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Weekly Newsletter Apr 28, 2020

Bits & Bobs & Odds & Ends

Those of you who have stopped in our stores know that we have lots of fun accessories made by different cooperatives that we work with across Kenya. We've finally added most of them on our site (we'll be adding a few more through the week), so if your pup is in need of a pop of beaded brilliance, or you're in spring cleaning mode and want to brighten up your home with colorful organizers, we've got beautiful collars, handwoven baskets and lots more on the site now!

Meet the weavers! We work with this wonderful group of ladies in central Kenya to make our baskets. This tradition of weaving is passed down through generations and is mostly done by the elders. We're really proud of Victoria, Rebecca, and the entire team for producing such a special collection for us this past year.

 

 

Update from Kenya // 15,000 and counting!

Thanks to your support through donations and purchases, we've produced and donated 15,000 masks to Penda Health and Jacaranda Health. Penda has distributed masks in Nairobi to their staff at their 13 medical centers and support office, their operational partners including drivers who transport their medical staff, community partners including chiefs and police stations, and to their community members. (Hello to Beatrice, Grace and Mr. Kamau in the photos above!) Jacaranda has distributed the masks in their maternity hospital and to their partner clinics outside of Nairobi.

We are continuing to produce masks that we will donate to these two organizations, and if you would like to contribute, send us an email!

Let's sew together! // Homemade how-to

Join us in making masks! Inja and Dee Dee from our SF team have created wonderful tutorials on how to make a mask at home by hand or with a sewing machine! As always, share your pics with us! We love this photo from Noorallah of the masks she made for herself and her family!

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw

In this podcast, Kimberlé Crenshaw discusses issues through an intersectional lens, investigating how race, gender and class overlap during her conversations with leading thinkers. We'd particularly recommend listening to episode 6 where she traces the relationship between slavery and the continued systemic oppression of black women today.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Chiwoniso

Chiwoniso was a beautiful singer, but what really stands out about her music is her use of the mbira (an african thumb piano that, until the late 60's, was played exclusively by men.) This album is a classic example of her work--crisp, pure and electrifying. 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Jende and Neni recently immigrated to the US from Cameroon, and they're struggling to make ends meet when Jende gets an opportunity that transforms their lives working for a wealthy family. The financial crisis hits and this new life is thrown into flux as we see varying perspectives and reactions from Jende and Neni and their employers to their world on the edge of financial ruin. Beautifully written and deeply felt, Mbue's depiction of inequality in America is relevant still today.
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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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Weekly Newsletter Apr 7, 2020

Kenya Mask Production Update

Following our newsletter last week, many of you asked about our mask production and distribution in Kenya, so here's an update!

We started production last week after sampling various designs, and have set an initial plan to produce and donate 15,000 masks. We are taking all precautions to maintain the health and safety of our team as they make these masks. 

We are collaborating with Penda Health, a local healthcare provider that operates clinics in low income, high density communities in Nairobi to distribute the masks, and we made our first delivery today of 2,000 masks (Salome, Jane, Dorcas and Franklin from the Penda team are showing them off in the photo above!). The team at Penda will distribute the masks at their 13 clinics to patients and their non-medical staff. They will also distribute the masks to their partners in the public transport space who will manage distribution to drivers and passengers.

We are thrilled to be working with Penda and their broader network, and are confident that our masks will be distributed safely and effectively through their channels!

We are taking donations to help increase our production, so if you are interested in contributing, please respond to this email!

No Sewing Machine? No problem!

Our very wonderful Inja from our SF team helped us to make this video explaining how to make a mask at home if you don't have a sewing machine! Using Dee Dee's instructions from last week's newsletter, she made some modifications to show how you can sew this mask by hand. 

As a reminder, these are NOT a substitute for PPE, but can help while hospitals struggle with shortages. To find out where to donate your masks, we suggest visiting findthemasks.com, which lists donation sites around the country. Additionally, we recommend contacting your local hospital to find out if they're accepting donations and have specific requests! 

As always, please share your feedback and photos!

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // APRIL 2020 PLAYLIST

Ok, team, this one's for you. I know many of us have been experiencing feelings of loss--of affection, of privacy, of freedom, and just as importantly, of movement. While we can't throw our headphones in and hop on the train, we can still throw our headphones in! So don't forget: we're all in this together, and we'll be moving shortly❤️

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