As part of its ongoing commitment to racial equity, VF Corp. brands Timberland, Vans and The North Face, in partnership with Portland-based footwear design academy Pensole Academy, have launched a new educational program in the U.S. called ”DiverCity x DESIGN.” The program provides unique access to professional design experience and empowers Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) students to learn, create and build careers in the footwear industry.

The goal of the partnership is to invest in the future of the industry and create a program that ensures a diversity of thought and experience. Open enrollment for the program runs through March 30, 2021. The immersive curriculum was developed in collaboration with Pensole to provide students with the knowledge and experiences they need to become well-rounded professional footwear designers. DiverCity x DESIGN will teach students the principles of footwear design, the product creation process, hands-on experiences, professional development training and brand engagement. The top-performing students will receive career mentoring with cultural experiences in each of the brand’s headquarter cities.