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Weekly Newsletter Aug 4, 2020

Community Spotlight: Zuri writes!

We're big readers and it is an endless delight that we get to fill our libraries with the thoughtful, inspiring work of authors from within our Zuri community! If you're a writer, send us a message so we can be sure to add your work to our library!

Grace Talusan's first book, The Body Papers,  is a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection, a Must-Read for the Massachusetts Book Awards, a Foreword INDIES Finalist, and winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. It recently came out in paperback, and we can't recommend it enough!

Edwidge Danticat is the author of many books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection and Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist. Her memoir, Brother, I'm Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Her most recent book, Everything Inside, is a stunning must-read!

Audrey Ferber is fixture at the Writer's Grotto in SF, and her short stories have appeared in Fiction International, The Cimarron Review, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, Literary Mama, the anthologies VIRTUALLY NOW, Eating Our Hearts Out, The Intricate Weave, and elsewhere. She was also one of our earliest supporters in SF, where she modeled our dresses in the SF Chronicle, and we're excited to share her newest work, here!

 

 

 

JULY GIVING UPDATE // Equal Justice Initiative

Thanks to your mask purchases, we are so proud that we were able to make a donation of $7,200 to the Equal Justice Initiative for the month of July. That brings the total contribution that we've made to EJI in the last two months to $15,930! We couldn't be prouder that we have been able to make this impact together, as a community! 

As we near the elections in November, we would like to direct our focus towards voter registration. For the month of August, we will be donating to the Voter Participation Center, which has a really smart and effective approach for getting the Rising American Electorate (young people, people of color, and single women) registered and voting through methodically tested mail programs, which are particularly important in the context of the pandemic. Voter registrations are way down in 2020 due to COVID-19, and now, more than ever, we are committed to making sure that all voices are heard and represented in our government.

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Richard II at the Public Theater

Whether you're a Shakespeare fan or just love live performance, this radio broadcast is for you! Starring Andre Holland and developed in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, this performance feels contemporary and resonant.

WHAT WE'RE READING // So Brutal a Death by Edwidge Danticat

In this essay reflecting on George Floyd's killing, Edwidge Danticat writes about the immigrant experience and global solidarity. "In the agony of his final moments, while crying out for his mama, water, and breath, George Floyd reached out to and became all of us. He has joined a vast community of people, across the globe, who see echoes of the injustices and the inequalities of their own societies in his American story, and recognize their own torment in his suffering."

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE

Ambrose Akinmusire is a trumpeter, composer and bandleader whose music both transcends and redefines his instrument's place in jazz.  He's been known for pitting contemporary classical music against deconstructed hip-hop, finding beauty in the fusing of two extremes. The next time you need to clear your mind, think of this album as your reset button; it'll change the course of your day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Newsletter July 28, 2020

Market Days

We usually travel monthly to the markets to source fabric for our clothing, and throughout the month are in touch with vendors to see what's new (in the market and in their lives!). While we aren't able to go to the markets now, we're revisiting photos from a recent trip to Dar es Salaam, and some of the fabrics may look familiar!

Meet Emmy! She always has the most wonderful prints, especially in the crackle batik style, and we're so excited to share Verdant and Cornucopia with you, both sourced from her!

 

 

 

Lunch is a pretty big deal for us in life and in work, and it's hard to express in words the feeling of relief and excitement when we sit down to a heaping plate of rice, veggies, fried tilapia and a bowl of beans!

The fabric section of the market is a mere fraction of the entire, much larger market, and it's always fun to wander through the other areas, especially where produce is being sold, to see what's in season and new! How amazing do these little peaches, tree tomatoes and passion fruits look?

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Les Filles de Illighadad

 

These filles ROCK!  Based in Niger, the lead vocalist and performer, Fatou Seidi Ghali, is one of the only female Tuareg guitarists in the region, and is completely self-taught. They have a beautifully rich sound and I promise you will keep this album cycling through your "favorites" for years to come.

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

 

 

 

This multi-generational epic weaves together four generations of families whose lives have sprouted from the fertile Zambezi delta. Serpell's evocative storytelling amplifies reality and gives us a lesson in history and a deep exploration of relationships and family.

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING // Zenele Muholi at the Seattle Art Museum 

South African Zanele Muholi is a visual activist and photographer, and in this video, they talk about their work and while it's not a substitute for seeing their powerful, moving work in person, it's pretty close!

 

 

 

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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 July 14, 2020

Textile spotlight: Kikoys!

We love kikoys -- these 100% cotton fabrics are soft, durable and add a pop of color to any outfit any time of year. Worn all over Kenya and Tanzania, these textiles are most commonly seen along the coast, where men, women and children can be seen sporting them as sarong-like wraps, shawls to keep off the coastal sun, headwraps, and even baby carriers!

Though most warm coastal communities around the world have a version of the kikoy, it's thought that they first originated along the Swahili coast, brought by Arab traders centuries ago. Fishermen adopted them as a convenient garment, comfortable, affordable and quick to dry! 

Characterized by a single solid color with striped bands and fringed ends, kikoys can be found in a variety of palettes from a simple black and grey to bright reds and oranges. 

How do you like to wear your kikoy?

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Camayenne Sofa "A Grands Pas"

This album, originally released in 1976, is one of our favorites from the prolific Guinean band Camayenne Sofa, which was popular in the mid 1970's but stopped recording in the late 90's.  A rhythmic and soulful sound, throw it on the next time you go for a walk--you'll see your neighborhood with fresh eyes and a happy heart!

 

 

 

WHAT WE'RE READING // Beloved by Toni Morrison

 

If you haven't read this classic, now's the time! And if you have, it might be time to pick it up again. In our current moment when we are re-examining our history and biases and thinking about a better future, this novel provides a deeply felt reminder of the realities of slavery and how recent it was in our shared experience as a country.

 


 

WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO // Point of Origin with Stephen Satterfield

 

If you love food and learning about it as much as we do, this podcast was made for you! Host Stephen Satterfield takes us on a journey around the world to explore where our food comes from. Whether it's crossing oceans with the sea-faring coconut or talking about what a decolonized diet looks like, this podcast is the perfect listen for traveling and eating vicariously!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly newsletter July 7, 2020

Community spotlight!

We love seeing you in Zuris out and about and in the news, and we especially love when you share your sightings and run-ins with us! We've said it before, but we are constantly amazed and inspired by the incredible women in our community, and we're spotlighting a few today!

Meet Prof. Melissa Murray! She's a Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law and Co-Director of the Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network, and a leading expert in family law, constitutional law, and reproductive rights and justice. She also co-hosts Strictly Scrutiny, a podcast about the Supreme Court. We'd highly recommend giving it a listen, especially if you're interested in recent Court decisions and how they affect us all.

 

Minerva Cuevas is a conceptual artist whose socially engaged practice encompasses a range of strategies and media including film, installation, performance, and site-specific public intervention. Her on-going work, Mejor Vida Corp.is a non-profit corporation that creates, promotes and distributes products and services for free, and through these subversive interventions, she is challenging how we think about our established economic and political systems.

 

 

 

Activist Alice Wong is the Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project, a community partnership with StoryCorps and an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture. She is the editor of Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century, which just came out and we can't recommend it enough!

 

 

 

 

Artist Claire Ashley transforms ordinary materials into inflatable painted sculptures and they are truly mind-blowing! Her work investigates inflatables as painting, sculpture, installation and performance costume. These works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and we love their humor and interactivity.

 

 

 

 

GIVING UPDATE // Equal Justice Initiative

We are so proud and grateful to you, our community, for your masks purchases that have enabled us to donate a total of $8,700 from mask sales from the month of June to the Equal Justice Initiative. We will continue to direct the proceeds from masks sales this month to the Equal Justice Initiative to support their work to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality.

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