CRJC and AWEIK Form Collaboration
Susan Wheeler, founder of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference (CRJC), and the Association of Women in Extractives Kenya (AWEIK), the organizer of the annual Kenya Gem and Jewellery Fair (KGJF), have announced that the two organizations will begin a significant collaboration to promote responsible practices among Kenyan gems and minerals suppliers and worldwide jewelry businesses interested in creating close, transparent supply chains.
AWEIK is a nation-wide organization that aims to connect women in Kenya with professional and business opportunities in the extractives value-chain through fostering relationships and sharing knowledge and experiences. The Association champions for the economic empowerment of women through lobbying, capacity building and business development services.
One of AWEIK’s many efforts is producing in the Kenya Gem and Jewellery Fair (KGJF), which showcases Kenyan minerals and natural resources, and has become the leading gem and Jewellery event in Africa. The next fair will take place July 11-12, 2019 at the Movenpick Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. According to the KGJF website, “the KGJF is the leading gems and jewellery event in Africa. This fair showcases some of the best gemstones, jewellery, and minerals the continent has to offer.” Exhibitors from all over Africa attend each year.
The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference takes place each October in Chicago’s South Loop. It has become a gathering place for the international community of thinkers and do-ers in initiatives to make jewelry supply chains more transparent and more responsible. Its mission is to engage everyone in the jewelry industry: miners, makers, professionals, educators, and students. It’s goal is to address all the ways that individuals and companies can be involved in the responsible jewelry movement, and to a catalyst for action and change.
About the Collaboration
With the new collaboration between AWEIK and the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, there will be an additional emphasis on creating the kind of open and transparent relationships that can lead to shorter, more responsible supply chains.
These types of collaboration are critical to bridging the geographical and cultural distance between the traditional jewelry industry and the communities and workers who provide the gems, minerals, and metals that supply the industry with its raw materials.
The CRJC will offer a full day of presentations on the 2nd day of KGJF (July 12), helping to bring more industry awareness and information regarding responsible and transparent supply chains. In return, KGJF will send representation to the CRJC in October 2019 to speak at the event and participate in the responsible gem fair that will be held the day before the event on October 24, 2019. The two organizations will also reach out to other responsible jewelry fairs around the world to seek further collaborations.