In light of the national conversation on race that has been increasing in the United States, the student leadership of the Andrews University chapter of the Adventist Peace Fellowship, along with the Black Student Christian Forum and the Andrews University Student Association, partnered together to produce A Forum on State and Regional Conferences. The event was organized to provide education on the topic, foster dialogue, and to present a request of the North American Division for clarification on the church’s continuing administrative segregation along racial lines.
Though information on the history and opinions about its future are plentiful, the organizers discovered that there was no easily accessible information on how precisely these conference lines were drawn. We were engaged to help in researching and designing these visuals, as well as developing the larger event design and marketing materials.
One of the explanations offered for the origins of and continuing need for racially segregated conference structures is the case for mission. While state and regional conferences share the same territory, the different structures are differently equipped to support the cultural needs of their respective audiences.
To announce and identify this event, we chose to use a bold and yet simple graphic device that referenced this concept: a split, brown and cream layout, with the same information repeated on each side—changing to a unified mixed-color layout once the event began.
We paired this layout with clean, bold, utilitarian type, paying homage to the civil-rights era poster traditions.
In researching the geographic areas covered by the different state and regional conferences, we discovered that there was no existing drawing of the division that included the unions as well as the conferences. Charts available online consisted of individual conferences or unions, with no consistency in the type of map projection that they used.
To create a complete map of the NAD with accurate delineations, we had to reference the NAD Yearbook, which for the more complex delineations provided this information in the form of descriptions like this one, for Allegheny East:
“Maryland, except Allegheny and Garrett Counties; that portion of Pennsylvania east of Potter, Clinton, Centre, Mifflin, Huntingdon, and Fulton Counties; that portion of Virginia east of Clarke, Warren, Rappahannock, Madison, Greene, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg Counties, except the city of Gordonsville in Orange County, and including the town of Berryville in Clarke County; Berkeley and Jefferson Counties in West Virginia; and the District of Columbia.”
To announce the event, we produced posters, social media assets, and announcement slides to be used in chapel events, church services, and across announcement screens on the campus.
To support the continuing conversation, and to provide an authoritative record of the event, we designed a page for the March 7 Request on the AUSA web page and provided assets for the video of the event.
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