Advocacy Volunteer

Volunteer Spotlight: Ji-hern Baek

We recently had the chance to reflect on what 15 years looks like with our Education Committee Lead & Associate Board Member, Ji-hern Baek. Read his interview below to hear about his experiences with IP and what empowering black & brown youth means for the future of design.

What do you do (role and/or company)?

I’m a Product Designer at Thumbtack, which is a local services marketplace. I work on teams that help pros get jobs they want and understand pricing.

What brought you to IP?

I recognize the privilege that I was afforded all throughout my life, and I feel a sense of responsibility in providing that to others by investing in the community that has given me so much.

How have you been involved with IP and for how long?

I joined Inneract Project almost 3 years ago, starting my tenure as a teaching assistant for Youth Design Academy 1. Soon after, I was asked to help design, launch, and teach a pilot program centered around design thinking. Now, I help lead programming and education as an Associate Board member.

IP’s 15th year theme is “Empowering the next generation of Black and Brown designers”; what does this theme mean to you?

To me, “empowering the next generation of Black and Brown designers” means creating unconditional access to design and technology for students who have not traditionally had access. It also means providing these students with tools to understand how our systems work, as well as how they might dismantle and reimagine them.

If you could give one piece of advice to your 15 year old self, what would it be?

There are a lot of things I needed when I was younger, but one piece of advice I’d give to my 15 year old self: start with the problem.