Creating a Future We all Believe in and Belong in Equally: An Important Message from the Director
Creating a Future, We All Believe in and Belong in Equally
To date, 2020 has brought two globally arresting moments for humanity to deeply reflect upon: COVID-19 and RACISM. They are unimaginably intense. They are real. They bring to the fore a very hard truth: now more than ever, racialized disparities in society, policing, and health, for example, hit our Communities of Color the hardest.
Our response to COVID-19 has quite literally shown us that we have influence. We can stop the world in its tracks when we work together for a common goal to insist it slows down and changes its behaviors for the benefits of humankind.
As a School of Fashion, we acknowledge that racism and injustices are significant issues that have impacted African Americans and people of color for generations. We acknowledge that as a student, you have feelings of confusion, sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, and exhaustion. We understand it is traumatic. We know there is a deep need to work together to end racism in our own fashion community and look for ways to affect change.
As an industry, Fashion is a global language with its own identity and multiple spheres of influence. Therefore, if we are genuinely to transform the world of fashion and through fashion, help to transform our modern world, we must work together on new questions. This will demand that we listen to each other, deeply listen to the many alternative perspectives and experiences. To do so, means we must make and take time.
How might we - KSU Fashion - create a new order through the business of fashion? How should we be collaborating in an effort to end racism? What mindful activities and partnerships and creative practices need to be included in future fashion education? How can our collective creative imagination support the dissolution of racism?
I write to you all today to let you know that your School with all of its faculty and staff, are resolutely committed to changing what we do and how we do it, when it comes to creating a culture that is demonstrable in its practice for championing diversity, equality and inclusivity.
Our Call to Action for influencing positive change will begin with a series of Town Hall meetings in the Fall 2020 Semester that addresses and acknowledges the disparities in our own fashion community. We are committed to supporting you and our connected community. You, who are the faces, voices and leaders of the future.
I wish you all the strength to stay awake to what is unfolding in front of us and, the courage to accept that we have much to learn.
With love and kindness at our core, I believe there is nothing we cannot overcome. Together.
With warmest wishes
Louise Valentine, Ph.D.
Director | Professor
School of Fashion