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One Microsoft designer’s quest to make the industry more inclusive

Over the past few months, companies have rushed to beef up their diversity bona fides, posting messages in support of Black Lives Matter and implementing programs to increase equity. But many critics say these efforts are just window dressing—they do nothing to address issues of systemic racism and inequality in the country.

For Mo Woods, that work requires more than a slogan, a photo, or just filling current roles with candidates of color. Changing the system from the ground up takes time—and a long-term commitment to investing in Black communities.

Woods is a principal design lead at Microsoft and executive director and founder of Inneract Project, a creative education nonprofit for kids of color in the Bay Area. It offers free design courses and workshops, multiday internships, and mentor matching. The nonprofit first gets design onto the radar of middle and high school kids, then provides a support system that shows design can be a viable career.

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