The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) of the State University of New York (SUNY) has joined forces with influential partners and brands in the fashion and creative industries to help tackle the systemic issues that the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community face in their respective spaces.
On Dec. 8, FIT launched the Social Justice Center (SJC), a first-of-its-kind higher education initiative for BIPOC pre-college youth, college students, and creative industry professionals, according to a press release provided to AfroTech.
Behind the SJC’s launch are its founding partners PVH Corp., Capri Holdings Limited, and Tapestry, Inc., which each have pledged $1 million for FIT’s mission to increase opportunity and accelerate social equity within the creative industries for the BIPOC community.
Leading brands including Ralph Lauren, Prada, Saks, Target, and G-III Apparel Group have also committed to supporting the initiative.
“A powerful and much overdue dialogue was sparked last year around diversity and inclusion, which led to a sobering realization that there was much work to do within the creative industries and at FIT as well,” FIT President Joyce F. Brown shared in a statement. “Since then, we have been building a strong foundation for the Social Justice Center at FIT. I am grateful for the early support from PVH, Capri Holdings, Tapestry, G-III Apparel Group, and FIT’s other charter partners. They have demonstrated a formidable commitment to these efforts, and I am confident that the center is poised to effect meaningful change.”
Pillars Of The Social Justice Center
According to the press release, the SJC at FIT aims to nurture a racially and ethnically diverse talent pipeline through the four pillars:
- Collaboration among leading corporate and non-profit CEOs who are committed to promoting the talent potential of aspiring BIPOC youth and advancing the careers of BIPOC professionals
- Access to the talent, creativity, and expertise of FIT faculty and students as resources
- A sustained commitment to funding support for scholarships and programs
- Ongoing accountability that will identify and measure the advancement of BIPOC professionals.
Opportunities For BIPOC Talent
The SJC will provide scholarships for middle school, high school, and college students, which includes pre-college preparation. The preparation will also provide exposure to career opportunities in the creative sector. Following their entry into college, students will be offered internships, mentorships, and apprenticeships for advancement within their pursued field.
To learn more about FIT’s Social Justice Center, click here.