Civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., will take part in two events Tuesday at Northern Illinois University to celebrate the Pick Museum of Anthropology presentation of “Quilts and Human Rights.”
The day’s events also will offer an opportunity for visitors to be part of creating a new quilt dedicated to social and political activism at NIU.
Jackson will host “Piecing Our Stories: A Student Conversation with Rev. Jesse Jackson” at 12:30 p.m. in Sandberg Auditorium in the Holmes Student Center. The civil rights icon also will offer brief comments at 6 p.m. during the opening reception for the exhibit in Cole Hall.
All events are free and open to the public, but seating is limited.
“Quilts and Human Rights” features quilts from around the world that honor champions of human rights and document quiltmaking as a means of coping with oppression; it also examines how quilts raise awareness of social issues.
The NIU exhibit features 28 quilts from the traveling exhibit of Michigan State University Museum, where the exhibit was curated originally. Pick Museum staff has added 15 quilts made since 2008 to bring the exhibit’s topics and themes up to date and to highlight the booming quilting movement.
The opening reception, scheduled from 5-8 p.m., will feature a workshop led by the Social Justice Sewing Academy founder Sara Trail to teach visitors how to make a social justice-themed quilt block. All blocks made at the opening will be sewn into a quilt about NIU’s current activist and political climate.
Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has played a pivotal role in civil rights, gender equality, and social justice for more than 50 years. He twice ran for president. In 2000 President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has received numerous honors for his work in human and civil rights and for non-violent social change.
“Quilts and Human Rights” is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Cordogan Clark and Associates Inc., and individual quilt sponsors. All exhibit programming is co-sponsored by NIU’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality.
For more information, contact NIU’s Pick Museum of Anthropology at 815-753-2520.