The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has announced that it is looking to bring about “systemic change” within the fashion industry following the “deplorable acts of racism and violence” that has been highlighted following the deaths of black people at the hands of police.
During a board meeting on June 2, the CFDA stated that it had formulated four initiatives, including to create an in-house employment programme and mentorship scheme for black talent, which would be undertaken “immediately” to “stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against.”
As announced in a joint statement on June 2 by chairman Tom Ford and president and CEO Steven Kolb. It follows behind a string of similar announcements as brands, companies and people worldwide respond to the deaths of George Floyd.
“Black people in this country are reeling from years of injustice stemming from institutional constructs such as slavery, segregation, mass incarceration, police brutality and economic and voter suppression,” the CFDA said. “The Black community is experiencing anger and frustration on top of the effects of the global pandemic that has hit communities of color the hardest.”
“Having a clear voice and speaking out against racial injustice, bigotry and hatred is the ﬁrst step, but this is not enough,” the CFDA stated. “This is a deeply disturbing moment that speaks to us all…We must do something.”
“Our industry is in pain and it is not enough to simply say that we stand in solidarity with those who are discriminated against. We must do something.”
CFDA announces four infinitives to combat racism in fashion.
The CFDA held a board meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd. Given the deplorable acts of racism and violence that we have seen play out in our country over this past week, our response as an organization was ﬁrst and foremost on our minds and in our hearts.
-The CFDA will create an in-house employment program speciﬁcally charged with placing Black talent in all sectors of the fashion business to help achieve a racially balanced industry. This program will be tasked with identifying Black creatives and pairing these individuals with companies looking to hire.
-The CFDA will also create a mentorship program and an internship program focused on placing Black students and recent graduates within established companies in the fashion sector.
-The CFDA will implement and make available to our members a Diversity and Inclusion training program.
-We will make immediate contributions and take up fundraising activities in support of charitable organizations aimed at equalizing the playing ﬁeld for the Black community such as, but not limited to the NAACP and Campaign Zero – amongst others.
Image: CFDA website