Fashion, Culture, Futures: African American Ingenuity, Activism, and Storytelling” is a two-part symposium co-organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Programs will bring together academics, designers, critics, models, artists, activists and others to share new perspectives on the relationship between fashion and the African American experience. Part one of the symposium, presented by Cooper Hewitt, will tackle the complex network of artists, innovators, and image-makers that influence the field of fashion. Inspired by Cooper Hewitt’s current “Willi Smith: Street Couture” exhibition and Smith’s efforts to use fashion to express broader ideas about representation, inclusion and diversity, the program will illuminate how African American creatives are leading innovation and change within the contemporary fashion system. Sessions will address a broad range of topics, including representation in contemporary fashion; surveillance and algorithmic bias; economics and ecology from Africa to North America; and queer and modest style in the mainstream. The symposium is free to attend with advance registration. To register and learn more, visit www.cooperhewitt.org. The symposium will explore the inspirational ways that African Americans have and continue to redefine the fashion industry. Even as they have faced inequality, discrimination and misrepresentation, African Americans have creatively influenced and been influenced by the fashion industry. The conference covers the following topics; historical and contemporary contributions of Blacks, fashion collections at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, LGBTQ+ influences on fashion, modeling during and after segregation, social media and fashion, and African Americans in the global world of fashion.