Ser Mujer NGO is Part of Monument Quilt Display in Washington DC
By Trish Snyder
After 49 displays in 33 cities across the US and México, the Monument Quilt was displayed last week on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Included in the quilt’s 3,000 squares made by survivors of sexual and intimate-partner violence were ones made by area residents and by volunteers, all organized by Ser Mujer, a San Miguel de Allende women’s social justice organization.
Ser Mujer is made up of Mexican, American, and Canadian women who have organized in San Miguel de Allende to highlight the successes and struggles of women around the world. With an international scope to their mission, they have provided access to social-justice oriented plays, workshops, films, lectures, and art related to the experiences of women. Local businesses, many of which are women-owned, and ticket sales to events held during Women’s History Month help fund the group. Many Ser Mujer-sponsored events are free or at least affordable, and no one is turned away from an event for lack of funds.
The quilt project was six years in the making. Ser Mujer became involved thanks to the efforts of volunteer Lauren Marks. The organization sponsored a workshop for social service agencies on how to identify and support survivors of sexual violence. Workshop participants created quilt squares, and in a separate workshop, Ser Mujer volunteers created additional squares.
In 2015 and 2016, the quilt was exhibited in México City. In 2017, an impressive display on the US-México border in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso highlighted the high rates of sexual violence among undocumented immigrants on their way to the US. The Ser Mujer quilt squares were part of the display thanks to the efforts of Yolanda and Victor del Rio, who delivered them to the border. Canadian artist Jen Brown also donated one of her paintings to be made into quilt squares.
Besides San Miguel, quilts also came from other parts of México, Palestine, Thailand, Serbia, Argentina, Paraguay, Bangladesh, India, Honduras, Japan, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Germany, Argentina, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Philippines, Canada, and Zimbabwe.
To view the Monument Quilt and see the Ser Mujer squares, go to app.themonumentquilt.org and search block numbers 698,718,719, 720, 721, 722, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 741, 748, 749, 751, 752.
For more information on Ser Mujer, check out their Facebook page or go to www.sermujersma.org