For some schools across the nation, Sept. 26 was just a normal day. However, at Cass Technical High School, Sept. 26 ushered in several opportunities and a couple of exciting guests: Gucci and Detroit Vs. Everybody.
Gathered in Cass Tech’s Grande Theatre, a group of Cass Tech students received a presentation from Tommy Walker, owner of Detroit Vs. Everybody.
There was also a panel discussion with Antoine Phillips, vice president of Brand and Cultural Engagement at Gucci; Susan Chokachi, president and CEO of Gucci America; Renee Tirado, head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and other major Gucci representatives. Their visit was part of an effort to increase diversity awareness.
It was during this discussion that Gucci presented Cass Tech’s Fashion Design Club with a $10,000 check. However, the check was only the start of CT’s relationship with Gucci. Not even minutes later, Gucci announced it would partner with Cass Tech as part of its new Change-Makers program, headed by Phillips.
The program promotes inclusion and diversity within communities across the nation and within the fashion industry.
Cass Tech was the first of 12 high schools in the U.S. to partner with Gucci. Through this initiative, CT students who sign up for the Change-Makers program will receive a total of $80,000 over the course of four years. Students who take this opportunity could receive summer internships with Gucci. However, Change-Makers is more than a scholarship opportunity in the eyes of those who orchestrated the program with Phillips.
“We are bringing the Gucci Change-Makers program to life by bringing not only funds, but also time, energy,and care to communities that have been historically and systematically under resourced and overlooked for too long,” said Cleo Wade, the council co-chair of the program.
Cass Tech counselor Monica Jones, who helped bring the program to Cass, described it as “... the tip of the iceberg” in regards to Gucci and Cass Tech’s relationship and a “... partnership that will last over time.”
On Oct. 7, Gucci began accepting applications for the Change-Makers program. Though all eligible students are welcome to apply, special consideration will be given to Cass Tech and 11 other U.S. schools and students who are planning to attend a Historically Black College or University. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31 at www.changemakersus.gucci.com.