Women’s studies stitches #MeToo quilt

Alexandra ScicchitanoOnline Editor

The SCSU Healing Project #MeToo Quilt was born from the idea of the community coming together to heal from senseless hatred said Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, director and professor of women’s studies.

“This project, in part, is about our vision of making this place so much what we actually want it to be—a social justice institution,” said Lin.

The idea for the quilt started when a flyer displaying allegedly pro-rape and pro-nazi symbols, as well as, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with the words overlayed, “Kavanaugh did nothing wrong,” was posted on the women’s studies’ office door.

They wanted to respond to it in a positive way, said Professor Emeritus of History and Women’s Studies Virginia Metaxas, who is one of the three heads of the project.

“So, it started with us making something positive from a negative experience and to do it collectively as a community,” said Metaxas.

Since the #MeToo movement is prevalent in society, Metaxas said they decided to call it the “SCSU Healing Project #MeToo Quilt.”

Alex Girard, a graphic design professor and another head of the project, said they took part in the project because he is interested in collaboration and bringing communities together using art.

“I think it’s a really important project,” said Girard, “I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Students, faculty, staff, clerical workers, maintenance and alumni were invited to partake in making a square for the quilt, said Metaxas.

“In December, we put out a request for people to tell them what we were planning and what we would like to do and we got a huge response, very fast responses from people, lots and lots of different people from different parts of the community came in and took some squares,” said Metaxas. “It spread like wildfire.”

When they started the project, they asked colleagues for help, Lin said, and were embraced with “open arms.”

There are 13 squares across, each eight inches wide and tall, and 14 rows. Each row is a different color making a rainbow, and they will make up stripes that will be sewn together and put on a light blue background.

The squares can highlight anything from Black Lives Matter to Take Back the Night, as long as it is about a social action, said Metaxas.

“[A contributor] doesn’t have to be an artist to contribute to this project,” said Girard.

Metaxas said an ideal place for the finished quilt is in the Engleman Hall rotunda, along the staircase wall going up to the second floor.

“We’re going to talk to [President Joe Bertolino] about that,” said Metaxas, “but we’d like it to be in a very central location, so that a lot of people can see it.”

Eventually, they would also like to have an unveiling event for it, when it is supposed to be done in two to four weeks, said Metaxas.

Photo Credit: August Pelliccio

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