Students Design Equity Quilt
Each fabric square features a figure or symbol representing the fight for equity
Eighth grade students in Middle School art teacher Lauren DiCioccio’s advanced art elective have taken on quiltmaking with a message. Together the 33 class members meet in two sections to work on sewing, embroidering, and appliquéing squares of fabric featuring a historic changemaker or symbol.
Just prior to the project, eighth graders studied the Declaration of Independence in history class, and are continuing their learning of the subject in art.
“We’re [examining] the ideal that the Declaration set out that everyone’s entitled to equal rights,” said DiCioccio. “We’re questioning how that falls short and celebrating how that’s been fulfilled in different moments from that time until present.”
Students chose to make quilt blocks celebrating “individuals who helped make progress for underrepresented groups toward their struggle for equal rights; others are pointing out issues where we still have a lot of progress to make, from the civil rights movement to gay marriage to transgender rights, to animal rights and more,” said DiCioccio.
Student Rocco Vitale (SHP ’26) holds up his quilt block featuring WWII activist Fred T. Korematsu, the image hand embroidered with appliquéd fabric to make his subject’s features stand out.
“I chose someone who meant a lot to me—Fred T. Korematsu… when the Japanese were put into internment camps, he fought that in court; he was a big activist for equal rights for all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Vitale.
The approximately 30-square “Equity Quilt” is expected to be finished this spring and put on display in a to-be-determined location on the Lower & Middle School campus.