DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ADVISORY COUNCIL
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“Prada is committed to cultivating, recruiting and retaining diverse talent to contribute to all departments of the Company. In addition to amplifying voices of color within the industry, we will help ensure that the fashion world is reflective of the world in which we live”. 

Miuccia Prada

The Prada Group established the “Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council”, a group of brilliant minds in art, fashion, institutions, academia and activism, co-chaired by artist and activist Theaster Gates and award-winning writer, director and producer, Ava DuVernay. Other Council members include: Fashion Institute of Technology President, Joyce F. Brown, Humanitarian and Chief of Strategic Partnerships at The United Nations Population Fund Mariarosa Cutillo and Sarah Lewis, Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

The Council’s objective is to elevate voices of color within the Company and the fashion industry at-large, advising the Group as it invests in diverse talent development and expands opportunities for students throughout the fashion industry.

CO-CHAIRS

Ava DuVernay
Director, writer, producer and film distributor
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Ava DuVernay

Winner of the Emmy, Bafta and Peabody Awards, Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay is a director, writer, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical feature film Selma, the criminal justice documentary 13th, and Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, When They See Us recently garnered 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Director and Writer for a Limited Series nominations for DuVernay. Currently, she oversees production on the fifth season of her critically-acclaimed TV series Queen Sugar and her upcoming romance anthology Cherish the Day. Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's Best Director Prize for her independent film Middle of Nowhere, DuVernay continues to amplify the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her multi-platform media company and arts collective Array, named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.” DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and co-chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.

Theaster Gates
Artist and activist
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Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates is a living artist originally from Chicago. Working primarily as a sculptor and musician, Gates’ work contends with the notion of Black space as a formal exercise. Known for his recirculation of art-world capital, Gates upturns art values, land values, and human values. In 2010, Gates established the Rebuild Foundation to galvanize communities through neighbourhood regeneration and the development of educational and arts programming. Many of the foundation’s initiatives are centered around the revitalization of Chicago’s South Side, creating hubs and archives for Black culture, which serve as catalysts for discussions on race, equality, space, and history. Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and the Harris School of Public Policy, and is Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College. His work has been exhibited internationally, and he is the recipient of numerous distinctions including the Artes Mundi 6 Prize (2015), the Légion d’Honneur (2017), the Nasher Prize for Sculpture (2018), and the Urban Land Institute, J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development (2018).

OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS

Joyce F. Brown
President of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
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Joyce F. Brown

Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) since 1998, is a highly  regarded educator and academic administrator with over 40 years of experience in public higher education.  Sustained strategic planning has been a hallmark of her leadership at FIT which has led to enhanced faculty ranks, increased technology, renovated facilities,  and an expanded curriculum with innovative new programs.  She has invigorated the college’s culture with ground-breaking initiatives in diversity and sustainability.  Prior to FIT,  Dr. Brown held a number of senior administrative posts at the City University of New York (CUNY) including acting president of Bernard Baruch College and vice chancellor of the university.  She was a professor of counseling psychology at the Graduate School and University Center at CUNY and is now professor emerita.  She also served as deputy mayor for public and community affairs during the David Dinkins administration. Dr. Brown serves as a director of the Ralph Lauren Corporation, the New York Economic Club and the New York Culinary Institute. She earned her BA from Marymount College and her MA and PhD from New York University.  She also received a certificate from the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

MARIAROSA CUTILLO
Chief of the Strategic Partnerships Branch, within the Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
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Mariarosa Cutillo

Mariarosa Cutillo is Chief of the Strategic Partnerships Branch, within the Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Mariarosa brings with her more than 20 years of professional experience, working for the private sector. Before joining UNFPA, she was the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Benetton Group, as well as President and CEO of Benetton’s UNHATE Foundation. She has served as director of Valore Sociale per l’Impresa Responsabile (a multi stakeholder corporate social responsibility organization). On issues relating to corporate sustainability, she has served as a legal expert for various Institutions. She has extensively worked for non-governmental organizations including Mani Tese and the Global March against Child Labour. Mariarosa was also a professor in International Law Cases in the Faculty of Law of the University of Milan-Bicocca and senior lecturer at the Catholic University of Milan, Faculties of Law and Political and Social Sciences. Mariarosa obtained a degree in Advanced International Law from the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Milan. She has post-graduate specializations in Human Rights and business administration, and is author of numerous scientific and wider dissemination publications on business and human rights, labor rights as well as on sustainable development issues.

Sarah Lewis
Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University
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Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is an Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Lewis’s research interests focus on representations of race in contemporary art and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America culture and across the Black Atlantic world. She is the author of The Caucasian War and the Los Angeles Times bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (2014). Lewis served as guest editor of the “Vision & Justice” issue of Aperture, which received the 2017 Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research from the International Center of Photography, and her scholarship has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Milton Fund, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Hutchins Center at Harvard University, and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London. She currently serves on the board of Creative Time and the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts and has served on the board of The Brearley School and The CUNY Graduate Center.