June 18, 2020
Dear CIFA supporters and members of our community,
I am angry and frustrated by the ongoing racism in America, made more evident by the pandemic and the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color. I am disgusted at the recent attacks of police brutality most recently seen by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks. Racism must end and white people must take steps to end the systems of oppression that rely on the denigration of African-Americans. All Black Lives Matter.
The CIFA is a small non-profit that hopes to help children survive and thrive in the changing world by teaching sewing, design, and creativity with clothing. We are now expanding our curriculum to include diverse historic contributions, unjust labor practices, and environmental issues and an increased focus on recognizing inequalities and the promotion of social justice.
Fashion history is a history of colonialism, racism, slavery, and white supremacy, all woven into the fabric of modern America and the world. And, at the same time, fashion has, and will continue to be, a ladder out of despair. We are doing our part to educate children by sewing critical awareness and proactive design thinking into their developing imaginations. We aim to educate children to be confident in their understanding of the world and their own relationship to it. As they grow, we disrupt these histories, envision healing and empowerment, and mend the torn souls of communities and nations.
Founder and Director
The Children’s Institute of Fashion Arts New York City.