Call for Proposals

The State of Black Design is looking for writings and creative works for our first peer-reviewed journal to be published Fall of 2021. We are focused on four topic areas of Black design; 1) Design Industry, 2) Design Pedagogy, 3) Black Design Organizations, and 4) Design Activism.

We are looking for contributions in the form of research papers, position papers, reports, opinion pieces, visual pieces, case studies, or frameworks. The final works will be:

Research papers (4000–6000 words)
Position papers (4000–6000 words)
Reports (4000–6000 words)
Opinion Pieces (1000 words)
Visual Pieces (with 500 word explanations)
Case Studies / Anti-racist Frameworks or Materials (2000-4000 words)

300-500 word abstracts are now due December 1, 2020 in the form of a PDF (titled “SOBDAbstract_Topic_Firstname_Lastname.pdf” -the topic is one of the four focus areas (1) Design Industry, 2) Design Pedagogy, 3) Black Design Organizations, and 4) Design Activism), example: “SOBDAbstract_DesignActivism_Audre_Lorde.pdf”). For the blind peer-review process, do not include your name within the PDF, only on the file name. At the top of your abstract, include what your final work will be (research paper, position paper, report, opinion piece, visual piece(s), or case study). Send your completed PDF to the journal curators, Omari Souza and Terresa Moses, at

Dates to Remember
December 1, 2020 at 11:59PM: Abstract Submissions Due
December 26, 2020: Notification of Abstract Acceptance
May 31, 2021: Full Submission Due
June 30, 2021: Notification of Required Edits
July 31, 2021: Final Submissions Due
Fall 2021: Pre-order Announcement

Questions as you consider submitting an entry are; Is rebranding racist trademarks enough? What does decolonizing design mean to you? How can we actually decolonize the field of design? How do we dismantle the hegemony in design curriculum and industry? Are we staying true to our design roots in social commentary? Can the recent momentum around racial justice be used by designers to also champion equity for other underinvested groups? How has the Black Lives Matter movement impacted the field of design and design education? How can we participate in and increase that level of diversity in the design field? How do we expand the canon of design? How do or should graphic communication designers engage with and change the broader social, economic, and political circumstances? How do we address cultural colonialism, systemization and appropriation? How do we counter misdirections and falsehoods through illuminating meaning, knowledge, and facts?

Contact the journal curators at