From Burnout and Isolation Into Allyship and Inspiration: The Intersectionality of Music, Design, Inclusion, and Social Justice With Kendall “Boo Boo” Howse

Kendall "Boo Boo" Howse, a Senior Designer, Illustrator, and Musician, discusses his design journey, which started with creating artwork for his music projects that eventually led to him freelancing full-time. He shares his passion for Dungeons & Dragons and its evolution to becoming a more inclusive and cooperative game. He emphasizes the importance of community and inclusivity in design and shares his experiences advocating for diversity and equity in the tech industry. He also encourages slow progress and reevaluation of solutions to create meaningful change.

Kendall "Boo Boo" Howse is a Senior Designer, Illustrator, and Musician based in Oakland, California. With a background in DIY punk rock bands, he developed a passion for design and visual communication. He has freelanced for various clients and worked in-house at CoreOS, later acquired by Red Hat and IBM. He also actively promotes diversity and inclusion in the tech industry by helping companies form ERGs, co-chairing Bay Area Black Designers, and facilitating Frame Shift Consulting.


(01:28) Introduction of the multi-talented Kendall "Boo Boo" Howse

(02:24) Icebreaker: How playing Dungeons & Dragons impacts him as a designer

(06:31) The history of his nickname "Boo Boo" and why he sought out alternative culture as a kid

(10:02) Feeling isolated after the Murder of George Floyd, the transformation of his music from despair and frustration to hope and encouragement, and the self-made CEO myth

(17:39) His path into design, freelancing, and how he almost lost his home

(24:03) ERGs and Bay Area Black Designers: His career in tech and inclusion

(26:29) The importance of allyship to get through marginalization and isolation and how to make a meaningful impact in the workplace

(31:04) How to measure systemic change and the importance of knowing the differences between no progress, slow progress, and false progress

(32:21) Ways to get in touch with Kendall


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