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BLEECKERVERSARY!

Three years at Bleecker St! <3 <3 <3

We're celebrating three years on Bleecker Street! It feels like only yesterday that we were visiting NYC from Kenya for our first big pop-up, and in a hasty whirlwind of excitement, decided to take a stroll down Bleecker Street "just to see" (and dream a little). We called all the FOR RENT signs one Sunday and were lucky enough that Nick, the broker for #363 answered our call! A few days later, we had a signed lease, a new shop and a much bigger family. We never could've imagined our incredible luck in stumbling upon the greatest landlords ever to have graced NYC.  We'll always remember when we met them that first year over Cuban food at our favorite spot on Christopher St. and they said to us, "We have one daughter, Katie, and now two more--you!" As if we hadn't already felt like part of the family, that first week when Arthur came downstairs with warm pork buns from his mom to welcome us, we knew we were home.

Many of you have met Paloma, who has worked with us since day one, after we interviewed her while all sitting on boxes in our empty store. We're so proud of her and the many other wonderful women who have passed through our doors and who we have the joy to continue to see grow.

Three years later, through snowstorms, countless tacos from Pedro at the Little Taco Shop around the corner, hosting so many of you who've traveled far and wide to visit, in the midst of a pandemic, we still can't think of where we would be, what we would be, without the family we've had the pleasure and honor to be a part of at 363 Bleecker. It's because of you that we get to keep our doors open, and we're so grateful for the opportunity. While we can never know what the future will bring, we're proud to be able to share it with you from our little perch on Bleecker Street!

WHAT WE'RE READING // Michaela Coel's Pressure Points by Durga Chew-Bose

If you haven't seen Michaela Coel's new show I May Destroy You, getting a subscription to HBO just to watch it is completely worth it. Deeply felt, brilliantly written and strikingly thoughtful this show is everything. This article and interview takes you into the mind of the show's creator, director and star and gives you a glimpse into the genius that is Michaela Coel.

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Come Through with Rebecca Carroll

 

Join Rebecca Carroll, culture critic for WNYC, on this podcast where she hosts conversations about race, culture and identity with thinkers, artists, writer and politicians. We especially recommend listening to episode 9 with author Bassey Ikpi where they discuss the stigma that black women face when talking about mental health.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Baaba Maal

We love Baaba Maal, and this 2009 collaboration with New York-based Brazilian Girls brings a fresh sound to both of their work.  Each song on the album is totally different than the one before it, so it can be a little disorienting to listen to, but every one truly deserves to be heard.  (Hint--if you like Manu Chao, you might love this album!

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GIVING UPDATE // Voter Participation Center

GIVING UPDATE // Voter Participation Center

For the month of August, we decided that we wanted to direct the proceeds from our mask sales to the Voter Participation Center because we strongly believe in the importance of representation in our political systems and that the first step to accomplishing that is through voting! The Voter Participation Center has helped millions of people to register to vote, and has focused specifically on outreach to women, BIPOC and young people. Thanks to your mask purchases, not only are you making us all safer by wearing a mask (!!!) but you've enabled us to donate $5,000 this month to support creating an inclusive and representative democracy.

WHAT WE'RE DOING // Registering to VOTE

Are you registered to vote? Think you are but aren't 100% sure? Register here, and then check in with your friends and family! There are 62 days left before the election, and together, we can make our voices heard!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Vote! The Podcast with Kat Calvin and Andrea Hailey

The executive directors of Vote.org and Spread The Vote, Kat and Andrea answer all your questions and more about voting! If you want to learn more about voter suppression, how voting by mail will actually work, or more about mobilizing the youth vote, take a listen, and of course, don't forget to register to vote!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // PRISCILA TOSSAN

The latest album by Brazilian singer and songwriter Priscila Tossan is bound to become one of your new favorites.  With an original sound that is ultra smooth, but a strong enough beat to keep you moving, it's the perfect album for a late summer's afternoon.

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Weekly Newsletter Aug 11, 2020

Community Spotlight: Zuri farms!

If you, like us, are just REVELING in the bounty of summer and endless tomatoes and peaches, you'll also be as excited as we are to celebrate some of the incredible, inspiring women in our community who are building sustainable, ethical and inclusive food systems.

Shellie-Ann Kerns runs Bunkhouse Acres, a 20-acre homestead and designated tree farm in the Middle Satsop Valley, in the homelands of the Tsihalis Salishan people in western Washington. Through sustainable and regenerative land management techniques including permaculture, biodynamic farming and companion planting, Shellie-Ann is creating a farm that is connected to the history of land and an inclusive local farm network. Learn more about the farm and support Shellie-Ann's work here!

Lizy Bryant is a queer, Black, emerging land steward born and raised in Minnesota. She is currently fundraising to buy 25 acres of land and farming infrastructure an hour outside of the Twin Cities, which will be converted into an agricultural and artistic resource for Black Minnesotans and their families. When fully operative, this land will function as a farm, a gathering place, a learning facility, and a generative nexus for wellness and creativity. If you'd like to support Lizy's work, please follow the link here!

Dalila Boclin is the Director of Programs at FRESHFARM, a nonprofit based in DC that focuses on building a better food system by connecting the dots between sustainable agriculture and food access. If you live in DC, Maryland, or Virginia, maybe you've visited one of their 33 farmers markets, or seen their FoodPrints programs at DC's elementary schools. Since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, FRESHFARM has provided 100% fresh, locally produced food to over 9,7000 residents of the area, supporting both vulnerable urban communities as well as dozens of family farms during this critical time.

WHAT WE'RE READING // Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

In her mid-twenties and unsure about what to do with her life, Emira finds a job baby-sitting for the Chamberlain family. A confrontation at a local supermarket while watching the Chamberlain's toddler sets off a vortex of events that bring us into the complexity of race, gender, economic status and transactional relationships. This novel is so engrossing that you won't be able to do anything else until you finish it, so make some time and enjoy!

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Interview with Isabel Wilkerson

Ever since reading her definitive history on the Great Migration, Warmth of the Other Suns, I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Isabel Wilkerson's next work. Her new book, Caste, was just released, and this interview is the perfect amuse bouche for those of us eagerly checking our mailboxes waiting for her new book to arrive!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Syli Authentic

In addition to a fantastic sound, what's so incredible about the Guinean band Syli Authentic is that the members were all students, ranging in age from just 14-16.  The sound is rich and complex; it's a happy reminder that young people are truly capable of amazing things.

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter July 21, 2020

Customer spotlight: artists in Zuri!

Many of you in our Zuri community are artists, and we wanted to spotlight a few of you today who have included us IN your work! We've said it before and we won't stop saying it, we are continually inspired by this community and grateful to be in such talented company!

Kira Nam Greene continues to explore and expand her interests in the sociopolitical arena of female identity and sexuality. This painting was in her recent show, “Women in Possession of Good Fortune,” referring to the opening lines of Jane Austen’s novel, “Pride and Prejudice” and alludes to both the persistence of sexist assumptions and the achievements made by women from different races, ages and sexual orientations. The combination of representational fidelity and non-traditional geometries in Greene’s paintings celebrates the imagination’s role in creating a plural and malleable reality.

California based artist Chitra Gopalakrishnan is a graphic designer and painter, and we were so excited to see this piece, featuring Trivial Pursuit!

 

 

 

Hilary Puxley is a London-based portrait painter and we are in love with her self-portrait in Backgammon Jammin'! She has most recently been a part of a project honoring health workers and just completed a portrait of a nurse from the NHS.

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business

We're huge fans of artist Betye Saar, and this documentary short takes us through her work in her words. From her early work to yet uncreated pieces, Betye walks the viewer through her studio, her past and her future.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Pod Save the People with DeRay Mckesson

 

Hosted by activist and organizer DeRay Mckesson, this podcast covers the news and digs into politics and social justice. He specifically highlights issues that impact people of color and brings in experts, including Soledad O'Brien, who talks about racism in the media in the June 30th episode.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // ASK A SANE PERSON: JIA TOLENTINO ON PRACTICING THE DISCIPLINE OF HOPE

Staff writer at the New Yorker and author of the recent book of essays, Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino distills culture today with incisive clarity. This short interview with her is reflective and energizing, and we recommend a quick read!

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter Apr 14, 2020

#zurifromhome

Many of us are spending more time than usual at home these days, and we'd love to see how you're styling your Zuri! Whether it's for Zoom, to help with homework, throwing together yet another snack or just lounging around, show us how you #zurifromhome! (And if you're not home because you're out on the front lines, THANK YOU!) Tag us on Instagram or email us a photo -- we could all use a few more rays of sunshine in our inboxes :)

Update from Kenya // 10,000 masks and counting!

As you know, we've shifted our production in Kenya to making masks, and we're really proud to announce that we've produced and donated 10,000 masks as of today to Penda Health, a system of l3 clinics operating in low-income, high density communities across Nairobi, and Jacaranda Health, a non-profit that mentors nurses in public hospitals and operates a maternity hospital in Nairobi. Penda and Jacaranda are distributing the masks to their teams, patients and in their communities (Delphine, Susan, Paul, Titus, Matilda and Caroline are showing them in action above), and we're glad to be able to make an impact. Thanks to your donations from last week, we're able to produce an additional 700 masks! If you'd like to contribute, please respond to this email for details!

Tutorial // Make Your Own Mask

We've compiled all of our instructions for how to make a mask at home into a single place! Visit this link to see step-by-step instructions by Dee Dee with photos, a video tutorial by Inja explaining how to hand-sew a mask, and printable patterns! The CDC now recommends that everyone wear masks when outside, so we encourage you to make one at home!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Blackbelt Voices by Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins

"Blackbelt shares stories from and about Black folks down South." We love this podcast and can't recommend it enough! Hosts Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins produce this podcast from Arkansas, and the stories they share are thought-provoking and engaging. We'd recommend starting with episode 1 about the importance of the census, and would like to take this moment as an opportunity to remind you to please out your census form if you haven't already!

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Simi

 

Originally from Lagos, Simi's music is a sweet and joyful antidote to the "stay at home" blues. Since she collaborated with several different artists for Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 (her 31st birthday celebration album), each song has a totally different feel. The next time I turn 31, I'll do the same thing.  

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WHAT WE'RE READING // A Preventable Cancer Is on the Rise in Alabama by Eyal Press

In Alabama, because of the state's refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, women are more likely to die of cervical cancer than anywhere else in the US, and black women are almost twice as likely as white women to die from this preventable cancer. This article confronts a clear injustice and pushes the reader to reflect on how we can use our agency to make our country more equitable for all. 

 

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