Cashmere Quick Hits 02/28

To close out Black History Month, this week’s insights will reflect on African-American influence across various mediums such as fashion, culinary arts, & Classical music.

“If you think about black art, all black art, whether it's Invisible Man or whether it's James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Zora Hurston, or Richard Wright, they all deal with elements of identity and trying to humanize our experience and our struggle in the world where people have been indifferent to who we are and what we are. It's basically just saying that our lives have meaning."- Cheo Hodari Coker

How The "Oscars of Food" are Changing to Address a Lack of Diversity

A historic number of women and chefs of color took home medals at last years James Beard awards “but handing out awards does little to address the systematic changes necessary in an industry grappling with pervasive abuse and issues of diversity and inclusion” says, Mitchell Davis the foundations Chief Strategy Director.Now the influential organization is taking additional steps to address the inequality found across America’s kitchens and in food writing circles. Among other changes, it’s volunteer committees and judges will now be required to, at the very least, reflect the demographic makeup of the country. Source: Detroit Free Press

Lack of Diversity in Top Orchestras Remains a Major Challenge for Musicians of Color

Most classical music professionals in major symphony orchestras around the country are white, according to the League of American Orchestras. That includes well-known conservatories like The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute, and the New England Conservatory, to name a few.As a result, America’s orchestras aren't as diverse as the cities they serve. African-Americans make up 1.8 percent of orchestras nationwide while Hispanics make up 2.5 percent, according to an industry-wide study. Those statistics inspired several performing arts organizations to form the National Alliance for Audition Support, which prepares talented musicians of color for auditions. Making it past that first hurdle is crucial as one opening in a top-tier orchestra can easily attract as many as a thousand candidates. Source: NBC News

New York Fashion Week Fall 2019 Was The Most Racially-Diverse

On Tuesday, The Fashion Spot released its bi-annual diversity reports, which often show how far the industry has come — or, in this case, how far it has to go. For the NYFW fall 2019 runway shows (which concluded earlier this month), racial diversity was reported to move one percent forward. This season, 45.8 percent of the models cast in New York were women of color, while last season it was 44.8 percent. Yes, that's nearly half, but as the site points out, as racial diversity becomes more of a standard, it's unlikely there will be any big growth in that area.Nine of New York's 10 most-booked models were women of color, including Nigerian-born Mayowa Nicholas, Korean model Hyun Ji Shin, Chinese-Nigerian model Adesuwa Aighewi, Chinese model Sijia Kang and East London native Hannah Shakespeare, who all booked at least 12 shows. Racial diversity was the only area the runways maintained improvement. Source: Refinery 29