Social Justice Sewing Academy

What is the injustice we are solving?
Young people are presented in the popular media to be apolitical, deviant, and in need of intervention. Some have even relegated youth, particularly youth of color, to be a problem population that needs to be controlled. In spite of popular discourse that suggests young people are problems, young people have always been the vanguard of social change. From the Civil Rights Movement to the current Black Lives Matter movement, youth have been the ones to lead progressive social movements that have fundamentally transformed the daily lives of so many marginalized populations. After attending UC Berkeley and learning the impact of social inequality on communities of color, particularly youth; my educational experiences inspired me to develop the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA). This program facilitates free programming that teaches youth methods for engaging in social change in community context while creating participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation and social change.
Our Compassionate Solution
To solve this injustice of
youth voices being underrepresented.
we will address
the lack of youth voice by empowering students to use sewing as a medium to amplify their artistic voices and become agents of change.
providing free programming to ingrain resources and tools into our students so that they can work toward solving a social justice problem that resonates with them, specifically with art activism.
Our Plan
Our Project Goals
Develop a SJSA Ambassadors Program
Have 100 workshops a year
Create a year long curriculum, complete with homework assignments, in class activities and discussion questions
We will increase my / our compassion by...
The Social Justice Sewing Academy is a critical education program that fosters participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation, community cohesion, and social change. We bring together artist-mentors, local youth, and community members to learn and experiment through place-based projects. We promote the model of the artist as citizen, actively engaged in conversations with our surrounding community through the lens of contemporary art. We support participants to become civically engaged artists as they are challenged to tackle current social issues in their community that directly affect their lives.
How will you show courage?
Students involved in SJSA programming will show courage by creating art with a message - even if other people may not agree with their voice.
How will you collaborate with others?
I will use ZOOM to have monthly meetings with ambassadors, and reach out to potential mentors from Peace First.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction?
When students are sharing they are enjoying the program and feeling like they are making a difference.
Create a list of key steps you will take
1. Develop the platform and theory of change for SJSA ambassadors
2. Reach out to Peace First network to see if anyone would be interested in becoming an SJSA ambassador to enhance their own projects
3. Develop a fundraising campaign (to fund the SJSA ambassadors)
4. Create a media press kit regarding SJSA to submit to media outlets
5. Run a pilot session of SJSA ambassadors this summer
6. Collect pre-and post surveys on participants expectations and experiences in the SJSA ambassador program