We believe people of color need to be visibly represented as design professionals for the environments we create to reflect and support our diverse communities. People of color must be a part of the conversation if design industries are to advance and stay relevant.
Our mission is to engage professionals of color in the design industries in creating and sustaining a community that provides useful resources, hosts dynamic events, and fosters meaningful connections.
Our goal is to support and raise awareness of the current accomplishments of professionals of color, empower them to achieve future success, and inspire the next generation of design professionals of color to reach their full potential.
Diversity in Design was co-founded in Portland, Oregon by Téjara Brown and Sun Joo Kim in 2018.
We have an amazing team of volunteers from a variety of design industries who make up the core team of change makers.
Téjara grew up in NE Portland, Oregon where her passion for creativity and the arts lead her to choose interior design as her career. A dynamic path lead her to work both in the design industry and the social sector where she gained a deeper understanding of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the design and architecture fields.
Téjara has served on the IDC Oregon and IIDA Oregon boards and continues to work on developing relationships in the nonprofit, architecture, and design industries. She is currently an Associate and Lead Interior Designer at FFA Architecture and Interiors. She enjoys salsa and bachata dancing, volunteering, scrapbooking, and meeting new people.
Samir immigrated to the U.S. over three decades ago for a master’s degree in architecture and began Code Unlimited, an award-winning, minority-owned code consulting firm, that now has five office locations and a team of experts providing multidisciplinary services to the design and construction industry nationwide. Samir and his wife/ business partner have built a culture at their firm to embrace diversity and inclusion, as well as equal pay programs. The firm sponsors and volunteers at multiple university, committee, association, and community programs.
Samir has earned professional respect for his technical knowledge and business acumen. He is a sought-after speaker, published fire and life safety professional, highly regarded entrepreneur, and valued mentor to young professionals, minority business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Sun Joo is an architect, a writer, and an east coast transplant to Portland, Oregon. She has been a contributing editor for architecture and design at SmartPlanet, published work in Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates Architecture, Urbanism, Design, and co-authored Cool Spaces: The Best New Architecture. Her architectural experience includes stints in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston, and Portland.
Sun Joo is currently a Design Manager at Gensler and an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry. She enjoys playing with her young daughter, cooking, reading, and traveling.
Communications & PR
Katherine was born and raised in S. Korea and moved to the US in 2000. Going to design school and choosing the architecture / design career path as an interior designer was an easy decision to make for her. Passion and love for arts and graphics lead her to curiosity in built environments. When she first came to the US and struggled with language and culture, graphics and visualization naturally became her tools to communicate. She learned, and continues to believe, that visual communication can be a very effective and powerful tool to convey information or ideas.
Currently, Katherine is an interior designer at Hacker Architects and her career in interior design spans across commercial, hospitality, and residential sectors. Her interests and skills in graphics not only enhance her day-to-day interior design work, but also cross over to digital arts such as short films, animations and experimental installations.
Executive Director - Development & Events
Sun Joo Kim
Executive Director - Programs & Membership
Diversity in Design hosts dynamic and engaging events throughout the year - from formal discussions to casual socials to innovative work sessions. Each year we host our signature event during Portland's Design Week each April.
We also like to share information about other events happening around the Portland-Metro area that support diversity, equity, and inclusion work and conversations.
Check out our calendar for an up-to-date listing of events and click the links for more information and tickets.
One of our goals is to provide useful resources to inspire, empower, and support professionals of color in the design industries.
Here we've provided a database of articles, videos, and links that speak to the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here, you can also help contribute to our library of resources.