The NDC x BIJC Join Forces with program

Dec 15, 2023

Natural Diamond Council (NDC) in partnership with Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC) announce 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 it will explore each sector of the jewelry industry from bench to design to retail. “Natural Diamond Council is proud to be partnering with the Black in Jewelry Coalition in 2024,” said Kristina Buckley Kayel, Managing Director at Natural Diamond Council.

“Following the success of the past three years of our Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) program in partnership with Lorraine Schwartz – 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 critical we facilitate and expand entry into our legacy industry, where long term quality careers are possible from design to technology to retail and beyond. Joining forces with BIJC to train, inspire and mentor potential talent among a high school population on the fundamentals of jewelry is a catalyst towards realizing our collective mission of building a more equitable future for the diamond jewelry industry.

Our ambition is that this program serves as a pilot to be rolled out to high schools across the country,” adds Buckley Kayel. To ensure optimal support of the NDC x BIJC initiative through a financial grant to fund research and education for the program, NDC will subsequently pause the EDDI program in 2024.

As part of the Academic Academies program at Baldwin High School, the NDC x BIJC jewelry education program will allow students to connect the classroom to the working world through a combination of professional shadow days, internships, and inter-school, regional, and national competitions as well as co-curricular activities.

The goal of the program is to provide students with a multitude of learning experiences to ensure they gain the skills and knowledge required to succeed despite the challenges they may face.

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