“The inspiration for the quilt was from my Guilds challenge, Hope Amongst Chaos in 2020. I knew that as a white woman, it was a year of awakening for me. As I became more involved with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ rallies, it became very clear that I needed to express myself in fabric. The background fabrics, the blues, are the fabric scraps left over from the masks I made to donate to friends, family and the community. The small masks were inspired by the masks and signs I saw at the rallies. The central quote is from an article in the VT Digger written by Dan Dewalt called Nothing Less than Total Repudiation.”
Following the murder of George Floyd about a year ago, many Americans and Vermonters were shaken out of complacency and into a new reckoning with racism’s long and vicious legacy, and its current manifestations.
In the context of that upheaval early last summer, Lamoille Restorative Center (LRC) joined in solidarity with Black Americans and people of color by committing to do more to assure our family, friends, and neighbors of color are assured the same chances of realizing their hopes and dreams as people who identify as white.
LRC’s executive director, Heather Hobart, described the organization’s commitment in this way.
“We have an obligation to step up and provide leadership in our community’s efforts to become a place where every citizen is fully valued, respected, and treated with dignity. We commit to working toward meaningful and lasting change.”
While the nation reeled from the horrific circumstances of Mr. Floyd’s death, and LRC grappled with its response and course of action, Cambridge quilter and artist, Anne Standish, created a piece of art she called the “Equity Quilt.” The quilt was inspired by and includes a short section of an essay by Dan Dewalt, published last summer in VTDigger. Ms. Standish described how her work came together. “The background fabrics, the blues, are the fabric scraps left over from the masks I made to donate to friends, family and the community. The small masks were inspired by the masks and signs I saw at [Black Lives Matter] rallies.” She use Mr. Dewalt’s words in the quilt.
“A lazy nation is awakening to the fact that we are steeped in racism, sexism, and violence. We must never go back to sleep.”
The quilt currently hangs on the wall at LRC’s offices in Hyde Park. While COVID still prevents the public from coming into LRC’s building to see this beautiful and poignant artwork, its message will inspire LRC’s racial equity work over the coming months and years. LRC welcomes inquiries from local businesses and organizations that are interested in showing it to their customers and clients.