I came across this remarkable way to challenge racism in our public spaces, and now I want this to be a thing in Seattle.
The Yarn Mission seeks to “use yarn to promote action and change to eradicate racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression”. The group, founded by CheyOnna Sewell, a PhD student in criminology, seeks to spark conversation about race and police brutality by engaging with curious passersby as they knit, all while providing a comforting activity for beleaguered activists.
“As a black woman, you’re invisible,” says Taylor Payne, a member of the group. “But knitting makes people stop and have a conversation with you. If someone asks me what I’m doing, I say, ‘I’m knitting for black liberation.’ Sometimes they respond and sometimes I just get ‘Oh, my grandma knits,’ like the person didn’t hear me. But at least it opens the door to talking about my experiences.”
Okay, so I can’t knit, but I sew. I’m sure there’s all kinds of crafts a person could do in a public space that would open up opportunities for these sorts of conversations. If any women of color start up anything like this and would like a white woman along for dealing with white fragility, I’m down with it. We could also get together groups that confront other issues: bigotry against trans people, reproductive rights, all sorts of things.
If you’re interested, let me know.