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The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice

Paperback(First Edition)

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The rise of the Auntie Sewing Squad, a massive mutual-aid network of volunteers who provided free masks in the wake of US government failures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, when the US government failed to provide personal protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auntie Sewing Squad emerged. Founded by performance artist Kristina Wong, the mutual-aid group sewed face masks with a bold social justice mission: to protect the most vulnerable and most neglected.
Written and edited by Aunties themselves, The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice tells a powerful story. As the pandemic unfolded, hate crimes against Asian Americans spiked. In this climate of fear and despair, a team of mostly Asian American women using the familial label "Auntie" formed online, gathered momentum, and sewed masks at home by the thousands. The Aunties nimbly made and funneled masks to asylum seekers, Indigenous communities, incarcerated people, farmworkers, and others disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. When anti-lockdown agitators descended on state capitals—and, eventually, the US Capitol—the Aunties dug in. And as the nation erupted in rebellion over police violence against Black people, the Aunties supported and supplied Black Lives Matter protesters and organizations serving Black communities. Providing hundreds of thousands of homemade masks met an urgent public health need and expressed solidarity, care, and political action in a moment of social upheaval.
The Auntie Sewing Squad is a quirky, fast-moving, and adaptive mutual-aid group that showed up to meet a critical need. Led primarily by women of color, the group includes some who learned to sew from mothers and grandmothers working for sweatshops or as a survival skill passed down by refugee relatives. The Auntie Sewing Squad speaks back to the history of exploited immigrant labor as it enacts an intersectional commitment to public health for all. This collection of essays and ephemera is a community document of the labor and care of the Auntie Sewing Squad.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520384002
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mai-Linh K. Hong is Assistant Professor of Asian Diaspora and Asian American Literature at the University of California, Merced. Her research on refugee storytelling, race, and human rights has appeared in Amerasia, Verge, MELUS, Law, Culture, and the Humanities, and other journals and edited volumes. Since 2017, she has served as Co-chair of the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies.
Chrissy Yee Lau is Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Monterey Bay. She writes histories on race, gender, religion, and empire. She has published her research in the anthology Gendering the Trans-Pacific World and in a special issue on Asian American public history of Southern California Quarterly. She also researches and develops museum exhibitions for the public and digital exhibitions through the classroom.
Preeti Sharma is Assistant Professor of American Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Her scholarship on feminist theories of work, racial capitalism, service economies, and alternative labor organizing has appeared in the Journal of Asian American Studies, Society and Space, and the first national policy study on labor issues within the nail salon sector, a report she coauthored for the UCLA Labor Center.
Essay Contributors:
Kristina Wong is an award-winning performance artist, comedian, writer, and elected representative in Koreatown, Los Angeles. She uses humor as a tool to highlight racial dynamics of our current times as well as provide a space for conversation and laughter.
Rebecca Solnit is a celebrated writer, historian, and activist. She is author of more than twenty books on feminism, western and Indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster.
Grace J. Yoo is a sociologist and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is coauthor of the award-winning book Caring across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families. She recently taught the first summer undergraduate class on sewing with the Auntie Sewing Squad.

Table of Contents

Preface, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord
Taxonomy of Auntie Roles, Audrey Chan

We Go Down Sewing, Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, Preeti Sharma, and Valerie Soe
Auntie Sewing Squad Map, Audrey Chan 
Auntie Sewing Squad Core Values: Transparency + Passion + Humor + Kindness, Amy Tofte and Kristina Wong 
Auntie Sewing Squad Bingo, Alina Wong and Heather C. Lou
Ode to the Spreadsheet of Glory, Laura Karlin 
A Mary Poppins Box of Supplies, Laurie Bernadel 
Finding Fabric, Candice Kim and Sharon McNary 
Recipe for Vegan Kimchee, Grace J. Yoo 
Moment of Joy, Chey Townsend and Beatrice Townsend 

Sewing as Care Work, Preeti Sharma 
Taxonomy of Auntie Care, Audrey Chan
The Evolution of Auntie Care, Gayle Isa 
Auntie Sewing Squad Care-Van, Duyen Tran
How to Sew Masks for Fun and No Profit in the Apocalypse, Dana Leahy
Mask Ties and Earloops and Nose Pieces, Belinda Vong Younis
Bread, Roses, and Face Masks, Ellen Gavin
Home Sweatshop, Laura McSharry 
Recipe for Ube Halaya, Irene Tayag Laut

Sewing with Intent, Chrissy Yee Lau
Behind the Wheel of a Large Automobile Full of PPE, Badly Licked Bear
Badly Licked Bear Relief Van, Badly Licked Bear and Katie Johnson
Dreaming of My Ancestors: Sewing a Network of Protection across La Frontera, Jessica Arana
Abuela's Facultad, Jessica Arana 
Solidarity Praxis, Lauretta Kanahoa Masters 
Monk Fabric, Melinda Creps
It's in Your Blood: Warrior Alliances in the Time of Coronavirus, Constance Parng
Three Generations, Joni Byun
Recipe for Tsukemono Pasta Salad, Dave Vindiola

A Day in OUR Virtual Life

Sewing as Refuge, Mai-Linh K. Hong
Mending Time: A Movement Score, Rebecca Pappas
Mask Butterfly and Stencil Rose, Jacqueline Bell Johnson
Rebirth, Māhealani Flournoy 
Sewing through a Pan(dem)ic, Hel en Lee
How to Measure, Selfie, Sanae Robinson Guerin
Recipe for Nourishing Salve, Laura Karlin 

Mutual Aid
Sewing the Pieces Back Together, Rebecca Solnit
ASS Quilt, Melissa Quilter
Science Is the Light on the Sewing Machine, Karl Haro von Mogel
My Dad Sewing, Lisa Prosta
Querida Abuelita Rafaelita, Lorena Madrigal
Sewing Machine, Lorena Madrigal
Treasuring Mom, Joy Park-Thomas
Recipe for Earl's Girl Pound Cake, Diana Williams

Teaching Sewing, Teaching Care, Grace J. Yoo
The Auntie Sewing Squad Kids Sewing Camp, Gina Rivera
To the Rescue, Dominie Apeles and Teena Apeles 
Technical Assistance Auntie, Vibrina Coronado 
Connecting My Family's One-Hundred-Year Herstory, Jenni "Emiko" Kuida
Sewing with Mom, Winnie Fong 
Sewing for the Next Generation, Sylvia Kwon
A Day in the Life of Westside Hub, drawn by Gwendolyn Kim , written by Leilani Chan, Ova Saopeng, and Nouthak Saopeng
Recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Hearts, Melissa Quilter
we (can) do it, Elena Dahl

Coda, Mai-Linh K. Hong, Chrissy Yee Lau, and Preeti Sharma


Auntie Sewing Squad Mask Sewing Patterns, Mai-Linh K. Hong and Chey Townsend 
Contoured Mask
Pleated Mask
Folding Mask


Customer Reviews