• About

    The Black Footwear Forum (BFF) exists to celebrate and safeguard the influence, leadership, and creativity provided by blacks in the global footwear industry. As a collective of footwear industry professionals and supporters from around the country, BFF encourages collaboration in establishing industry goals that center on developing and advancing black talent at all levels.

     

    The BFF also works to cultivate community for Black footwear professionals through national and regional chapter events and activations. 

  • The Story of the Black Footwear Forum

    Inspired by the opening of the National Museum of African American History & Culture on the National Mall, Matt Priest, President & CEO of FDRA, imagined a platform that would highlight and celebrate the role of Black culture in the footwear industry. With this idea, he partnered with industry leader and visionary Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, Founder of PENSOLE Lewis College of Business & Design, creating the African American Footwear Forum (AAFF), with the inaugural event in Washington, DC held February 2019. The Forum has since been renamed the Black Footwear Forum, hosting a multitude of events around the country that bring the Black footwear community together to create spaces exploring industry goals, developing Black talent at all levels in the industry, and closing the gaps one step at a time.

    Matt Priest and D'Wayne Edwards, 2019
    Matt Priest and D'Wayne Edwards, 2022
  • The Mission

    The Black Footwear Forum (BFF) seeks to enhance access, education, and awareness to increase opportunities for Black professionals to influence, lead, and impact the global footwear industry and consumer culture. The Forum is intentional in its efforts to make footwear an increasingly diverse industry, one that not only caters to Black consumers but is also well-represented by Black voices and leadership. The mission is to:

    • Represent the collective voice of Black industry professionals and serve as an advocate for the Black footwear community to bridge gaps between brands and their employees

    • Connect Black footwear workers to create community and mentorship opportunities

    • Cultivate national and regional events across the country to facilitate dialog surrounding issues affecting Blacks in the footwear industry

    • Create a more diverse industry through strategic partnerships and pipeline programs

    • Establish long lasting partnerships that provide access to education and career opportunities

    The vision of the BFF is to be THE platform that makes footwear an increasingly diverse, stronger, industry. One that not only caters to Black consumers but is also well-represented by Black voices and leaders.

  • Black Footwear Forum Advisory Board

    Providing invaluable guidance and expertise for the Black Footwear Forum organization

    Jazerai Allen-Lord
    NYc CHAPTER LEAD

    Founder, True to Size Agency

    David Ballin

    BOSTON CHAPTER LEAD

    Puma

    Darius Billings
    Atlanta CHAPTER LEAD

    The Athlete's Foot

    Portia Blunt
    BOSTON CHAPTER LEAD

    Reebok

    LaShae Boone-McCray

    COLUMBUS CHAPTER LEAD

    RG Barry Brands

    Sabria Butler

    NATIONAL FORUM LEAD

    FDRA

    Darla Pires DeGrace

    BOSTON CHAPTER LEAD

    DeGrace Group Consulting

    April Dinwoodie
    NYc CHAPTER LEAD

    Steve Madden

    Chris Dixon

    BOSTON CHAPTER LEAD

    Timberland

    Dr. D’Wayne Edwards

    NATIONAL FORUM LEAD

    PENSOLE Lewis College of Business & Design

    Dace Graham

    ATLANTA CHAPTER LEAD

    Target

    Brandis Russell

    BOSTON CHAPTER LEAD

    Converse

    Kris Wright
    PORTLAND CHAPTER LEAD

    NIKE
  • Connect

    For more information about the forum, email Sabria or Dion