Clark Atlanta University has appointed BJ Arnett the Art and Fashion Department Chair under the School of Arts and Sciences. In this role, she will serve as the chief academic officer of Art and Fashion and be instrumental in generating ideas and initiatives for the department. Arnett is an associate professor in the department and mentors several students to become creative artists in fashion and merchandising. Before the appointment, she served as the department’s interim chair since 2021.
Arnett, a professor at Clark Atlanta University since 2014, has significantly contributed to the growth and development of the Art and Fashion Department. Under her leadership, she founded Trends and Tours, a New York fashion excursion for CAU art and fashion students, and created the first HBCU Art and Fashion Week at the University in 2016.
“Working closely with Professor Arnett, I’ve had first-hand experience to see her dedication to ensuring CAU’s Art and Fashion Department’s best interests are judiciously met,” said Jaideep Chaudhary, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of the School of Arts and Sciences. “While working at the University, she has unprecedentedly raised over $400,000 for the department through her countless industry relationships and was awarded a prestigious educational partnership which secured another $500,000 for Clark Atlanta University.”
Arnett has fostered partnerships with PUMA, Macy’s, JCPenney, Levi, Harlem’s Fashion Row, Noir Fashion Week, LVMH, American Eagle, Tapestry, World Bride Magazine, and other fashion industry leaders to create vast opportunities for her students and mentees, including two students being selected for field emergence in Paris, France, ten students participating in the International study abroad program, and one student showcasing his designs at the Harlem Fashion Row’s 16th Annual Fashion Show & Style Awards in New York City. Her strong commitment to cultivating relationships for her students continues to strengthen the legacy of Clark Atlanta University.
Professor Arnett brings longstanding experience to her new role, having worked in the entertainment and film industry. She is a former entertainment and lifestyle reporter and anchor for the NBC affiliate 11 Alive. Additionally, she—along with her husband, Camy “Cameron” Arnett— are cofounders of the Atlanta-based Camy Arnett Production Studios (CAPS) and the non-profit organization Saving Destinies, where they are the executive producers of the feature film Mattie: The Discovery. They also produced two additional films, Hosea: An Undying Love and Destined to Love You. She hosts and coproduces the award-winning talk show BJA Today, A CAPS original. She is also the host of WATC TV 57’s This Day with BJ Arnett. Additionally, Professor Arnett sits on the Program Engagement Committee for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the largest film festival in the country.
Arnett holds an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design from Atlanta School of Fashion and Design, a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from American Intercontinental University, and an MBA degree in Fashion Merchandising from Kaplan University.
About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing, “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.