Kent State Fashion's NYC Studio Receives Diversity Award During University's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Jan. 24 marked Kent State University’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Students and faculty gathered in the Kent Student Center Ballroom, to listen to keynote speaker, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ph.D., the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, television host, author and political commentator. During the event, The New York City Studio, a study-away destination campus for students in the Kent State University School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, was presented the 2020 Beverly J. Warren United Award for Diversity for their implementation of the Fashion Industry Diversity Panel series, which focuses on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the fashion industry. Ann Walter, director of the NYC Studio, accepted the award on the Studio's behalf.
Located in New York City, the NYC Studio is in the heart of the Garment District. One of eight study away opportunities for Kent State students, the NYC Studio not only provides unique academic prospects, but also offers an opportunity to become immersed in the epicenter of the fashion world. The NYC Studio is open to students studying fashion design or merchandising. Students are not only able to learn from successful industry professionals, but they also have the opportunity to gain internships in New York City, and further their careers through networking possibilities.
The Studio has hosted panels on both people of color and the LGBTQ+ community, discussing inclusion in the fashion industry and how their contributions impact the business. Both panels featured industry professionals speaking on the subject of diversity and how diversity has the potential to reshape culture and society. “Our team is fully committed to creating an inclusive space for dialogue, learning and engagement among students, alumni and industry professionals on these important real-world topics,” expressed Walter.
During the Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration event, Kent State also announced the 2020 recipients of the Diversity Trailblazer award, and the Rozell Duncan Student Diversity Award. These awards along with the Beverly J. Warren United Award for Diversity, celebrate inclusion and diversity in Kent State’s programs and organizations. The Beverly J. Warren United Award specifically focuses on a Kent State unit that exhibits significant contributions in the areas of diversity, equity, and/or inclusion.
The event featured a special talk from keynote speaker Dr. Harris-Perry, a public figure who has been dedicated to the diversification of journalism and public voices. Her writings on race, gender, politics and power have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and many other publications. Her books, “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought” and “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America” have won numerous awards.
Harris-Perry is also the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University and the founder of the bipartisan program Wake the Vote. She is a contributor at The Nation and an editor-at large for Elle.com. At both publications she has fostered new mentoring efforts including the Elle.com Scholars Program and Black on Campus for The Nation. She currently serves on several boards and award committees and acts as a trustee of The Century Foundation.
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