Takeaways from the Black Design Guild Retreat

I was one of 10 Black professionals selected to participate in the pilot Black Design Guild {BDG} retreat at the beautiful Elmley Nature Reserve this month. The aim of the retreat was to enable junior and mid-level designers and researchers to recharge, reflect, and remerge with a fresh enthusiasm for the future.

I had a wonderful experience and hope the organisers are able to secure the required funding to run the scheme for 5 more years. Their attention to detail in terms of location choice, activities, participants, and fire chat speakers was top-notch. I will recommend checking out the BDG Medium site for blog posts and photos.

Reflections & Takeaways

  • We had a magical storytelling session led by Usifu Jalloh {the cowfoot prince} which featured music and dance. He emphasised the importance of discovering who you truly are. He said his career only took off when he discovered who he was as a storyteller. We all have several strengths and passions and but we need to know which ones constitute the point of the arrow {primary strengths} and which ones are the supporting strengths {shaft, fletching, and nock of the arrow}.
  • I was able to reflect at the retreat on past projects and passions to identify key personal themes and came up with a good-enough succinct response to the question of Who am I?

I am a multimedia storyteller who researches and curates mainly Black historical stories for a multicultural audience. I am a believer in the FUBU {For Us By Us} storytelling philosophy.

  • The goal for the rest of the year is to use the statement above as a prism to select the types of stories and passion projects I pursue. I did a number of passion projects a few years ago which I enjoyed. The Black Design Guild retreat is responsible for rekindling the motivation to start doing new side projects. I kickstarted a new Black History Month project the day after the retreat ended. I am having fruitful conversations and will be providing status updates in the coming weeks and months. Watch this space.

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