The Living Room Sessions Video Archive
Great conversation, a respectful and safe space. A community of makers, doers and shakers from the jewelry industry who really want to make a difference!
Diamonds and Their Troubled Realities - What's the Right Thing to Do?
with guests Susan Wheeler, Founder of The Responsible Jewelry Transformative, and Brad Brooks-Rubin, Senior Advisor at The Sentry (04.15.2022)
On the heels of a great discussion about international development at our March Living Room Session, we wanted to take a look at how that work is hindered by conflict in its myriad forms and definitions. This was a timely conversation in that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is being funded in part by diamond sales from the two thirds state owned Alrosa. However, we wanted to take this opportunity to once again shine a light on some of the other communities around the world that are negatively impacted by diamond production and to discuss the bigger picture of systemic changes in the diamond industry.
The Intersection of Jewelry and International Development
with guests Nikki Duncan, Technical Director/Chief of Party on the USAID-funded Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project, and Cristina Villegas, Director of Responsible Sourcing and Minerals at Pact (03.18.2022)
This Living Room Session's aim was to help jewelers understand their role in broader development strategies, how these approaches have changed over time, and what can be done to not repeat the past.
Supplier Conversations in Practice
with jewelers Ashley Thorne, Jalnar Dhanani-Wade, Zulaikha Aziz, and Will Nevins-Alderfer; and suppliers Monica Stephenson and Stuart Pool. (02.18.2022)
Following our January Living Room session, Conversations Worth Having with Cheri Torres, we wanted to see how the techniques and tips we learned to improve our conversations with jewelry suppliers translated in the real world. We spoke with our panel about their experience at the Tucson gem shows - what went well, what continues to feel challenging, and what situations may call for group accountability.
Conversations Worth Having
Cheri Torres, PhD. (01.21.2022)
During this workshop style Living Room, we explored a challenge we all share, the often difficult and sometimes tense conversations we have with suppliers of gold, gemstones, and diamonds.
Most suppliers being asked don't even have the answers for a variety of reasons, and so the dialogue is often uncomfortable, evasive, and confusing and is cited by jewelers as a common obstacle.
Before you watch. Halfway through the discussion, the conversation shifts in a way that may be triggering for some viewers or listeners because it addresses racism in the jewelry industry and reveals how individuals, in their privilege, perpetuate it. The CMC team is including this part of the video because it demonstrates the need for collective accountability alongside appreciative inquiry. We heard this call and we are taking action, for our internal work, building tools for our audience, and actions that can be carried out into the jewelry industry. We hope you'll watch and share your feedback with us. Thank you.
Current ASGM Initiatives, pt. 2
Solidaridad in Ghana & Andrea Jose Castro (11.19.2021)
A part two to our October Living Room session, the November session was a further look at two initiatives in the sector of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Featuring Carla Neefs, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Solidaridad Europe and Yaw Britwum Opoku, the Program Manager for Gold at Solidaridad West Africa & Andrea Jose Castro, Founder and Creative Director of Casa Collab jewelry studio.
Current ASGM Initiatives, pt. 1
USAID Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project & Ethical Metalsmiths Action Coalition (10.15.2021)
This Living Room includes a review of basic facts about ASGM, an overview of the USAID Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project, an introduction to an ASGM consumer awareness campaign from members of the Ethical Metalsmiths Action Coalition, and a Q&A session.
A timely conversation about Afghanistan with human rights attorney and founder of jewelry brand Mazahri, Zulaikha Aziz (09.17.2021)
From her perspective as a jewelry designer as well as a refugee from Afghanistan with enduring deep ties to the country, Zulaikha shared with us an overview of the current political situation in Afghanistan. She also discussed with us how everyday people and artisanal gemstone miners are being impacted.
Hugh Brown Garimpeiros Project
GARIMPEIROS: The Prospector’s Quest for a Better Life (08.20.2021)
Photographer Hugh Brown has been committed to documenting artisanal miners and their work in many remote and harsh locations around the world for over a decade now.
Radical Jewelry Makeover
Could our jewelry “collections” be the source material for recycled metals and gemstones that meet your expectations for “responsible” recycled content? (05.21.2021)
The Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM), launched in 2007 by Susie Ganch and Christina T. Miller, continues to serve as a gateway to creating collective exploration of the potential to create jewelry sustainably. Go to the Takeaways here.
What can and can’t we claim when selling diamonds? (04.23.2021)
April’s Living Room session posed questions such as, “Should we abandon conflict-free claims?”, “What can and can’t we claim when selling diamonds?”, and “Where do the diamond and jewelry industries have the greatest leverage to affect change in the diamond trade?” Go to the Takeaways here.
Artisanal and Small Scale (ASM) Gold
What does the Fairmined premium do? (03.19.2021)
Following last month’s session on recycled gold, this Living Room continued the conversation on Artisanal and Small Scale (ASM) gold. This session highlighted the work of the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the impacts of the Fairmined gold premium. Go to the Takeaways here.
What do you really want to accomplish? (02.19.2021)
This Living Room session sought to identify what we know and don’t know about recycled gold, the true impacts of the material, how it fits into a responsible sourcing practice.
This session was done in partnership with Initiatives in Art and Culture. Go to the Takeaways here.
Ethics and Responsibility in Jewelry II
Navigating Real Decision-Making (01.22.2021)
This session takes an ever-deepening look into what an ethical jewelry practice looks like generally and specifically.
Sustainable Jewelry Consultancy
The core approach for jewelers (12.4.2020)
Christina T. Miller Consulting, presents core methods used to help jewelry brands and retailers to improve responsible sourcing practices.
We are inviting beginners and veterans to learn about our approach and offer questions and insights. Go to the Takeaways here.
Ethics and Responsibility in Jewelry I
What is Ethical Jewelry? (09.25.2020)
Understanding how to create trust among ourselves and our communities is a fundamental, legendary ethical question.
Artisanal Small-Scale Mining
Gold and sustainable livelihoods in Choco, Colombia (07.24.2020)
Explore the history of Chocó, Colombia’s second largest gold producing region situated along the country’s Pacific Coast.
Each guest is an activist working from their particular area of expertise to improve lives. Go to the Takeaways here.
Artisanal Gemstone Mining in Zambia
Colored gemstones and the challenge of artisanal mining (06.26.2020)
Learn about artisanal gemstone mining in Zambia from one of the country’s most impressive advocates for artisanal miners.
A gathering to see how everyone is doing and talk about the topics on your mind (5.29.2020)
We discussed different models of responsible gold flows, and our plans to change the hearts and minds of consumers.
Intentionally supporting artisanal and small-scale miners is essential work in striving to be a responsible industry.
The Perspective of ASM Gold Miners
Pioneer projects for more just and conscious mining practices (05.15.2020)
A lively discussion with real miners in the field pursuing responsible and sustainable practices and supporting small-scale miners.
Each guest from South America shares their vision, challenges, dreams and hopes for artisanal gold mining.
African Gems in Service and Brazil...an update
Engaging the families and communities in small-scale mining (05.01.2020)
Experts will share their experience with the colored gemstone trade in Africa and how they are leveraging the industry to support those in need.
Also learn about indigenous rights related to mining in Brazil.