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TLF 2020 Graduate Scholarship Recipient Zoe Pulley
My name is Zoë Pulley and I am graduate student and a Presidential Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design, where I am pursuing my MFA degree in Graphic Design. I wanted to get my degree in Graphic Design to produce work that not only creates representation for black and POC identity in the design space, but to also take a departure from the derivative depiction of our experience by conveying our great stories inspired by the unique narratives of ancestry.
I first heard about TLF through their various industry talks and programming and knew I wanted to apply to the scholarship since their mission aligns with my future career goals — to increase the number of minorities in predominantly white creative industries. I believe in TLF’s mission because I believe it is crucial to not only have us at the table in the design, advertising & marketing space, but to advocate to other black people through outreach and programming that they too can achieve such goals. With this scholarship, I am now able to access the materials and supplies necessary in order to research and create the work I feel is imperative to not only tell our stories, but to hopefully also create opportunities for other young, talented black people to do the same.  
Once I earn my degree, I hope to continue creating programming that creates accessibility for young black and POC people within the design space — this could be through programming within the educational realm or commercial industries. I want to pursue these goals because I strongly believe that as a driven black woman who has experiences working in a creative industry, it is our responsibility as black people to create access for more than just individual selves in these spaces. Bringing diversity into my field of work is important because otherwise we will continue to face set-backs, micro-agressions and our voices will continue to be the minority and generally left unheard.
Beyond receiving the scholarship, I want to continue to stay involved with TLF because I hope the work I will be doing will still align with TLF’s mission and can be a sub sect programming opportunity for students pursuing degrees in design. I think the work TLF is doing is important because as I mentioned previously — a whole lot more of us need a seat at the table.
I would like to thank my incredible parents, Brett & Stacey, for their continued guidance and always believing in whatever it was I wanted to achieve. My younger sister, Blake, for inspiring me with her drive and no-nonsense attitude. And my grandmother, Sandra aka ‘Gran San’, an artist and creative force who has been the ongoing inspiration for me as designer.
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