The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) and the Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) have announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind jewelry education program at Baldwin High School in Baldwin, New York. The pilot program will begin in the fall of 2024 and will investigate every aspect of the jewelry industry, from bench to design to sale. “Natural Diamond Council is proud to be partnering with the Black in Jewelry Coalition in 2024,” stated Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director of Natural Diamond Council.
“Following the success of our Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) program in collaboration with Lorraine Schwartz over the past three years, in which 18 BIPOC designers received unparalleled mentorship, press, vendor access, and retail presence, we remain committed to the growth and advancement of the jewelry industry, with a firm belief in creating opportunities for diverse students aspiring to enter this field.”
It is vital that we facilitate and broaden admission into our legacy industry, where long-term quality professions in design, technology, retail, and beyond are feasible. Joining forces with the BIJC to train, motivate, and mentor prospective talent in a high school population on the foundations of jewelry is a catalyst for accomplishing our collaborative aim of creating a more fair future for the diamond jewelry business.
“Our goal is for this program to serve as a pilot that will be replicated in high schools across the country,” Buckley Kayel says. NDC will later stop the EDDI program in 2024 to assure optimal support of the NDC x BIJC effort through a financial award to fund research and teaching for the program.
The NDC x BIJC jewelry education program, which is part of Baldwin High School’s Academic Academies program, will allow students to connect the classroom to the working world through a combination of professional shadow days, internships, inter-school, regional, and national competitions, as well as co-curricular activities.
The program’s purpose is to give students with a variety of learning opportunities to guarantee they get the skills and information needed to succeed regardless of the problems they may face.