Pensole and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) have announced the second African American Footwear Forum (AAFF), a global forum for discussing issues and opportunities and providing a venue to make connections in the footwear industry for people of color. The event will be held on Saturday, August 10 at the Portland Art Museum.
"The is a celebration of people of color who have impacted the footwear industry in significant ways in many different areas," PENSOLE founder D'Wayne Edwards said. "But we're also amplifying a conversation about diversity in the industry while shining a light on career paths and opportunities that need to be available to the consumers of the products the industry creates."
The Forum aims to enhance access, education, and awareness for African Americans who are seeking opportunities to influence, lead, and impact the global footwear industry and consumer culture. The day-long event will feature brands, passionate industry professionals, athletes, entrepreneurs, and influencers who will explore and celebrate how diversity drives innovation and creativity drives global competitiveness.
This summer's event will include a keynote address from DJ, author and filmmaker Bobbito Garcia; four concurrent, interactive, career-based fireside chats (Unlocking the Industry) that will culminate in a panel Q&A with the audience; Expert Talks featuring industry influencers, and Media, Brand/Company, and Influencer awards.
Central to the AAFF will be a panel discussion featuring NBA All-Star and TNT commentator Baron Davis; Nike Portfolio Director, Social & Community Impact Karol Collymore; actor and YouTube sneaker influencer Jacques Slade; and Arch author and footwear industry analyst Chris Burns.
The museum's Miller Gallery will host an installation that will highlight noted designers of color who have contributed to the sneaker industry by not only pushing the industry forward but creating new spaces for culture to intersect. It will showcase rarely seen sneakers, designs and other items that will explore the cross-sections of culture in which each designer has worked.
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