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About QTBIPOC Design

Providing LGBTQ+ designers of color with free and accessible education, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

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Our Vision

We strive to instill confidence in our community by empowering the next generation of QTBIPOC (queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color) with the knowledge and tools to excel within the design industry.

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Our Mission

By educating and empowering marginalized communities through our workshops and masterclasses, we hope to make design teams more equitable by infusing the design industry with more diverse perspectives.

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Our Approach

We make inclusivity and equity a practice rather than just a principle. We ground our everyday practices in creating a safe space for every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual preference, background, and disability.

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Our Values

Centering Joy

We center joy within our work and hold space for one another as an active form of liberation.

Integrity Above All

We value transparency and truthfulness, even when it’s difficult. We conduct work honestly and with accountability.

Everyone is Creative

We believe that everyone has the capacity to be creative. Design is not gated to race, social class, etc. etc. We accept that there are many ways to reach the same goal.

Our Members

Our community is exclusively for those who identify as both LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC.

We are steadfast at creating a safe and nurturing space for our community and no form of bullying, intolerance, or prejudice will be permitted in our spaces (check out our Code of Conduct and Inclusivity Statement)

We celebrate all forms of joy, creativity, and expression from our community.

Join Our SlackExplore Member Directory

Our Staff

Steven Wakabayashi

Founder & Executive Director, He/Him

After years of leading design and UX with many notable brands and agencies, Steven always noticed the lack of diversity within the creative teams. And in hiring, there was always a severe deficit of diverse talent. QTBIPOC Design was founded to provide education and community for those less represented within our design industry.

Kenny Cheng

Community Director, He/Him

Kenny is a UX/UI Designer passionate about advocating for diverse and historically underrepresented communities through design and social justice. He is excited to be a part of the QTBIPOC Design community and to be able to support other LGBTQ+ designers of color!

Kiran Alemayehu

Community and Events Director, She/They

Kiran is a UX/UI designer that is interested in contributing to digital experiences that are accessible, inclusive, and understanding. She has a background in education, having worked with immigrant and refugee youth as well as children on the spectrum. They love to get involved in the community to cultivate a supportive space for designers.

Community Advisory Committee

Jamie Chow

UX Bootcamp Instructor, She/They/🧜🏻‍♀️

Jamie is Product Design Lead passionate about accessibility and creating a psychologically safe space for marginalized designers, researchers, and empathy-driven world delight'ers within our QTBIPOC community. Together, let's empower and lift each other up — so we can all live our most authentic best lives!

Maggie Karaya

UX Bootcamp Instructor, They/Them

Maggie is a UX Designer who enjoys building end-to-end digital experiences, and help foster design communities. They try to show up from a place of openness and playfulness - which applies to almost every aspect of their life. It’s important for them to pay it forward by being a mentor and educator in the design community, especially for those those less represented within our industry.

Meher Chand

Social Media Director, she/her

Meher is a UX Designer passionate about exploring the intersections between human behavior and design. She enjoys connecting with other designers in the community and finding ways to leverage her skills to uplift others. In her free time she enjoys working on illustration and making music with friends.

Michelle Boisson

UX Bootcamp Instructor, She/They

Michelle is a Product Strategist and a holistic designer that’s not afraid of complex problems. She has a background in front-end development, UX strategy and research, and product management. She considers herself a generalist and curious dabbler. She is a wife, mom of two little ones, native New Yorker, first generation Caribbean-American, who recently left the city for more affordable living on the other side of the river.

Stefan Kovalik

Technology Director, He/Him

Stefan is a UX designer and creative consultant with ten years of work experience, specializing in the conception, design, development, analysis, and improvement of user’s experiences.

Ivan Lam

Experience Director, he/him

Ivan is a UI/UX designer committed to inspiring and enabling folx to fulfill their potential and live their best lives.

Team Photo September 2023

Come join our team!

We are a group of passionate folx who come together to help empower our communities and create pathways for queer and BIPOC creatives.

Currently looking for:

Fundraising/Marketing: Help us raise awareness and contributions for our organization

Operations: Help us set up events and internal operations.

Join Us

Our Board

Ainsley Waller

Board Member, he/him, they/them

Ainsley is an inventive, award-winning, charmingly nerdy creative professional. He blends his love for pop culture and style with Fortune 500 brand experience and an all-consuming love of storytelling. Emphasis on writing and moving pictures.

James Tai

Board Member, he/him

James is a Human Resources executive passionate in empowering people to live their best and authentic life.

June Hongkiatkhajorn

Board Member, She/Her

June is a product designer & art director with 10+ years of experience spread across the agency world, start-ups, e-commerce, and video streaming. Her work spans multiple disciplines inclusive of art direction, brand strategy, user experience, and user interface design.

Nikita Washington

Board Member, she/her

Nikita Washington is a Senior UX Designer and Founder. Beyond the digital products she’s shipped, Nikita is an active member within her communities and is often found speaking on panels, giving conference talks, and being a featured guest on podcasts to discuss experience pivoting from education to design as a Black woman of Trans experience.

Nikita serves on the leadership team with Out in Tech, the world’s largest non-profit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders and is a community advisory board member with Trans Tech Social Enterprises whose mission is to empower, educate, and employ those facing barriers in education and in the workplace, as well as to reduce instances of discrimination, with a concentration on trans and gender nonconforming individuals.

Her design advocacy work is centered on championing early-career and underrepresented folx, helping them break into the world of design and demystifying an often gate-kept industry.

Raabia Qasim

Raabia Qasim, she/her

Raabia Qasim is a zealous public interest attorney and proud native New Yorker. A dedicated public servant, she has experience working on issues at the intersection of law and public policy. Currently, Raabia is an Assistant General Counsel with the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), representing the City as counsel in labor and employment-related matters. In her current role, she partners with outside counsel on litigation involving DCAS and undertakes high-level investigations and special projects.

Before her role as an Assistant General Counsel, Raabia worked as a Social Justice Legal Fellow with the NYC Council on its General Welfare Committee and Committee on Women and Gender Equity, where she helped pass more equitable legislation and policies for women and other marginalized communities. After graduating from law school, she worked as a Legal Fellow with the NYC Bar Association's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. She is a graduate of CUNY Law School.

Raabia's advocacy and leadership are also reflected in her pro bono work. She is an active member of the New York City Bar Association and currently serves on its Civil Rights Committee, focusing on issues of educational equity. She is also a member of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY) and a former Vice President of Public Interest for SABANY.

Sophia Arredondo

Board Member, she/her/ella

Sophia has served in education and education-adjacent spaces for over 15 years as a university lecturer, victim advocate, program manager, school district administrator, and national education organization director. She is deeply dedicated to bringing equity and justice to education, working in support of students, educators, families, and communities to address systemic inequities that prevent students from flourishing. More specifically, she is committed to identifying and developing strategies that meet the individual, intersectional, and distinctive needs of LGBTQ+ students and move them towards thriving socially, emotionally, and academically.

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