H+h americas values the soft crafts community and is committed to working towards positive growth, especially in regards to our diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives. With that as our driving force, we recognize that a large and diverse group of people comprises the crafting community. Crafting is a rich and creative enterprise because its patrons hail from all walks of life.
We formed our DEI Committee to ensure we’re doing everything in our power to make the show in June as diverse, equitable, and inclusive as possible. We want to welcome everyone in the industry to join us on the floor. As such, we have proposed certain initiatives to safeguard our distinct community.
The following are some of the ways in which we’ve worked to make h+h americas accessible for all.
We designed the Indie Untangled Newcomers Pavilion to offer small startups and solo-preneurs the opportunity to exhibit at h+h americas. The Indie Untangled Pavilion is a cooperative space for small exhibitors to support one another and offer guidance. Not only do Indie Untangled exhibitors join the show at a lower price point, but the pavilion also extends access to special education and networking events to help entrepreneurs build the wholesale segment of their business and propel their business forward.
A Diverse Conference Schedule
H+h americas is proud to offer a diverse and inclusive conference schedule. The conference faculty come from all backgrounds in the crafts industry, and the schedule includes sessions such as DE&I for Retailers and Why Inclusive Sizing Matters, as well as our Friday keynote on Craftivism with the Social Justice Sewing Academy.
You can see the full conference program here.
An Accessible Conference for All
The Rosemont Convention Center is accessible for wheelchair users and disabled people. Accessible parking is available on the ground level of the parking garage, and we’ve included seating areas inside the convention center both near the entrance and throughout the show floor.
In addition, we’re hosting a virtual training session for all of h+h america’s instructors with accessibility consultant Renee Van Hoy. The session will help our instructors create accessible instruction and classroom materials.
We have also coordinated with the Rosemont Convention Center to provide support vehicles such as mobility scooters and wheelchairs to those who might need them. Supplies of the vehicles are limited, so we encourage our attendees to order in advance to ensure access.
Uplifting Marginalized Communities
H+h americas commits to efforts to uplift marginalized communities. We’ve devised several events at h+h americas to both shine a light on important causes and contribute to furthering their success.
The non-profit organization Knit the Rainbow will host a stitching lounge on the show floor where attendees can knit and crochet donations. Knit the Rainbow is committed to fighting the LGBTQ+ population’s housing crisis through warm woolens and awareness. Donation bins for Knit the Rainbow will also feature throughout the show floor. On Thursday night, Knit the Rainbow will host a tent at the Rosemont Entertainment District. There will be free yarn to knit and crochet donations, food, drinks, and live music. You can read more about it here.
We are also collaborating with the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) to exhibit works from their Remembrance Project. The Remembrance Project features works of activist art memorializing the lives of those lost to gun violence in the United States. Artists create quilt blocks honoring the memory of a lost individual. Artists then sew the blocks into banners used to raise awareness. H+h americas’ keynote speaker on Friday, June 24, will be the Social Justice Sewing Academy’s founder, Sara Trail. She will speak on the organization’s work with underserved communities. You can read more about the plenary session here.
Safety for All Attendees
H+h americas is committed to ensuring the security of all our exhibitors and attendees. We strive to create a fun, inclusive, and safe event for all involved. As such, we are constantly updating our Healthy & Safety policy to reflect the latest guidelines issued by the state of Illinois. You can read the policy here.
We hope we’ve given you some insight on how h+h americas strives to create a conference that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. If you have other questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us.