Made in Africa

Honestly, I get irrationally irritated when people talk about doing things in Africa. It's not because I have some distorted idea about "feeding starving children in Africa". In fact, way back in the day, I danced at a fundraiser for the organization called Build a School in Africa.

Yep, that's me trying to keep my glasses on my face. What bothers me is the generalization that comes with talking about Africa, as if it is one monolithic place, with homogeneous culture, history and identity.  After getting to travel in the Eastern and Western parts of the continent, I can now fully appreciate the vastness of that place. And although I detest the generalization implied in talking about Africa, I admit my heart lifted a little at the announcement of EcoSessions: Made in Africa, by the Fashion Institute of Technology's Enterprise Center and the Sustainable Design Entrepreneur's Certificate Program in New York. The panel discussions will highlight the complexities of producing accessories, clothing and beauty products "in Africa", discuss the growing market and talk about "Africa's" sustainable potential. If you are in New York City this summer, check out the EcoSesssion. Made in Africa will be held at the Fashion Institute's John E. Reeves Great Hall from 4:30-8:30PM EST on June 2, 2014. The event is free.