have given her a unique perspective on what creative professionals need from a DEIB program.
West has an equally impressive resume. While raising to the executive role of VP General Manager of Product Development of Wilton Brands and later VP Product Development and Design for Faber-Castell, Creativity for Kids, West founded her company, Be Super Creative, a brand development firm offering creative solutions to small solopreneurs and multi-national organizations alike. She is also President of Black Creatives, the first digital community for Black creators, and she served as Founding Board Director for Women in Toys Licensing and Entertainment Foundation’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. She serves on various boards of directors, always advocating for under-represented voices. Once voted into an At-Large Executive Director role on the Guild board in 2021, West made it clear that DEIB needed to be a part of every decision the Guild leadership made and began taking steps to help the board attain that goal through her participation in the newly formed Diversity committee. After being inspired to excel by a professor during undergraduate studies at Hampton University, West made it a personal mission to cultivate opportunities for others.
“My interest in this work is sparked by my lived experiences. I have been referencing the Guild’s handbook my entire career while at the same time living within the margins of our industry, when I didn't have a voice. I spent 20 years designing mass-market products for people that didn’t look like me. Today, data tells us that a more inclusive approach to creativity is critically important to achieving business goals.” - Delanie West
About the Graphic Artists Guild
Founded over 50 years ago, the Guild has existed as a staunch advocate for creative professionals working within the US. The Guild’s mission is to protect social, economic and professional interests of it’s members, and advocate on behalf of those who don’t have a voice on issues that span federal and state lawmaking such as ethical working practices, intellectual rights, and business education opportunities for graphic artists of all kinds.