OBD Scholarship Endowment & Mentoring Campaign

The Story

"It is hard to be it, if you can't see it." 

David Rice, OBD Chairman

We are going to help send kids to design school. Why? Because there are a lot of talented young people out there who have been hearing a lot about STEM programs, and we are totally in favor of the STEM initiative, but as many of us have discovered, a letter has been left out. The letter “A” for Art. So, now we are hearing a new term and it is STEAM --- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics.

In the last seven years the enrollment of African American and Latino students in America’s design and art schools has been dropping alarmingly. Historically, it has never been that high anyway, ranging from an average of 3-7% in most design schools whether they are private or public university and college design and art programs.

Why the decline in enrollments? High tuition costs and the lack of exposure to design and the arts as viable, good livelihood producing,  professions. Simply, if a kid never sees a car designer or an architect or has never heard of industrial design or architecture --- and there are far too many who have not --- then the chances are that no matter how much potential talent one has, that career will not be considered as a possible career path.

• According to a national study, African American and Latino students are impacted disproportionately by declines in arts program funding. There was a 49% drop in participation among African Americans and 40% drop among Latinos.

• Due to the efforts of parents who value arts programs, privately funded high quality programs have been maintained in wealthier school districts. But a child’s access to arts education should not be predicated by where they happen to live or their family income.

Your Help is Needed --- Here’s Why

 With your help minority high school freshmen and sophomore students will be participating in onsite visits to design and art schools across the country. Students who show talent and interest in design and art will be chosen to participate in a Art & Design School Mentoring Program. Those students who participate in the program will be part of a mentoring program designed to further their interest in design and the arts.

What can you do?

Simply donate $5, $10, 20, $100, or whatever you can give to help OBD fund the Scholarship Endowment & Student Design School Mentoring Program. Share this fund raising campaign with your networks to help create greater exposure.

Benefits of Design & Arts Education

"The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create."   --- President Barack Obama

• Student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, greater involvement in community service and lower dropout rates.

• Arts education fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and innovation.

• Students who attend schools where the arts were integrated into classroom curriculum outperform their peers in math and reading who did not have an arts integrated curriculum.

• 1,500 CEOs surveyed by IBM ranked creativity as the most important leadership quality they are looking for in their workers.

• One out of six jobs is now in the creative industries; and the creative economy is the second largest expanding business sector.

 Design & Business United

Design is driving business and the global economy. According to the Design Management Institute, design-driven startups have out performed their peers by 228%. Other studies provide evidence that every dollar spent on design creates a $2-100 return on investment. 

Link: https://www.dmi.org/blogpost/1093220/182956/Design-Driven-Companies-Outperform-S-P-by-228-Over-Ten-Y

Harvard and Stanford business schools are teaching design-thinking and problem solving methodology in its curriculum with the intent of producing more creative business graduates.

Design creates the innovative products and solutions that will propel our economy forward, and artists ask the deep questions about humanity that reveal which way forward actually is. Sustaining arts and design education in its own right remains critically important for our society. its culture and economy.

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“Through the OBD, we’re proud to help make an investment in America’s creative young people, especially those who are interested in pursuing a career in design,” 

Ed Welburn, General Motors , Vice President, Global Design (Retired)

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The corporations that rely on innovative product design to maintain their competitiveness in the global marketplace must create initiatives dedicated to bringing more of our young people into the design professions and support industry and professional groups like the Organization of Black Designers. And especially events like their DesigNation Conference."

Earl G. Graves, Sr., Founder & Publisher, Black Enterprise Magazine

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"Whether today’s students go on to be designers, artists, engineers or carpenters, the challenges their generation will face will require creative solutions that will be unique to their time and circumstances. We should fully expect that, in the coming years, many of our best leaders will come from design and art backgrounds."

John MaedaFormer President of Rhode Island School of Design

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“The concept of helping minority students understand the opportunities that await them in the area of Design is a good one. The idea of having them visit design schools and design firms is also a very good one. It could open many doors in the field of design that the students would never have known about. I commend you for taking on this exciting challenge. It will have some very positive outcomes in the future.

The Ohio State University Department of Design is offering scholarships to qualified minority undergraduate students. You have my full support in this most exciting endeavor.”  

Dr. Noel MayoProfessor of Design, 
OSU Graduate Design Program / Retired

 We ask you to please share this campaign with your networks. And support our program by making a contribution. 

● DesigNation®/OBD Career Center: http://obd-jobs.careerwebsite.com
● Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orgblackdesigners/
● Rebrand: https://rebrand.com/
● Twitter: https://twitter.com/OrgBlkDesigners

Organization of Black Designers | DesigNation Conference | National Office: 300 M Street, SW Suite N110 | Washington, DC 20024 | Midwest Office: 40 North Main Street, Suite 1515 Dayton, OH 45423 | Direct: 202-489-4822 / DC: 202-656-3359 | Midwest: 937-837-6319 | Email: [email redacted]


  • Melanie Bailey 
    • $105 
    • 2 mos
  • Alejandra Delgado 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Tiana Harris 
    • $75 
    • 6 mos
  • Lauren Loehr 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
See all


David Rice 
Washington, DC
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