The Social Justice Sewing Academy @sjsacademy Mission Statement: Piecing together youth voices, textileart, and community in a 21st Century Sewing Circle. • Sara Trail is the founder and executive director of the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA). After graduating from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, she founded the SJSA in 2017 to be a platform where youth create art that engages and educates communities. • Sara writes about her first time combining quilting and social justice, “For 13 years, I quilted the same traditional patterns and followed industry standard, spending thousands of hours refining my craft in the company of quilting mentors. However, in these privileged spaces I began to realize that conversations of social justice were deafeningly absent. No one spoke about Trayvon's death, the protests, or the acquittal of his murderer and I felt like I needed to do something to change that. The "Rest In Power Trayvon" quilt is the first time I mixed my passion for quilting with social justice art, a mix that has made the Social Justice Sewing Academy what it is today. When I combined quilting and social justice I gained a completely new understanding of what it means to quilt with a purpose. This quilt commemorates the life of Trayvon Martin and serves to remind society that as the years pass, his life is not forgotten.“ • Some SJSA quilts were part of the 2019 QuiltCon exhibit. If you weren’t able to attend I highly recommend purchasing the SJSA Gallery Guide which highlights the work SJSA youth have created. You’ll learn about Kailah Foreman’s “Justice Denied” - “I created this quilt to remind people that the prison system is a continuation of slavery.” And Bryan Robinson’s “Blood, White, and Blue” - “In making this quilt I wanted to highlight and acknowledge the hidden and often dismissed history of our American flag - one where the stars and stripes that connote freedom cover the blood of my ancestors, people of color, and indigenous people who gravely suffered, gave their life, or were exploited while building this nation.” • Continued in the comments.