CFDA Takes Action to Combat Racism Across Industry

CFDA Takes Action to Combat Racism Across Industry

The CFDA establishes four initiatives to create systemic change within fashion industry

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has taken a stand and more importantly steps in combating fashion industry racism via a four-pronged approach including pairing Black creatives with firms looking to hire. The CFDA outlined both the program and the reasoning in a recent statement following a board meeting held on June 2nd.

“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,” said the statement. “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. This is a deeply disturbing moment that speaks to us all. Our world is in deep pain. 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 statement

The CFDA outlined the below initiatives to be immediately undertaken by the organization to create systemic change within the fashion industry.

  • 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.
  • The CFDA 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.