The U.S. Embassy organized the second Inclusive Fashion Show to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities. U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Michael A. Raynor said, "Inclusivity is about giving every member of your community the chance to reach his or her fullest potential. Inclusivity also ensures that each of us is able to contribute fully to our collective success as well."
This year's show featured 21 designers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda who made customized clothing for 46 models representing the persons with disabilities community in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Bishoftu, Hawassa and Mekelle), Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. In addition, a video discussing the social and professional challenges face by the disability community was shown, and the Katim Dance Team, an inclusive dance group, also performed.
Ambassador Raynor remarked, "Last year, we sponsored the first Inclusive Fashion Show here in Addis Ababa to highlight that a disability is not an inability, and to showcase the incredible capabilities of our participants."
The Inclusive Fashion Show is a U.S. Embassy initiative and organized in collaboration with the Fashion Designers Association, Hub of Africa Addis Fashion Week, nine local partners representing national disability organizations in Ethiopia, corporate sponsors, members of the fashion community, and the Office of Alumni Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.