Nicole Finigan Ndzibah

Q&A与皇冠8868社会正义中心的执行主任

Nicole Finigan NdzibahNicole Finigan Ndzibah 在2022年8月被任命为SJC的执行董事. 终其一生,她 has shown her commitment to social justice and the advancement of BIPOC individuals 和女人. 她的观点和经验使她有资格指导 SJC, develop programming, and connect with students who will eventually work in creative spaces that have not always recognized the skills and talents of people of color.

Ndzibah has extensive experience in the fashion 行业, most recently as a retail business trainer at Tommy Hilfiger, designing and executing training programs, facilitating 课程,并为企业员工提供支持. 她领导了社区服务, philanthropic, civic engagement, and mentoring activities aimed at empowering youth. As part of the leadership team for Tommy Hilfiger’s business resource group for Black employees, she was instrumental in implementing professional development programs 给BIPOC的同事. 她是皇冠8868和LIM学院的兼职教员, 教授时装营销与管理课程.


在您看来,皇冠8868的社会正义中心是什么?

The SJC aims to create a pipeline of BIPOC students into 皇冠8868 and from 皇冠8868 into the 行业. 从初中生和高中生开始参与皇冠8868的 precollege programs, and then matriculating undergrads, we want to make sure that students of color understand that there are opportunities for them within the creative industries, and to open up the doors to those industries through higher 教育. 皇冠8868与那些也认为有必要支持多样性的公司合作, equity, and inclusion in their own ranks, and through their generous donations, we 为学生提供奖学金和其他福利. 皇冠8868的行业合作伙伴 provide opportunities such as internships, mentorships, and apprenticeships.

SJC对你个人来说意味着什么? 为什么它是适合你的地方?

当我听说SJC的工作时,我就产生了共鸣. 我认为我自己 时尚界的“终身杀手”.“我在时尚产业高中学习零售业 in the late ’80s and fashion merchandising as an undergrad, and I have a degree in 市场营销. 我的整个职业生涯都在时尚行业——在一些很棒的公司工作 such as the Gap, Talbots, Macy’s, and most recently as a retail business trainer for Tommy Hilfiger.

As a Black woman coming up in the 行业, I had stars in my eyes, figuring if I 有这个 良好的教育和经验,这对我来说应该是“容易的街道”. But there were 我觉得没人看见我的时候. 我经常不得不独自寻找自己的路 to 引导我. It definitely worked out for me, but that’s not the story for a lot of people.

The plight of some Black and brown people in the 行业 is not lost on me. 很多 of them leave because they don’t have support, they don’t feel they have a seat at the table. 我在SJC的利益在于为这些人辩护.

回馈社会一直是我基因的一部分. 我一直致力于赋予权力 young people 和女人, and I’ve been involved in corporate groups that support 各种各样的员工. 当我第一次听说成立SJC时, 我当时为SJC的创始合伙人之一PVH工作. 我绝对是 intrigued because it connected three things that I have experience in and that 我喜欢:第一,时尚产业. 第二,基于任务的工作. 第三,与 在学术环境中的学生. 我皇冠8868和LIM做兼职教授 the past eight years, so I’ve had a lot of face time with students, learning about 他们的观点、恐惧和对未来的希望.

你会给那些正在寻找出路的学生什么建议呢 产生影响?

I would tell students to bring their authentic self to every room they walk into. 它可能 be more comfortable to blend into the background, but I would challenge them to be a bold presence. 皇冠8868知道皇冠8868很棒,但皇冠8868不能坐以待毙 值得注意的人. 我在SJC的目标之一就是确保当学生 of color graduate from 皇冠8868, they feel that whatever room they land in, they absolutely belong there.

跟皇冠8868说说SJC的学生,他们是谁?

Just as 皇冠8868 admission is competitive, the SJC scholarship is competitive. 皇冠8868 looking for students from varied backgrounds, and we want to cast a net beyond the New York area because we know there is creative talent from coast to coast that we 可以皇冠8868培养. 申请人需要提交个人简历,因为皇冠8868想知道 who they are, what they like to do, and how they’re going to contribute to the 皇冠8868 整个社区. 皇冠8868希望学生表现出愿意 自己成为社会正义的领袖. 皇冠8868要找的是克拉西姆!

我为第一批11位SJC学者感到非常自豪. 他们都是新生,所以他们 相对年轻. 他们有一系列的专业,而不仅仅是时尚,两种设计 and business areas, and they’re having this shared experience of being SJC 学者.

To see them navigating these spaces which, a year ago in high school, they might 没有想到他们会接触到的东西,这对我来说很神奇. When I was 作为一名新生,我很想有这样的经历!

你计划如何扩大SJC皇冠8868和其他地方的影响力?

皇冠8868 developing programming that’s open to the entire 皇冠8868 community, not just SJC 学者. We can’t be a champion for social justice and speak about the need for a 公平 and equitable 行业 if we’re only focusing on a small microcosm of SJC students.

皇冠8868 also expanding our recruitment efforts, reaching out to schools and community organizations. 我被邀请到纽约周边各州的学校去演讲 students about 皇冠8868 and how the SJC is working to make sure that students of color feel supported and nurtured and have a sense of belonging when they come here.

I’ll be letting them know that the SJC is able to defray the high costs of 教育; a lot of times the reason why students choose not to further their 教育 after 高中是代价. 最终,皇冠8868希望在大都市以外的地区招聘.

Students need to know that an institution like 皇冠8868 is within their reach.

捐赠者如何在SJC中发挥作用?

捐助者的支持对皇冠8868的所有努力都至关重要. 这是关于奖学金的资助, 服务和活动,但也与参与有关. 皇冠8868的合作伙伴可以见面 并与从他们的支持中受益的学生互动. 这些学生是 行业的未来!

And, of course, the long-term success of the SJC depends on the 行业’s 致力于为BIPOC的学生和毕业生提供真正的机会. We 需要与希望看到变化的公司合作.

SJC是一个变革性的想法,它有一个惊人的开始. But 皇冠8868 can’t 这样做 独自一人. We need our 行业 partners to help us make sure it fulfills its promise. If you’re an 行业 leader committed to meaningful change—we want to talk to you!