Introducing the Black Ignite speakers who took the Black Ignite stage this December! 🔥🔥🔥

If you missed our event on 12/13 you can watch the replay at the same Crowdcast link below. Huge thanks to all these speakers for bringin’ all their gems! Read more about each of them below.


2020 Black Designers Ignite Speaker
Phoenix, AZ

Born and raised in Louisville Kentucky, Patience (she/her) attended the University of Cincinnati and majored in Digital Design, graduating in 2010 at the start of the UI/UX boom. She spent the next several years working at startups and other smaller companies focusing on advanced problem solving and creating beautiful solutions. She spent her spare time freelancing for non-profits and entrepreneurs to continue strengthen her design skills even more. This sort of flexibility enabled her to remain sharp with Interactive Design as well as Branding & Identity, and to even explore other areas of Design like Print, Motion, Front End Dev, and more.

To take her career to the next level, she moved out west to attend grad school at Arizona State University. While taking classes full-time, she juggled working in-house at the Design School as a Graphic Designer and freelancing for a tech agency creating complex software interfaces. In May of 2019, Patience graduated with a Masters in Visual Communication Design. She then focused on UI/UX, becoming the Design Lead for the same tech agency, then later became the Art Director of a startup marketing agency. With the worldwide, multi-industry upheaval, she is excited to venture back into the Tech and Digital space, bringing her Interaction Design expertise with the agility of the startup mindset.

Patience is our Black moms we love host! “Black motherhood is complicated! We all know and love “Black moms”, whether our own or through sitcoms/media. But today, as a Black woman in America, it’s not the same. I desperately want to be a mother. But how do I do that if I’m focused on pursuing my career? How do I find the time to start my own family when I’m tending to my aging parents across the country? How do I know that I’m still fertile if I’m in my mid-30’s? How do I even feel safe when the mortality rate of Black women giving birth is lower than that of 3rd world countries and the health system doesn’t even care of you’re Serena or Beyonce. Black motherhood is complicated.”


Black moms we love!
December 2020 Speaker
San Francisco, CA

Dr. Preston (she/her) earned a Masters in African and African Diaspora Studies and a PhD in Global and Sociocultural Studies, Anthropology from Florida International University. Originally from Washington, DC, her academic research focused on the experiences of Black middle class single mothers in the nation’s capital and surrounding black middle-class suburbs. Since finishing her program, she has made the transition from academia to museums to tech and is currently UX Researcher at LinkedIn.

“In my talk, I aim to provide an alternative view of what it means to be a Black single mothers. My talk will combat stereotypes and ignite empathy and appreciation for all Black single mothers while bringing attention to an often overlooked group: those who are financially successful single mothers (by choice).”


Black moms we love!
December 2020 Speaker
Dallas, TX

Erica (she/her) is a Mom & CEO of Beyond the Ball, Inc. and CEO of Kandake Tech. She is changing the 🌎 one brilliant, world-changing kid at a time – no matter their zip code, race, gender or origin story.

Erica spent the first ten years of her career in the financial industry, focused on estate planning and commercial banking in Houston and Dallas. In 2007, Erica segued into local government with the City of Dallas and the Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation. She found her passion in aligning the interests of the public and private sectors to support the sustainable growth of cities, disenfranchised citizens, and the business community. Erica’s leadership in building and implementing evidence-based, collaborative models in ex-offender reentry and workforce development garnered the attention of the Department of Justice, Department of Labor, HUD, State Senate, and the White House, resulting in numerous speaking engagements and consulting opportunities in Austin and Washington DC. Former Assistant Secretary of the DOL, Bill Spriggs, stated, “Erica is one of the nation’s leaders in integrating dollars across federal agencies with local programming…”

As a long-time resident and former economic development professional in Cedar Hill, Erica ​is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of Dallas/Fort Worth region. S​he holds a BBA in Finance, from Texas Southern University, and is a Certified Economic Development Financial Professional. Erica is a member of Leadership Southwest (Class of 2014), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the Advisory Council for Two Wins Foundation.


Black moms we love!
December 2020 Speaker
Atlanta, GA

Chandra Moore is the Director of Design and Founder of coG-studio, located in Detroit and Atlanta. She grew up in California where she began her experience working in Architecture firms when she was a student in high school. This experience provided the foundation for her working in established Architecture firms around the world. She received her Bachelors and Masters of Architecture from the University of Detroit Mercy, with a focus in Community Development and the Mechanics of Youth. In addition to analyzing Urban Communities like Detroit, Chandra was given the opportunity to practice in the United States, and abroad including China, London, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tennessee, Washington DC, Minneapolis, and San Francisco.

With over twenty years of professional experience in all aspects of Architectural Design, Construction Administration, and Community Development, in 2011 she started coG- studio. She continues to push design within her team as they provide unique opportunities and solutions for working families, young professionals, and developers. Her passion remains in revitalizing Urban Communities. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband and three children. 

“I am excited to discuss “How to Create Balance while Finding Your Voice”. 


Black moms we love!
December 2020 Speaker
Baltimore, MD

Jasmine Kent (she/her) is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received her B.S. in Architecture and competed in D1 NCAA Track & Field.  After attending the 2014 IDSA National Conference in Austin, TX, Jasmine chose ID as a career path and earned her Master’s of Industrial Design from North Carolina State University in 2018. Currently, Jasmine works as an Apparel Designer creating Run specific sportswear at Under Armour in Baltimore, MD. She believes that at the intersection of art, sport, and culture is innovation and liberation. One of her notable projects at Under Armour is the Infinity Bra, rooted in biomechanics research, thoughtful design, and validated by women.  

Jasmine is very passionate about creating community for black designers everywhere. With a group of black designers, she co-created Hue Design Summit in 2016, an annual un-conference for black designers and developers of color to cultivate community. Jasmine serves as their Community Strategist where she develops outreach initiatives to connect the community with engaging speakers/workshop leaders, corporate partners, and influential black designers.

Outside of design, Jasmine is passionate about black maternal health, empowering birth, and building. On August 17th, she began her Birth Doula certification journey and she is currently renovating her basement into a she-shed. Stay tuned for her more creations and birth stories!


Black moms we love!
December 2020 Speaker
Atlanta, GA

Amanda S. Powell (she/her) is an Atlanta native who always had a passion for helping people. This passion helped fuel her to break into a career of UX Design. Amanda has an unknown, autoimmune inflammatory disorder which causes her to be visually impaired with uveitis and cataracts. She doesn’t let this hinder her path though. Being a visually impaired designer has pushed her to advocate for higher accessibility standards not only in her and her team’s designs but also in the work place. Her goal is to break the stigma of accessibility being a “chore” for companies and designers to do and educate people on accessibility resources and best practices. When Amanda isn’t designing or advocating for accessibility, you can find her running around with her son, Liam or her nose in a book. She loves volunteering, finding new restaurants to try, and all things Harry Potter!

“I had my son when I was 20, and one month afterwards I was hospitalized with my autoimmune condition. I’ve never let me being a young mom or dealing with a chronic autoimmune disease stop me striving towards my goals and providing the best for my son.”

soojin pate + HANNAH CARNEY

Allies in action!
December 2020 Speakers

Minneapolis, MN

SooJin Pate and Hannah Carney are co-founders of the Antiracist Parenting Podcast™! They are deeply committed to this work and want to build a community that will help parents and caretakers gain confidence in raising a generation of antiracist kids by talking with kids about race, racism, white supremacy, and what it means to be an antiracist.

Dr. SooJin Pate (she/her) is an Asian American woman, born in Seoul, raised by white people in southern Minnesota, educated in the liberatory and decolonizing classrooms of an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities), and mama of a mixed-Black daughter who is fully African American and fully Korean American. She is a professor, co-owner of Strategic Diversity Initiatives (a consulting firm on diversity, equity, and inclusion), writer, and co-host of the Antiracist Parenting Podcast with Hannah Carney.

Hannah Carney (she/her) is a white woman and a Mama of two boys (until they tell me otherwise). She is dedicated to cultivating a culture that values differences and is particularly skilled in the area of program development. In partnership with Disability:IN Minnesota (formerly MN Business Leadership Network), she designed and implemented an innovative mentoring program matching college students with disabilities to professionals in their field. Hannah also co-created a conference that brought together employers, higher education institutions, and college students with disabilities for the first time in Minnesota.

Currently she facilitates a Social Justice Book Club at the Golden Valley Library that aims to transform perceptions around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and change behaviors and systems that perpetuate oppressive narratives. And she is the co-host of the Antiracist Parenting Podcast with Dr. SooJin Pate.

Hannah has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and two certificates in Disability Policy & Services and Equity & Diversity from the University of Minnesota. Additionally, she is a certified Emotional Intelligence coach (EQ-i2.0 and EQ360 methods).

Jessica oddi

Allies in action!
December 2020 Speaker
Hamilton, Ontario

Jessica (she/her) is a freelance disabled designer focusing on accessible design. Living in Hamilton, Ontario (Canada) which is situated upon the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas.

“Being Disabled may bring marginalized experiences, but it doesn’t wave white privilege. The fact of the matter is, I will never experience the same injustices, because of the colour of my skin. I want this talk to be about the ways we can use the basics of empathy being marginalized as fuel to truly show up for the Black community in meaningful ways by removing the ego and decentering ourselves from the equation.

I plan on talking points to go from the basics of empathy to checking ourselves to not “piggyback” off of movements to fuel our own causes. But instead use that basic understanding to center the BLM movement to give tangible ways to support from every day to design related.”


Allies in action!
December 2020 Speaker
Los Angeles, CA

Daniella (she/her) is a Nigerian-American Motion and still designer. Who’s slowly paving her way into designing for Film and Television.

“The most important thing for me is to make sure that every black person feels like they’re able to do whatever it is they want to do with restriction. I have designs that depicts black people as royalty. I have been a part of a Mentorship program that allowed me to teach and show younger black children that they’re not supposed to restrict themselves because society requires them to.

I currently started working on a exhibition that will be done by February next year. This exhibition will serve as art therapy through design. The biggest thing to do is to start breaking the mental barriers that have been created and rewrite our story, give us a different perspective.

I hope my talk will ignite hope, eradicate fear and enlighten people more into understanding and seeing black people as allies as opposed to competition. Why do we hate each other? Why are we competing with each other? Why can’t we just help and accept help from each other without contempt? It’s because of the mindset. I’m Nigerian and I understand the effect that colonization has on us; that effect though not the same is similar to the effects that slavery had on African Americans.”


Allies in action!
December 2020 Speaker
Saint Paul, MN

Naaima Khan (she/her) is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota who owns and runs her consultancy, Create Good, to help nonprofit organizations gain credibility as accomplices in anti-racism work through inclusive design. She helps organizations craft equity and inclusion strategies, create inclusive evaluation and produce asset-based writing that counters saviorism in favor of becoming an accomplice for collective liberation.

“To take meaningful action as an ally, I’ve committed myself to consulting more regularly with Black organizers in my community to understand how I can support their work in spreading anti-Blackness. My business is focused on inviting organizations to apply inclusive design and antiracism to how they operate (work).

My working talk title is, “Unlearning for Inclusive Design” and I hope to inspire others to be committed to acting on anti-Blackness without feeling that they have to be perfect. I want to help people get a jumping-in point for action.”

W. Lincoln neiger

Allies in action!
December 2020 Speaker
Austin, TX

Lincoln (he/they) is a service designer focused on public impact in Austin, TX. Their experience spans across tech (ew!), housing & homelessness, and healthcare. Lincoln has been working to decolonise their design practices, learning to use his privilege as activism in calling out and naming problems. They work with communities and their organizers to raise the voices of those who must be heard, with his attention most personally focused on queer communities.

“Linked in is fortified from the internet’s otherwise-impressive accountability culture. It’s a professional echochamber where whiteness reigns supreme, as algorithms compute and users self-edit their commentary to preserve their employment.. Until accountability becomes normalized in professional settings, POC and queer ppl may not speak freely without putting their livlihood at stake.

I believe it is the responsibility of white ppl to begin the acidwashing of LinkedIn; to call out racism, sexism, and transphobia within our own networks, industries, & workplace; to dismantle the hold our whiteness has held on our professional spaces, opportunities, privileges; to join as accomplices in our liberation from capitalistic idiocy toward happiness & healing & growth!”

Heatherlee nguyen

Allies in action!
December 2020 speaker
Saint Paul, MN

Hi, I’m Heatherlee (she/her) and I’m a mom on many missions! I live in St. Paul, MN with my family and I work in UX Design as an Independent Consultant. I’m super passionate about workshopping with other creative orgs doing good, empowering kids and families as well as creating paths for our young people to enter and thrive in design and tech.

I love the Twin Cities, but we have a long way to go. I became “The Indie Consultant” because of these hard and isolating experiences at work. I felt if I couldn’t show up as my full self at work, I’d rather start my own consultancy. For 3 years I thrived, bringing research, service design and creative flair to my cool clients. But 2020 changed a lot for me, and us collectively. I realized the power I have and the responsibility I have as someone who has been marginalized AND as someone with privilege. No matter where I end up I’m committed to serving others.

I hope Black Ignite helps (introverted) creatives from all backgrounds see their inner boss and to confidently own their truth as they design their own career paths. I hope this is a safe place to speak on the things that challenge you, and us collectively. I hope we come together with solutions from all angles. And I have a special place in my heart for our young people, our working moms and our Black and brown families freedom fighting together out here. I believe unity is our power!

Please join us on December 13th!
There will be a little something for everyone.