I write today with a heavy heart. We at SNAD stand with the Black community and we assert that Black Lives Matter. Black joy, grief, freedom of creative expression, and pain matter. Black-led protests matter. This past week and a half has motivated us to re-examine how to be better allies and advocates. How to best support the ongoing justice work within the Black community. How to identify when white privilege shows up in our work and workspace. And how to help cultivate a more inclusive community. The reality is, the Black community has been doing the work for hundreds of years. It is important for us to listen, learn, and educate ourselves. If we believe in equality and inclusion, we know that our words — our values — must be met with action. There is much work to be done and WE are all accountable. It is not time to be still or silent. It is past time to take direct action.
As a community arts organization we advocate learning. We honor, promote, and encourage imagination, creativity, and community. We believe art can be a force for change and inspiration. We acknowledge the urgency of this moment and that the real work of change is unending and imperfect. With that in mind and with the support of a grant received in December 2019, SNAD will move forward in developing a vocational program training under-resourced youth for careers in embroidery and textile arts. We will continue to explore ways our teaching and art can foster empathy, healing, and understanding. But we can do better to explore how we mitigate the effects of white privilege within our own community and how we can continue to expand the communities that we reach. Below are a few resources that we have compiled. We hope that you will consider donating some time, energy, or funds to these causes or organizations doing important work in this space:
Social Justice Sewing Academy http://www.sjsacademy.com/ is a youth education program that bridges artistic expression with activism to advocate for social justice.
Bib & Tucker Sew-Op https://www.bibandtuckersewop.org/ is a Birmingham, Alabama-based organization that’s working to cultivate a sewing-based cottage industry that provides income and flexible working conditions for women who head their households.
For Freedoms https://forfreedoms.org/ is a hub for artists, arts institutions, and citizens that uses art as a vehicle to deepen public discussions on civic issues.
The Black Futures Lab https://blackfutureslab.org/ works with Black people to transform our communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates — locally, statewide, and nationally.
The Black Art Futures Fund https://www.blackartfutures.org/ is a collective of emerging philanthropists promoting the elevation and preservation of Black arts and culture.
Take care of yourselves and each other,