The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced in a joint statement today, the launch of several initiatives targeted towards making a systemic change in light of the deplorable acts of racism and violence that have played out in the country over this past week.

The CFDA’s Chairman, Tom Ford, and the President and CEO of CFDA, Steven Kolb gave this announcement with an outline of these initiatives which was sent to members of the industry.

They added that black people in the country had been reeling from years of injustice stemming from institutional constructs such as slavery, mass incarceration, segregation, police brutality, economic and voter suppression.

They also added that the black community had been experiencing anger and frustration on top of the effects of the global pandemic that has hit communities of color the hardest.

Their first step was to have a clear voice and speaking out against racial injustice, bigotry, and hatred and that they needed to take action beyond solidarity.

CFDA Launches Initiatives Targeted Towards Systemic Racism in FashionThe creation of an in-house employment program that would be specifically charged with placing Black talent in all sectors of the fashion business to help foster a racially balanced industry by identifying black creatives and pairing these individuals with companies looking to hire.

The creation of an internship and mentorship program focused on placing black students and fresh graduates within established companies in the fashion sector.

The implementation and presentation of a diversity and inclusion training program for members of the CFDA.

Immediate contributions and fundraisers in support of charitable organizations targeted at equalizing the playing field for the black community and not just limited to the NAACP and Campaign Zero.

CFDA urges its members to take inventory of their corporate structure to ensure that they have a racially balanced workforce.

They also challenged the retail sector of the fashion industry to ensure that their inventory of brands and their wide variety of products should be representative of the black talent in our industry.

 

Read also: The CFDA and BFC Form An Alliance in the Quest for a Global Fashion Reset