Umbra: An Exhibition on Intersectionality

This solo exhibition by Terresa Moses, Umbra, centers the intersectional experiences of Black womxn.* Inspired by her own experiences and the experiences of other Black womxn in the Duluth, Moses was compelled to create work which validates and uncovers the institutional racism and sexism perpetuated in this community everyday. 

Black womxn deserve joy.

The full exhibition is located at

The Exhibition

The exhibition not only includes the 26X26 inch screen printed illustrations, but it included interactive pieces that explore the six themes present in the show: gaze, control, savior, (d)anger, burden, and liberation. The exhibition also included a poem that crossed the whole space. It is my hope that all individuals come to realize their contribution to these experiences– either as a perpetrator of harm or a healer.

These pieces were shown at for the first time at Zeitgeist Arts Atrium.

Racism Untaught

Racism Untaught

Diversity and Inclusion are emerging as prominent topics on University campus. In the last few years, multiple institutions of higher learning have outlined diversity and inclusion goals and actions. Our primary goal is to facilitate in cultivating learning environments for undergraduate and graduate students to further explore issues of race and racism. This work is focused on:

  • Critically analyzing and identifying artifacts of racialized design,
  • Shared experiences of microaggressions and implicit bias,
  • Systemic forms of racism and how we and our culture perpetuates them.

Racialized Design

Confusion, Disillusion, Isolation, and Adaptation

Our goal is to facilitate workshops for design educators to identify Racialized Design– design that perpetuates elements of racism. Design research can assists in cultivating learning environments for undergraduate and graduate students to further explore issues of race and racism. Our goal is to guide educators and students to utilize design research methods and processes to solve systemic problems and inspire further work in the public sector or a passion for public service. The following question guides our work, how can design educators utilize design research to critically assess anti-racist concepts and develop solutions for Racialized Designwithin project-based learning environments?

Due to the interdisciplinary components of this project, this framework could be repurposed for other disciplines.

Workshops & Case Studies

Racism Untaught in Action

We’ve run over a dozen different workshops and are finishing our first two case studies in an undergraduate and graduate class.

2018 Womens March

2018 Womens March

Speaking My Truth

I participated and spoke at the Twin Ports Women’s March 2018 supporting the work of amazing folks fighting for equity. I was glad to see so many of my community members marching in solidarity for change in our communities.

The transcript of my full speech is as follows:

When I first considered moving to Duluth, I had no idea what to expect. With only 1.9% of the population being Black, I didn’t know if I would find a community that accepted my identities. But, I didn’t really have much of a choice, see, my move wasn’t because I “just had the liberty to do so” but rather because I was seeking liberation. Freedom from an ex-husband, a liar, a manipulator, and physical and emotional abuser of five and a half years. This experience was a pivotal moment in my life because I found out just how much of a badass I really am. How much strength it takes to become a survivor of domestic violence while living in a system that blames the victim.

And while my story has much to do with the power dynamics made comfortable through patriarchy and sexism, my story is rooted in White supremacy. My ex’s actions were a direct result of him being socialized in an environment that values White supremacy. This plague is deeply embedded and affects all of our communities with its domination and control, its elimination of opportunities, and its White-washed selective memory.

During my experience, I was forced into silence. I passed up opportunities so that my partner wouldn’t feel intimidated by my success. Because of the plague of White supremacy, I forgot my identity. I forgot what I was capable of and that I had a history of Black women who had survived, and will continue to survive in the fight for representation and liberation.

So excuse me if I side-eye your White feminism, or back-hand your White privilege to touch my hair, or reject your Christianity that discriminates against non-binary genders and trans folks, or roll my eyes at your ability to say thank you without investing in what I do, or call you out for expecting me to know everything about Blackness while sitting in the same ill-informed history classrooms as you.

I refuse to be silenced or censored. I refuse to be controlled. I refuse to be accepted as a woman (even in this space) without the acknowledgment of my Blackness. And I refuse to accept that you don’t have the ability to change your actions, your thoughts, your words, your spending habits, and your dedication in this fight against a system that affects all of us.

I was also mentioned in an article from the DNT.

Photo credit by Ivy Vainio.

University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Design Graduate Student Critic & Lecturer

I was invited to speak about my work and review MFA & PhD Candidates at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

I presented on using design research methods in my work with marginalized communities and in my classroom as an educator. I also touched on how these same concepts are applied to my socially conscious design studio, Blackbird Revolt, as a way to use communication design to effect social change.