09.07.21
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S9E9: Deborah Willis


Deborah Willis is an artist, curator, and a professor at New York University. Her most recent book is The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship.

Willis first took up the question of “Where are the Black photographers?” as a graduate student:
The only images that we saw of Black people were people being beaten, the labored body, which we all know happened. But there were also other Black experiences that were about love and about work and about pride. So when I brought that up in the classroom, I didn't think that, 40 some odd years later, I'm still doing the same research.

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If you enjoyed this conversation with Deb, you might want to check out Ellen’s and Jessica’s earlier conversation with photojournalist Daniella Zalcman.

This season’s theme music is from Solar Echoes, by Nigel Stanford.

And a big thanks to this season’s sponsor, Mailchimp.



Posted in: Arts + Culture, Design of Business | Business of Design




Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt Ellen McGirt is an author, podcaster, speaker, community builder, and award-winning business journalist. She is the editor-in-chief of Design Observer, a media company that has maintained the same clear vision for more than two decades: to expand the definition of design in service of a better world. Ellen established the inclusive leadership beat at Fortune in 2016 with raceAhead, an award-winning newsletter on race, culture, and business. The Fortune, Time, Money, and Fast Company alumna has published over twenty magazine cover stories throughout her twenty-year career, exploring the people and ideas changing business for good. Ask her about fly fishing if you get the chance.

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