“At MODA, we chose to host the Welcome Blanket Project because of its power to connect people already living in the United States with our country’s new immigrants through stories and handmade blankets, providing both symbolic and literal comfort and warmth.”
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At MODA — the only design museum in the southeastern United States — we believe that design inspires change, transforms lives, and makes the world a better place.
We recently hosted an exhibition titled Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism that explored Craftivism, a movement at the intersection of traditional crafts and social justice activism.
During Making Change, we partnered with New American Pathways on an initiative called The Welcome Blanket Project. Created by Jayna Zweiman — one of the designers of the pink pussy hat worn at the Women’s March in January 2017 — The Welcome Blanket Project invites individuals across the US to hand make a blanket that will serve as a “warm welcome” for an immigrant or refugee newly arrived in America.
During Making Change, MODA received hundreds of Welcome Blankets in the mail, sometimes as many as 50 a day. Blanket makers also included a note welcoming a new neighbor to our country and telling their own immigration story. When we received the blankets at MODA, we eagerly unpacked and admired them, then photographed and cataloged them, and hung them on the wall in our galleries for visitors to enjoy.
We rotated the blankets in our galleries often, and when blankets came off the walls, they were packed up and taken to New American Pathways to give to new friends.
Every blanket came with a story that was touching, but one of the most meaningful was that of Kay, a refugee from Burma, who now makes her life in Georgia. Part owner of Tandem Quilting, Kay heard about The Welcome Blanket Project and wanted to be part of it. She created a beautiful blanket and wrote a note full of advice for a someone new to the U.S. including “be sure to get to know your neighbors.” Her blanket was given to Muna, a newly-arrived Syrian woman, who is expecting her second child at the end of the year.
At MODA, we chose to host the Welcome Blanket Project because of its power to connect people already living in the United States with our country’s new immigrants through stories and handmade blankets, providing both symbolic and literal comfort and warmth. At the same time, the project offers a positive, hands-on way to confront negative rhetoric about immigration and to privilege the idea of inclusion over exclusion.
New American Pathways extends our deepest appreciation to MODA and all of the craftivists around the nation who hand made these blankets as a symbol of welcome. September 22nd marks the opening of MODA’s next exhibit, Design for Good: Architecture for Everyone. We hope you’ll stop by to see it!
August 2018: The Ideal Candidate by Justine Okello
July 2018: My Role in Welcoming, and Being Welcomed by Mary Martha Myette
April 2018: Why I Serve with Refugees by Minji Kim
February 2018: Where are the Refugees? by Stephanie Jackson Ali
January 2018: Sharing Riches Through Mentorship by Kelsey Smith
December 2017: Thoughts on Doing Good This Season by Andrew Leba
October/November 2017: Thoughts on Thankfulness by Paedia Mixon
September 2017: Undocumented and Unafraid: My Parents, My Heroes by Raymond Partolan
August 2017: Building PathDriver: My Path to Drive an Impact by Robin Deutsch Edwards
July 2017: Civic Engagement Regardless of Citizenship by Maria del Rosario Palacios
June 2017: Celebrating World Refugee Day by Rabbi Peter S. Berg
May 2017: Love>Fear: And It’s Good For Business by Bonnie Kallenberg
April 2017:Talking with Babies Makes Their Brains Smarter by Nitza Vega-Lahr, Ph.D.
March 2017: It’s All About Student Support by Terry Segovis
February 2017: Clarkston, Georgia: An Ever-Changing Town by Awet Eyasu
January 2017: Reclaiming Georgia’s Legacy of Love by Paedia Mixon
December 2016: Reflections on Welcoming Communities Trip to Germany by Alicia Phillip
November 2016: Thanksgiving in America by Bishop Robert Wright
October 2016: Voting: The Real American Dream by Elizabeth Poythress
August/September 2016: From the Road: das Willkommen by Paedia Mixon
July 2016: My Life In AmeriCorps by Lauren Mertens
June 2016: Reflecting On World Refugee Day
May 2016: A Gift for my Parents by Bee Nguyen
April 2016: The Ripple Effect by Breauna Hagen
March 2016: Lessons I’ve Learned Tutoring a Refugee by Ashley Hager
February 2016: For the Love of Humanity by Safia Jama
January 2016: 4D Service Learning at The Galloway School by Scotti Belfi
November and December 2015: A Case for Syrian Resettlement by Paedia Mixon
October 2015: Creating a Welcoming Atlanta Interview with Luisa Cardona
September 2015: Third-Annual Red, White and NEW Event Exceeds Fundraising and Advocacy Goals by Kelley Lugo
August 2015: Patti Garrett – August 2015 Food for Thought by Patti Garrett
July 2015: Engaging International Families in Parent Groups by Patti Ghezzi
June 2015: Reflecting on the Fourth of July by Kevin Abel
May 2015: Looking Back on Iraq by Whitney Kweskin
April 2015: All Hail Hall by Spencer Hall
March 2015: Honoring our Volunteers by Adriana Varela
February 2015: Celebrating New Americans by Charles Barnwell and Bob Glick
January 2015: What Refugees Leave Behind by Wendy Cheeks
December 2014: Welcoming Week in Atlanta by Emily Pelton