Here is a statement from MQG (Modern Quilt Guild) in regards to its post on police brutality against Black people, supporting racial equality and human right that brought forth hateful and dismissive comments…
Read the press release.
Black Lives Matter: Goals & Actions for the MQG;
Dear Quilting Friends,
The events of the last few weeks and even months have been life-changing for everyone and we sincerely hope that each of you are safe and well. MQG members and quilters around the world are never far from our thoughts.
Last week, the MQG posted two statements on our social media platforms condemning police brutality against Black people and supporting racial equality and human rights. These posts generated much discussion, and, in some instances, comments were hateful and dismissive. We heard from some Black members of our community who felt threatened by the hate. It was never our intention to allow the MQG platform to be used by anyone to make racist, exclusionary, or hateful statements. We recognize that our efforts to moderate were not perfect, and some challenged our decision to not allow comments on the second post as unfair. However, we believe strongly in the importance of these statements and will continue to identify actions the organization can take to cultivate social justice within the scope of the MQG’s mission.
The MQG adopted an inclusion statement in late 2017 and the staff uses this statement as a guideline in all actions and decisions: The Modern Quilt Guild seeks to foster a vibrant and inclusive organization built on encouragement and mutual respect, where all feel welcome. We support the participation of all who are interested in the growth and development of modern quilting and we value the diversity arising from differences that make us who we are.
Our member-driven Diversity & Inclusion Committee developed the corresponding Community Guidelines to inform our actions in creating an equitable and safe community environment. We looked to these guidelines before making our social media posts last week. We know we have much more work to do and the work of racial equality is crucial to our mission of creating community in modern quilting.
While the MQG has taken steps over the years to improve inclusivity, the MQG must be a much more intentional platform for amplifying the voices of Black makers and other makers of color. Actions speak louder than words, and we place these words here as a measure of our commitment and accountability. We will update progress toward these goals on a regular basis via the MQG website.
We are actively working to showcase and support work by people of many communities that are underrepresented in quilting, including Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous makers. We strive towards the inclusion of all cultures and communities in the MQG. Today, we focus this initial set of goals and actions on the Black community specifically.
Goal: Support organizations that are expert in amplifying and supporting Black artists and Black voices.
- Donate 100% of the profits from the sale of the new “Better Together” shirt to National Black Arts and the Social Justice Sewing Academy.
- Create online fundraising functionality for MQG use. Encourage participating guilds/groups to offer QuiltCon Together Community Outreach quilts for this fundraiser. Donate 2021 proceeds to Women of Color Quilters Network.
Goal: Feature Black quiltmakers in MQG content with increasing regularity to the point of being a programming standard.
- Renew efforts to seek out and invite Black quiltmakers and their work to be featured in upcoming issues of Modern Monthly.
- Exclusively showcase the work of Black contributors in the 2021 Quarter One issue of Modern Monthly.
Goal: Use the MQG platform to embrace the history and culture of Black textile art and artists, as well as share anti-racism resources.
- Reserve space at future QuiltCons for special exhibits centered around the work of Black artists.
- Reconfigure MQG Teacher Directory to include categories for teachers who focus on African-American quilts, history, and techniques.
- Develop a page on the MQG site listing websites, books, and other resources for members and guild leaders who are starting or continuing their journey in anti-racism.
We hope that you will continue on this journey with us. Please feel free to share ideas for future actions with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, keep on quilting.
Karen, the MQG Staff, and MQG Board of Directors