When it comes to serving the community, Macy’s, Inc. strives to do more than serve a diverse marketplace through our diverse workforce. We are committed to developing and maintaining ongoing, meaningful programs that deepen our community involvement through action.
To help in this mission, our Diversity & Inclusion team has partnered with the New York Urban League (NYUL) on its College Live program. The initiative, now in its third year, provides college-prep support to students of color, including college readiness workshops and college tours.
Last month, Macy’s introduced a new component to our work with NYUL at the organization’s 31st annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Fair in Harlem. Diana Hilaire, manager of diversity and inclusion strategies, presented the Diversity and Inclusion team’s (B)Empowered workshop, which was customized to help 60 college-bound juniors and seniors learn and develop important soft skills. Hilaire’s coaching included personal and professional lessons, such as dressing for success, developing mentor relationships, pitfalls of social media postings, networking, and personal assessments. Ten ONYX members also volunteered throughout the event, providing important mentorship. “We wanted to do more than just financially support these organizations; we made a conscious decision three years ago to specifically focus on preparing the next generation of students of color through our customized life and job readiness programs and workshops,” said Kristyn Page, vice president of diversity and inclusion strategies.
“With College Live, we are diving into more hands-on, face-to-face opportunities in our diverse communities to really make an impact,” said Page. To date, more than 200 students have been impacted through College Live and more than 6,000 through several key youth sponsorships managed through the Diversity and Inclusion Strategies team.
Blessing Njoku, a student who won a $250 Macy’s gift card and a private session with Macy’s MyStylist, Nafeesa Muqtasid, hasn’t yet defined her personal style, but said she is excited to develop one, thanks to the professional and casual dressing tips she gained from Muqtasid, as well as an interviewing suit and a few other Macy’s fashions.
Blessing said her biggest take-away was, “about measuring my strengths and my weaknesses, and self-evaluating so that those weaknesses could potentially become strengths.”
We are so pleased to continue working with NYUL and bright students like Blessing at this year’s HBCU fair. Macy’s actively recruits at several HBCU events and has welcomed more than 90 talented graduates from historically black colleges and universities since 2011.