emPower People 2020

The beginning of my involvement with emPower People 2020 began with an innocuous call from Diane Ivey: “Laverne, I have a project…”.  Well, it might not have been those exact words; but they would lead me into an amazing collaboration. I and nine other fiber artists would work for several weeks crafting the message and the movement.  This movement is important to me because I truly believe that using one’s gifts and talents to magnify what one believes can effect change in a real way.  My hope for emPower People 2020 is that the use of craftivism will encourage others to act in ways that further the things that we are committed to: Embracing Humanity, Embracing Family, Embodying Community, Emphasizing Equality and  Emancipating Equity.

Photo by Laverne Benton

I am glad that my discovery of the greater fiber arts community in 2019 connected me to Diane. I have been crocheting  since I was 10 years old, but it was a solitary activity done at home after work. Outside of the fiber arts world, I am a banker who for the last 25 years has been involved in project management, productivity enablement and affinity group leadership. I hold a master’s degree in Business Administration and two bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Sociology.  This mixed bag of education, experience and creativity has provided me with the tools needed to run a growing fiber arts business. This background mixed with a natural curiosity to explore many of the social and political concerns of the day allows for a unique marriage between corporate and creative.  

I don’t share these things about myself to brag but to demonstrate that each person is not just one thing.  Our many skills, talents, jobs and desires, can intertwine and be used to create positive actions to improve our communities and country. So please, create your emPower People purple bandana in the method of your choosing, but don’t stop there. Wear it often! Use your voice and other platforms to call out injustices! Do something tangible to effect change! Encourage those around you to act! Collaborate! Organize! Vote!

Photo by Laverne Benton

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