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Knoll Supports More Inclusive and Diverse Communities

 Technology Today Bureau

Knoll, a constellation of design-driven brands for the workplace and home, today announced two social impact initiatives to help build more inclusive communities. The new initiatives include the Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students and a corporate partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Additionally, Knoll Chairman and CEO, Andrew Cogan has joined more than 1,300 CEOs who have pledged to take action to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace through the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ Pledge.

“We all have the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the pressing issues of the day, setting the stage for change in the years ahead. Taking the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion Pledge aligns fully with the Knoll commitment to help build a fairer and more equitable society. Supporting accessibility and inclusion through design education and affordable housing extends our design-driven mission and shows how we can play a tangible role in making progress toward a fairer world,” said Andrew Cogan, Knoll Chairman and CEO.

The CEO Action Pledge focuses on four commitments: cultivating trusting workplaces that can have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations; implementing and/or expanding unconscious bias education; sharing best – and unsuccessful – practices; and creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with the board of directors (or equivalent governing bodies.) The coalition is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students

Knoll has created Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students to develop the next generation of architects, graphic designers, industrial and architectural engineers, interior designers and industrial designers. 

The program will provide individual tuition awards of $10,000, renewable annually, to a total of five Black 2021 high school graduates in the United States and Canada who will be pursuing studies at two or four-year institutions. The program will be administered by Scholarship America, a not-for-profit organization that works directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities. Since its founding more than 60 years ago, Scholarship America’s mission has been focused on student success, helping students break down barriers, open doors and access scholarships to achieve their dreams of a college education.

Scholarship applications will be available mid-November at

This initiative complements the Knoll Employee Scholarship program, founded in 1998, which provides access to higher education to Knoll associates’ children and grandchildren and focuses on reducing the burden of student debt. The program has awarded 676 scholarships since inception.

Habitat for Humanity + Knoll

To expand our commitment to good design and sustainable building practices, Knoll is joining global housing nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity, as a cause marketing partner, effective December 2020. Last year, Habitat helped over 7 million people build or improve a place to call home. The organization frequently uses sustainable building practices and follows energy-efficient construction standards that prioritize safety, health and materials conservation.

The Habitat + Knoll partnership consists of three components:

  • Consumer Participation. In December 2020, Knoll will offer a $5.00 donate option for online sales at the Shop at at checkout and for orders placed at retail Knoll Home Design Shops in New York and Los Angeles.
  • Financial Support. From December 2020, Knoll will match consumer donations for a collective total of $100,000.
  • Volunteer Activity. Knoll associates will volunteer in four to-be-announced North America Habitat 2021 projects when Covid-19 restrictions have lifted.

“Giving back to the communities where we live and work has been part of the Knoll culture since our founding. The Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students and Habitat partnership are exciting new ways we can build on that history and provide our associates, who champion a range of charitable passions, with a new way to make impact,” Cogan added.

Following are some main features of this campaign –

  • Company launches Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students
  • Habitat for Humanity partnership supports affordable housing

  • Knoll chief executive joins more than 1,300 CEOs in commitment to advance inclusion and diversity in the workplace

World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

In addition, Knoll is the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program. Modernism at Risk includes programs dedicated to preservation and public advocacy, with the intention of attracting international resources to the dangers faced by Modernist buildings across the globe. A cornerstone of Modernism at Risk is the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize, which is awarded biennially to a designer or design firm whose work enhances the public’s awareness of the seminal role that Modernism plays in the built environment.

Diversity and Inclusion at Knoll

At Knoll, our differences contribute to our success. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and creating opportunities for people who come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, people with disabilities, and building on our leadership in LGBTQ+ equality. We recognize that our policies and practices will evolve as we continue to focus on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Modernism in design was born as a means toward social good, and Knoll was founded on the principle that modern design can make a difference in improving the quality of the way we live and work. By extension, good design is agnostic about the color of one’s skin, their abilities or disabilities, sexual orientation or gender identity, responding to the universal desire for utility, joy and beauty.

We believe that embracing diverse perspectives contributes to an inclusive workplace and strengthens the communities where we live and work. Knoll supports a continuous dialogue that promotes teamwork and differences.