About the Social Justice Center at FIT
A groundbreaking initiative to benefit BIPOC students and promote diversity in the creative industries.
SJC at FIT Creates Pathways From Education to Career Success
Even as the United States becomes increasingly diverse, the BIPOC community is strikingly underrepresented in the industries that drive the creative economy. Only 18% of arts and design jobs and 21.3% of business and management jobs are held by people of color. In establishing the Social Justice Center, FIT recognizes that this inequity must be addressed and launches a range of initiatives that help to advance BIPOC students and professionals in the creative industries.
Our goal is to provide support and resources for talented students who would benefit from careers in these industries, and to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the creative economy. There is no system in place to ensure that people of color become aware of the creative industries as a career choice; it is essential that BIPOC youth have opportunities, beginning in the earliest stages of education, to learn about these fields, be encouraged to consider them, and have access to training, mentorship, and other support.
Further, the cost of attending institutions that prepare people for such careers, which are concentrated in expensive cities and metro areas, is a concern for many BIPOC students, who often think that building a career in a creative industry is a luxury. The same is true for BIPOC professionals already in these fields—affordability and financial support, as well as representation, are the top issues they identify when asked about the challenges they face.
FIT can serve BIPOC individuals and drive innovation in the creative industries by tackling diversity issues across the whole career life stage. We will build a pipeline and encourage BIPOC youth to explore the creative industries; nurture their precollege development, college education, and early career; and create pathways for success that lead directly to executive experience and senior management.
FIT has the intellectual capital, reputation, and industry network to help transform the pathway to success in the creative industries and ensure equitable opportunities for all who want to pursue a creative career.
That is the promise and opportunity of the Social Justice Center at FIT.
Leadership at the Social Justice Center at FIT
Our enduring commitment to opportunity and our vision for a better world are opening doors to lasting change.
Dr. Joyce F. Brown is president of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a specialized college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY). Appointed in 1998, she is the college’s sixth president.
As executive director, Nicole Finigan Ndzibah develops strategic plans for building the pipeline for SJC Scholars, including recruitment strategies for precollege students, mentoring activities for SJC college interns, programs and community building for students, and partnerships with educational and cultural institutions.