Founded in 2016, 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.
SJSA has served over 700 youth in one year!
SJSA allows students to explore, discuss and express modes of oppression, lived experiences and creativity. Students read, produce research papers, and write poems while building a strong foundation in sewing and textile art expression. The curriculum is multidisciplinary, drawing on concepts taught in history, ethnic studies, education and sociology; however, the learning is not limited to the text. SJSA students leave the program equipped to solve issues in their communities with innovative thinking tools instilled by activities, assignments and reading. Our goal is to have students leave the program aware of systemic injustices, yet equally aware that meaningful change happens when we push ourselves to take action. We expect SJSA participants to be more than good students, more importantly we expect them to be inspired to become better leaders, great organizers and in general, people ready to build a brighter future.
The ultimate goal of SJSA is to create conscious art activists who will use their creativity and imagination to change their world one stitch at the time.
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 youth to become civically engaged artists as they are challenged to tackle current social issues in their community that directly affect their lives.
The Social Justice Sewing Academy currently offers a full time 6-week summer program and workshop programming year long. Both bring together youth and participants to create original works grounded in principles of civic engagement and community-based contemporary arts practice.
The Social Justice Sewing Academy is committed to partnering with schools, community organizations, and alternative places of learning to create spaces of opportunity, imagination and creative expression. Every participant in SJSA programming, is a creator and master of their own narrative and art. We seek to leverage the voice and experiences of each of our students, providing them with the tools and guidance to create beautiful pieces of art.