JCK Industry Fund 2021 Now Accepting Submissions

JCK has announced that submissions for the 2021 JCK Industry Fund are now being accepted through November 20. In addition, recipients of the 2020 fund have been named. This year, more than $400,000 in grant funding has been awarded (and over $7 million in total since the fund was established in 1997).

Applicants for 2021 should note that in addition to the traditional funds submissions, the JCK Industry Fund announced in August its introduction of the Diversity & Inclusivity grant, which seeks to support organizations whose efforts serve to increase inclusion within the U.S. jewelry industry. The new grant received supplemental support from De Beers Group, who raised additional monies for the fund during JCK Virtual in August.

“In a year with unprecedented challenges, we feel the JCK Industry Fund is more needed than ever,” said Yancy Weinrich, chief growth officer for Reed Exhibitions, in a statement. “Now is the time to support organizations and industry initiatives that will generate significant impact to our industry’s growth and development. It’s also why we developed a new grant specific to Diversity & Inclusivity that is dedicated to supporting greater inclusivity within the fine jewelry and watch industries by supporting BIPOC initiatives.”

The 2020 recipients of the annual JCK Industry Fund are listed below.

Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF), for its Diamonds Do Good campaign, which has reached more than 3 million millennials to date. “The JCK Industry Fund’s grant has enabled Diamonds Do Good to be a continuous and affirmative voice championing, through real and meaningful stories, the positive impact natural diamonds have on communities around the world,” said Nancy Orem Lyman, vice president and executive director for Diamonds Do Good, in a statement. “This has been especially relevant during these unparalleled times brought on by the global pandemic, which saw industry members throughout the United States and the world reach out to communities particularly affected by COVID-19. The Diamonds Do Good message lines up with consumers’ needs to give meaningful gifts that express their real emotions. The JCK Industry Fund grant has ensured consumers are hearing this message.”

International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) in support of the artisanal mining sector, helping to improve lives, protect the environment, and promote communities. “As the world’s leader in supporting the natural colored gemstone industry, it is ICA’s commitment to give aid to the artisanal miners and their families, to help the mining communities prosper and grow in a safe environment, improving their lives,” said ICA president Clement Sabbagh in a statement. “The generous donation gifted by the JCK Industry Fund to ICA’s Gems Keep Giving initiative will truly make an important difference to the lives and communities of some of the less fortunate people in our gemstone community. We should all play our part, whether through donations, or an endowment, a fundraising effort, the identification of a community project, or by providing hands-on aid and assistance, it is all very much appreciated.”

Jewelers of America (JA) for its efforts focused on the industry’s support by implementing a sustainable, ongoing national advertising campaign for the jewelry industry. “Receiving the JCK Industry Fund Grant enables grant recipients to stretch our efforts in creating positive impact for the jewelry industry,” said JA president and CEO David J. Bonaparte, in a statement. “Jewelers of America is working together with the industry, for the industry to enhance consumer awareness and drive jewelry sales. We look forward to continuing our promotions to consumers in early 2021.”

Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) in support of its Cybercrime Prevention Training and information for the diamond, jewelry, and watch industries. “Coincidentally, the JCK Industry Fund 2020 grant to Jewelers’ Security Alliance provided JSA with the perfect preparation for the pandemic,” said JSA president John Kennedy in a statement. “The grant focused on implementing a real-time crime system, allowing JSA to upgrade its hardware, software, database, and communication tools. The purpose was to permit JSA’s small staff to function outside its midtown Manhattan office 24/7, from anywhere in the world. The JCK grant has allowed JSA to effectively carry on its crime prevention mission of informing jewelers and working with the FBI and local police seamlessly and without interruption, despite staff working from home during the pandemic.”

Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) in support of its advancements in consumer-facing projects to ensure the reputation of the jewelry industry remains positive among consumers. “The JCK Industry Fund has played an integral part in supporting JVC’s mission to serve the jewelry industry and the consumer by actively encouraging the highest levels of integrity in business,” said JVC president and CEO Tiffany Stevens, in a statement. “This year, JVC was honored to receive funds to support new projects such as our digital Understanding the FTC Guides book released in June and supported by many educational webinars in our new digital environment, and our work with advocacy and education on increasingly important AML [anti-money- laundering] compliance for the trade. JVC continues to offer guidance and education through the development of new resources, presentations, and one-on-one chats to address the needs of the diverse jewelry business community.”

Mercury Free Mining (MFM) for its efforts to create industry-wide awareness of the human and environmental health issues related to the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining by promoting the discovery and implementation of a safe and effective alternative. “We are deeply grateful to the JCK Industry Fund for their generous grant that has enabled Mercury Free Mining to launch a vital project for importing gold ore concentrates from South America,” said MFM director Toby Pomeroy in a statement. “Samples are presently being tested using new technologies with a goal of finding methods for use by small-scale gold miners so they can mine more profitably while eliminating the use of toxic mercury. In addition, funds from the JCK grant are making possible communication programs with the jewelry industry, describing the damaging conditions related to mercury use and information on how to obtain responsibly mined gold.”

Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) in support of its RJC Code of Practices, helping companies of all sizes throughout the jewelry supply chain meet the rising ethical demands of peers, consumers, financial institutions, and civil society by providing a clear set of standards verified through an independent third-party certification process. “We are an industry built on trust and beauty. In this decade of action toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we have a shared responsibility to integrate sustainability throughout the global supply chain from mining to retail,” said RJC executive director Iris Van der Veken, in a statement. “We believe that together we can create positive impact on the livelihoods of communities around the world. We thank the JCK Industry Fund for this important contribution to support RJC in encouraging responsible business practices and fostering consumer confidence.”

Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) for its Gender Equality Project, in support of educational resources and professional development opportunities. “The Women’s Jewelry Association believes that focusing on women’s engagement and collaboration across the industry will positively impact all industry stakeholders. The JCK Industry Grant Fund is integral in helping WJA further these types of activities, said WJA executive director Jennifer Markas, in a statement. “With its support, we are able to convene our Women’s Executive Leadership Forum and prepare for the future of jewelry retail by focusing on mentorship, connection, and training to uplift the next generation of jewelry leaders.”

The JCK Industry Fund Committee consists of Yancy Weinrich, chief growth officer of Reed Exhibitions USA; John Green, president and CEO of Lux Bond & Green; Eddie LeVian, CEO of Le Vian; Michael Lerche, president of Goldstar Jewellery; Sam Sandberg, chairman of A. Jaffe; and Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of Reed Jewelry Group. Grants are funded by JCK with support from the industry at-large and donations from JCK exhibitors and attendees. Donations are collected year-round and allocated annually.

For more information and to learn about submissions for 2021, visit jckonline.com/industryfund. All submissions for the 2021 grant are due Nov. 20.

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