Earlier this year we published Force of Nature—a Collection of Art and Stories Celebrating Fearless Women. Its pages are filled with submissions from talented, bold and inspiring artists. One of them is Laci Jordan, a LA based artist and creative director originally from Alabama.
A bit about Laci
I’m from Huntsville, Alabama and went to the University of Alabama, where I originally studied criminal justice. I ended up graduating early and then went back to school for design. It was a weird twist of events. I had an internship where I was introduced to design but it was for criminal justice. I started with a few internships and now I’m into full blown entrepreneurship. I’ve been building my own brand. I want to create content around pop culture. I want to be in spaces that are diverse and geared towards people of color. There aren’t a lot of graphic designers that get the same notoriety as their white counterparts. Since that doesn’t exist as much as it should, I want to strive for that.
Can you speak to why representation is so important?
I think diversity is important for multiple reasons. One is visibility. It’s a big piece of representation because it transforms people in so many ways. Another thing is diversity of thought. When you have different types of people in the room, you have different ideas that can help you build a bigger picture of whatever you are creating.
It’s not just about race. It’s having people from different disciplines, different sexuality, different everything at the table. It's about representation. Having different conversations and points of view. People see that if you have diversity at the table it just makes everything better. People want to see different stories.
Why do you believe Force of Nature is important in and out of the outdoor industry?
It’s very similar to what I was saying about representation. I look at it in the sense of fitness and health. That’s so important. Especially now, I think people are more woke about health. I want to see diversity in all walks of life, not just entertainment. You don’t often see women being praised for their outdoor skills. For me, it’s very impactful to see representation in that space. Health is so essential for everyone’s well-being. I’m glad REI is taking a stand and creating this environment.
What do you think the next steps are to work toward equity and inclusion for women?
About five years ago I started hearing people in corporate LA talk about diversity. It’s something that’s been a big push from different people for multiple reasons. I think for now we need to continue to have these conversations because diversity is changing every day. One example is the LGBTQ community. I used to think I was "woke" about certain things but through podcasts and conversations with friends who are a part of that community I'm learning so much about different nuances and proper verbiage. So many things are evolving and coming more to the forefront. So, we need to keep those conversations going and make them actionable.