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Social Justice Sewing Academy

I want to provide free critical arts educational programming to Next Step Learning Center in Oakland, CA. Next Step Learning center is a place where transitional aged youth (TAY) 18-22 can come to earn a high school diploma or GED. Being pushed out of the traditional school system, I want to provide SJSA programming to use participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation, community cohesion, and social change. While the first half of the programming will be focused on activities, workshops and assignments in social justice education, the second half is centered on creating activist art with textiles –forms of art that strive to make a social difference. SJSA allows participants to create art as a way of narrating, shaping, and making meaning of their experiences in the world and this art is an effort to draw attention to, mobilizes action toward, or attempts to intervene in, systems of inequality of injustice. SJSA allows young people to create textile art that question, challenge and strive to indirectly influence existing conditions of inequality and injustices by engaging communities in social transformation. I will provide in-depth sewing instruction and tap into students' creativity by introducing sewing techniques, color theory, and artistic expression. We will end the program with a culminating final project of creating a ‘social justice art quilt’ and hosting an art show featuring all the textile and fiber projects they have design and sewn. Ultimately, I believe the participants will learn that sewing can be more than just a hobby; it can be a revolutionary practice of resistance.

Funded by Oakland, CA (August 2017)