I am a hand sewing contributor for SJSA. I have worked on blocks across a large spectrum of issues. Every block gave me pause, it connected me to a stranger who expressed their thoughts on something close to them and challenged my own thoughts. Some things I hadn't thought about and some I felt very strongly about. Every block was a chance to hear a story that was important to that individual and to add to their story. Not to start a war but I think straight, white, men and women narratives are known, they've been told time and time again. These blocks are made by youth (usually) of color who are finding their voices and narratives. " @themeanprincess
"I am so pleased to have connected with SJSA. Its mission is powerful and I'm happy to contribute to quilts
You can't help but give thought and consideration to what you're working on when you stitch. Even more so when it's a physical signification of a young person's view of the world they inhabit." -@athousandtinystitches
"The Social Justice Sewing Academy offers an incredible way to give voice to people who are often ignored or silenced. The work is powerful and beautiful. It empowers the creators and all who see these incredible personal statements."
Seeing the Social Justice Sewing Academy's exhibit reminded me how youth can often speak the necessary truths adults are often unwilling to."
For me, the SJSA youth quilts were the most powerful, heartbreaking, poignant quilts I saw in the entire exhibit. The work is amazing and I was so moved. Keep fighting!"
These quilts are so powerful, I am so inspired, but also heartbroken, by how our planet and culture look to these youth. I hope they had the affect of confronting a population of largely women (many older!) who are largely insulated from (or ignoring) the dismal state of things in America today. SJSA, thank you for all your work and please keep it up! - Jenny M.
The SJSA quilts are wonderful- super creative, so clever, proudly singing their makers' messages. I'm looking forward to seeing what these young makers do next. " - Tamara King
'And a child shall lead them...' ran through my head as I stood in the SJSA exhibit. The quilts spoke and the voices were clear and resonated with the attendees. -Jacquie Gering
The quilts made by the SJSA youth initially made me feel guilty for the problems that neither nor the adults before me have managed to correct. But the guilt turned into inspiration- maybe if they can speak truth so beautifully, I can too."
Stitching over the social commentary made by the students makes me feel a part of that students work- collaborating to make a statement against injustice - all while sitting in my living room! How great is that! - Jane Stokes
I embroider for SJSA because I appreciate how they use needle and thread for capacity building, social justice education and to promote intersectional cross cultural dialogue." - Sabrina Marco
Seeing the SJSA youth quilts gave me hope. If this is the youth of today, tomorrow doesn't look so grim after all. - Alice Blyth
Art gives a voice to people with something to say and cultivates empathy. My embroidery is helping to amplify the voices of these young artists in this time and is something that gives me hope and purpose. - Melanie Tuazon
As an activist, it's thrilling to see young people called to action, raising their voices to express their opinions, their concerns and their fears. They are raw, intimate, powerful and fierce! As an artist, participating in Social Justice Sewing Academy workshops and encouraging young artists as they discover their creative voice through their quilts, is exciting! It has been a meaningful opportunity to share a medium I love. I learn as much as they do and feel very fortunate to be part of the conversation." -Martha Wolfe
When I was in your exhibit, I felt the energy that created these quilts. It was a similar experience to when I viewed the selection of AIDS quilt panels. I felt the emotions that created the quilts while I was looking at it. Really impressive work! -Elena Battles
To see and feel the voice of youth portrayed through this medium was incredible- then to learn about the collaborative journey each quilt took, but how it was still rooted in the voice of each person who made the quilt made it all the more powerful. This is an incredible project."
What motivates me to be an SJSA Embroidery Volunteer is the feeling that in this small way, I can say to my grandchildren, 'I played a small part in aiding teens and young people learn social justice in a non-violent manner.'" - Rachel Robles
I am so proud of each of these young artists for making these quilts and speaking out. The adults in our country have not been as brave and is it not okay. Your work inspires me to do better. -Carrie Franklin
"I found SJSA on Instagram and signed up because it is exciting to see young people speaking up and getting involved and I knew I wanted to help continue this important work by Sara and the students. I feel honored to work on each block. These blocks will help bring about the change our country needs and spread the messages we need to hear. I came home from a day I spent to myself, no news or social media, and picked up my mail to find a package from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Turning on the news to catch up- I learned of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia at a ‘Unite the Right’ rally, the violence of a car plowing through a crowd of counter-protesters and killing Heather Heyer. I opened my envelope to find letter blocks M for Mandela and P for Privilege. I am white, born, raised and live in a rural county in Washington State. I want to use my privilege to make our country less racist. It is past time for the silent white privileged majority to speak up. I am not silent anymore." -Pamela Foss