Open Listening Sessions


Dear LA Design Community,

We invite you to come together in a series of Open Listening Sessions that give space to critical, urgent conversations about our design community, community culture, and what a future AIGA LA can be, for you. These sessions are intended to be an open forum for you to vocalize ideas, hopes, issues and realness in a safe space. We want to hear your unique voice along with others from our community who are within and outside of the AIGA LA chapter, with a particular focus on those that have been underrepresented or marginalized.

With the pandemic further amplifying racial inequities and social divisions, what has your community experience been like at this moment — as a creative, as an Angeleno? What is urgent for you? What are your thoughts on AIGA LA and how can we better support you today, and in the future?

These conversations are part of a bigger picture in which our chapter has been actively challenging our own history, with the intent of re-emerging as a more relevant, accessible and experimental organization. With your voice helping to shape this vision, together we can build a future design culture that reflects our diverse, future-forward city while upending hierarchies of race, class, gender, and culture.

Led by community leaders MJ Balvanera — Creative Director for the Women’s Center for Creative Work and AIGA LA president Sam Cabrera, please join us for AIGA LA’s first listening session on October 28th at 6:30pm to share your passions, challenges, vision, and more importantly, your story.

Lets build this inclusive design community together!

A Few Things to Note About Each Session:

  • Each session is a safe place to converse and will not be recorded
  • These sessions will follow AIGA’s Code of Conduct
  • Accommodations for captioning and/or sign language interpreter can be provided. Please let us know at time of registration.
  • This event is free but if you would like to make a donation to our scholarship fund, please go to:

Members | Non-Members: Free
Once you are registered, an email will be sent at 6:00PM on Wednesday, October 28, with a link to join the online event.

6:30 PM — Welcome
6:40 PM — Introductions with Conversation Leads
6:45 PM — Open Conversation
7:45 PM — Closing Remarks

Twitter: @AIGALosAngeles | Instagram: @AIGALosAngeles


MJ Balvanera

MJ Balvanera is a graphic designer from Mexico City. She graduated in Visual Communication from CENTRO (MX) in 2015 and received an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2018. She is Creative Director for the Women’s Center for Creative Work, as well as Creative Director and Founder of Co—Conspirator Press, a publishing platform for artists, writers, designers, printers, social justice workers, and editors from historically underrepresented communities who use their voice to address intersectional feminist issues and challenge cis-hetero-patriarchy; white-supremacy; and exclusionary, colonial, capitalist, and ableist systems. MJ’s work focuses on the strong belief that there is power in visual communication to create social, political and ethical change through structural, visual and interpersonal systems.

Sam Cabrera

Sam Cabrera is an award-winning Director of UX at Gallardo Labs, adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona and SMC, and dog mom. Previously of SapientRazorfish and Gensler, Sam leads teams and collaborates across disciplines to help her clients grow and deliver delightful, accessible experiences for their customers. As President of AIGA LA, she is working to create and promote a diverse, and informed design community — engaged through inclusive, equitable, and ethical practices — that strengthen our collective voices and our impact on society.

Community: Creating open, inclusive, diverse spaces for conversation and connection
Well-being: Improving the community with tools for career growth and life balance

Please consider joining AIGA to support our programs and initiatives.

When & Where
Wed, Oct 28, 2020 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM PDT