Jewellery designer Kassandra Lauren Gordon has launched a fundraising initiative to create a hardship fund for Black jewellers in the UK.
This latest bout of activism to promote more diversity in the jewellery industry follows an open letter Gordon wrote to the jewellery industry about her experiences of racism. The letter also included a list of suggested practical steps the industry could take to level the playing field for Black jewellers.
Gordon is seeking to raise £14,000, and has already raised more than £5,000 within days of launching the Gofundme page. Many well-known names within the jewellery industry have already pledged their financial support, with the largest donation to date of £1,000 being gifted by Kelly Seymour, founder of jewellery brand Cult of Youth, who was the first recipient of The Jewellery Cut Live Bursary in 2019.
The money raised will go to support 10 Black jewellery designers working in the UK, providing a non-repayable grant of £1,000 each. Gordon says that this money will come with “no strings attached”, allowing the designers to use the money in whichever way they see fit.
A panel of industry professionals will be appointed to help select the recipients of the grants, who will have to apply for the hardship funds. Both fine and costume jewellers are invited to apply.
The remainder of the money will be used to cover the costs associated with running the fund, as well as financing an in-depth report into the disparities of the jewellery industry in relation to race that will explore the experiences of Black jewellers in the UK. The creation of the report, which will be published later this summer, will be overseen by Gordon who, in addition to being a jewellery designer, has a degree in social research and has also worked in the charity sector, managing grants from major players such as The National Lottery, The Department of Health and Comic Relief.
To donate to the fund, click here