Enterprise build: After successfully debuting, RAISEfashion has expanded its paid internship program with the Anti-Racism Fund to give more students the opportunity to participate in the multifaceted development program.
The two initially united in a partnership that was announced in February. Together, they launched a 10-week summer internship program that included a grant to cover living expenses for students from four historic black colleges and universities — Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Florida A&M University — as part of the Homecoming Initiative.
For Summer 2022, the paid program and salaries have been enhanced to include more businesses and additional HBCUs. Upcoming participants include Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tory Burch, Richemont, Shoppop, Amazon, Bayer Moss, Rachel Comey, Studd and Lafayette 148. A spokesperson for RAISEfashion said that Saks Fifth Avenue is one of the returning companies that have signed up for the 2022 program and a RAISEfashion spokesperson said Add other major companies to the list. Interns will delve into areas such as business development, sales and purchasing, merchandising, e-commerce, product design, marketing, public relations, social media, and operations.
North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State, Delaware State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are among the new schools in this year’s program, which will increase the number to 13 HBCUs. Twenty students participated in the training program for the first time, and 25 students are expected to benefit from the 2022 program, said a spokesperson for RAISEfashion.
Applications for the 2022 Internship Program are open today on the RAISEfashion website and will close on January 9th. Young undergraduates and seniors can apply, and the jury will consult with representatives from the Anti-Racism Fund to identify high-potential candidates. Participants will be assigned a mentor from the RAISEfashion network and will participate in industry-focused programs and events with global leaders, industry experts and media partners. Winning candidates will be notified of their acceptance by 4 February.
HBCU alumni make up more than 50 percent of black professionals and industry leaders, and contribute more than $10.2 billion to the nation’s economy. But making the fashion and beauty industry more diverse in terms of training, job opportunities, advancement, and C-suite representation is still lacking.
The RAISEfashion initiative is aligned with ARF’s goal to enhance accessibility within every industry that impacts communities of color, according to Lindsey Ferguson, co-founder of ARF. It said in a statement that through the partnership, concrete long-term career and mentorship opportunities were provided. “Finding a group as motivated as us to take action and initiate change shows that this is more than just a moment, it’s a movement – and we have the power,” Ferguson said.
RAISEfashion’s mission is to “identify and provide opportunities for black talent in order to remove barriers that stand in the way of individuals reaching their potential,” said Phileta Harris, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer at Harlem’s Fashion Row and founding board member of RAISEfashion.