In 2020 three interdisciplinary teams made Commitments to Action in the following areas:
- FIT Hives: Building the Buzz
Michele Sparrow and Sydney Wilson wanted to tap into the huge interest surrounding FIT Hives rooftop apiary and bee education project from the FIT community and beyond. FIT Hives wants to offer more campus events educating the community, to assemble a team who will help raise awareness for the project, and to offer volunteer opportunities within New York City. In addition to raising awareness of the declining bee populations, FIT Hives will provide direct actions that can help save bees. With most FIT students off campus since March of 2020, original FIT Hives founder/alumna Sarah Langenbach (Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing, ‘17) and NYC local has remained connected to the project–and completed training with The Bee Conservancy, now serving as the lead beekeeper for FIT Hives. In Fall 2020 they created a video for the virtual Sustainability Awareness Week that features a hive inspection; and in April they installed new bees for 2021 and look forward to mentoring new students once in-person classes begin again.
- Spotlight FIT (formerly titled POCreatives)
In 2019, POCreatives founders Will Mun and Ashley Vargas applied for the Innovation Grant with then-graduating senior Kenji Jones in spring 2018; their goal was to amplify the voices and art of BIPOC students at FIT. Since then the grant has evolved into the Collaboration Grant and the group has changed their name to Spotlight FIT. With the pandemic they pivoted to create a socially distant documentary called “Through Our Eyes: 2020” that has been shown to a variety of campus groups along with Q & A sessions with the filmmakers after the screenings. Additionally, they have participated across campus departments; joined the FIT podcast (with FIT’s W27); produced a new documentary for the virtual Spring Orientation; and aim to recruit additional student members to carry on sharing student work that reflect on inclusivity and empowerment.
- The Eco Underground
Abigail Dennis and Hannah Blaseg committed to creating a community space every month for students at FIT to discuss and participate in sustainable fashion practices. They wanted to partner with FIT’s Student Government Association and The Loop for Good: FIT’s Sustainable Pop-Up Shop to develop and implement this program monthly. Unfortunately some of the programs that they had already scheduled were cancelled due to the pandemic, however they are now collaborating with The Loop for Good on remote projects.
While FIT students have participated before at CGI U, this year’s process was more competitive, as CGI U reduced its class size to introduce mentorship and small group coaching. The selected students participated in a year-long program with an enhanced curriculum. In addition, for the first time, the annual meeting scheduled to occur outside of the US. The FIT participants were expected to travel to Scotland to convene at the University of Edinburgh. Due to COVID-19, this aspect of the program was converted to a virtual experience.