Equality by Tonee Cudi

Day 12 — Poster posted on February 11, 2024

Tonee Cudi

Pronouns: All Pronouns

Located: Jacksonville, FL

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a Black Queer, born, raised, and continuing my journey in the US South. My creative work intertwines my passions: music, the celebration of queer joy, and apparel design. Design speaks to me as a form of response or resolution to questions and challenges.

What is the inspiration behind your poster design?

The concept of “Equality” to me is deeply intertwined with collective action and the conscious commitment to uplift one another. In this poster, the hands symbolize the shared effort required to forge equality. The text, styled to seem organically shaped, represents the idea that equality isn’t a given—it’s crafted by our joint, often imperfect efforts, continually reshaped towards a just and equitable society.

Why do you love being creative?

There’s a liberating absence of rules — a universe of possibilities where each venture is as unique as the individual behind it. This endless spectrum of expression brings me joy.

Tell us about your experiences in the design world…

Navigating the design world as a Black creative has been a journey marked by solitude, often feeling like an outlier within these spaces. The underrepresentation I’ve encountered has been both isolating and challenging. Yet, it’s through these experiences that I’ve found a drive, transforming the sense of being an “other” into a source of strength. It motivates me to forge a path of excellence and visibility, not just for myself, but to pave the way for others who share my identity and aspirations.

How can we create a more inclusive design world and ensure that Black people are represented?

To cultivate a more inclusive design world where Black voices are authentically represented, we must fundamentally reconstruct current frameworks. Central to this process is creating spaces where individuals can represent their own experiences and perspectives. The primary role and action in this would be to listen — genuinely and openly. This act of listening becomes our guiding assignment, one that informs and transforms the world from the ground up.

How can we create a more inclusive design world and ensure that Black people are represented?

To lay the groundwork for greater equality, we should begin within our immediate circles. It starts with our communities, educational institutions, social programs, among friends and family, and within our cities. The key is consistent action — to implement, assess, and persist.

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