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Fashion Institute of Technology opens new social justice center.

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) announced on Wednesday the launch of the Social Justice Center (SJC) at FIT, a first-of-its-kind higher education initiative, supported by founding partners PVH Corp., Capri Holdings Limited, and Tapestry.

These times have certainly helped to create a sense of moral responsibility, and I am proud to hear that FIT, my alma matter, has started a first-of-its-kind initiative will provide mentorship, education, and career support for the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community.

"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. Since then, we have been building a strong foundation for the Social Justice Center at FIT,” said FIT president, Joyce F. Brown.

The Social Justice Center has been made possible thanks to fashion conglomerates, and their their respective foundations, as they each committed $1 million to help launch the center to increase opportunities and accelerate social equity within the creative industries. Among the industry leaders that have pledged their support, names such as Carolina Herrera, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Saks, Target, and The Fragrance Foundation appear. G-III Apparel Group has reached more than $1.5 million in contributions to establish scholarship funds. “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."

It is important for young creatives to know about opportunities such as these. There is an array of opportunities to create a diverse talent pipeline for BIPOC professionals starting in middle school through high school and college. And, once in college, the SJC partners are looking to offer internships, mentorships and apprenticeships.

This type of initiative is also a good model that demonstrates the that the leading corporate and nonprofit CEOs can make a difference as they foster the talent, creativity, and expertise of BIPOC professionals through funding of scholarships and programs.

I am writing about this because I am proud of this progress and because it is important to spread the word to any young and promising talent.

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