April 2, 2019
As professionals in a creative industry, we can all be considered teachers, and every good teacher is a lifelong learner, which requires humility and a willingness to learn, listen and assess our own practices. As the CEO of SoHo Publishing, the home of Vogue Knitting, Knit Simple and Vogue Knitting LIVE, I pledge to foster and cultivate equitable practices that honor our community’s diversity with respect to race, gender, sexuality, age, ability and access needs.
A powerful and productive conversation has emerged about race, power, and inclusion in our knitting and crochet communities. This discussion was begun, and is still led, by black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) who have bravely and publicly held companies and leaders accountable for racial injustice and for their failure to build a more inclusive industry. The discussions surrounding the marginalization of BIPOC in the fiber industries and communities have been a powerful wake-up call and an urgent call to action for us here at Vogue Knitting.
We recognize that we must do better and are taking proactive steps to create lasting change. It is vitally important to us that everyone who reads our magazine and attends our events feels recognized, welcomed, and heard. We have been working hard to address this issue head-on in a comprehensive way—to develop programs that we hope will become far reaching and serve as drivers for change throughout the industry. We will prioritize efforts to effect change and institute new programs that will better the industry.
We are establishing a Diversity Advisory Council to help us mindfully determine how to drive change both within our organization and throughout the yarn community. Thus far the Diversity Advisory Council includes Cecilia Nelson-Hurt of Creative Ceci and Louis Boria of Brooklyn Boy Knits. Once the council has been finalized, all members will be prominently listed on our websites.
As we curate content for our magazines, we will proactively seek out BIPOC creative professionals who are doing excellent work. We have accelerated efforts to recruit a racially diverse teaching staff at our Vogue Knitting LIVE events, and we are actively seeking applications from those underrepresented at our events to teach, vend and inspire.
Vogue Knitting LIVE’s upcoming shows this fall will include Jeanette Sloan, designer and author of “Black People Do Knit.” She’ll speak about her experience as a BIPOC knitter and designer. A panel of creative BIPOC professionals in the industry, moderated by Cecilia Nelson-Hurt, will address diversity, equity and inclusion in the knitting and crochet communities.
We are developing a teacher mentoring program in order to support aspiring teachers. We expect that this new program will increase the diversity of our teaching staff at Vogue Knitting LIVE events this year and into the future.
SoHo Publishing’s pledge, and my personal pledge, is to focus our efforts toward driving change. We envision a future in which our industry is more inclusive, more equitable, and reflects the great diversity of our community. All of us at SoHo Publishing are committed to working together with our community to make this happen.
Chief Executive Officer
SoHo Publishing LLC