At JCPenney, we’re committed to giving students the tools for success, and that includes investing in the development and advancement of diverse talent in our communities. That’s why we’ve created our first ever Young, Gifted, and Black Design Challenge, to strengthen and celebrate the next generation of leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
We’re calling on students from HBCUs across the country to take part in our creative design contest. The two challenges: Students can choose to design 1) an apparel item or 2) an apparel graphic to help further promote and inspire a positive outlook on the mental and physical health of JCPenney customers. Two winners – one from each challenge – will receive 12 virtual mentoring sessions with some of JCPenney’s expert designers and take home $2,000.
Not only is this an incredible opportunity for the HBCU students, but it’s also an effort to raise awareness about the health inequalities of the Black community. Even with proper access, people of color may be hesitant to seek care due to the historical mistreatment of minorities and a lack of trust in the medical community, as a whole. Racism can act as a chronic stressor and discrimination has been associated with poor mental and physical health.
Designers innovate and inspire on a regular basis, and in this contest, they will challenge inequalities and educate society on how to be better. Check back in June when we will announce the winners and celebrate the incredible next generation of designers.