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Studying Art in STEAM via Quilting at Gee’s Bend; Studying Empathy on the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Empathy, art and so much more! Seven of our WIT Young Leaders locked arms while walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, listened intently to the Gee’s Bend Quilters while stitching squares, and felt the cool mist on their faces while standing on the ferry as we crossed the Alabama River heading to Camden, Alabama. We were expecting to learn about how quilts became a focal point in African American history; however, we were unaware of the many uses of quilts that shaped African American culture. We were particularly surprised to learn that quilts were adapted to serve as feminine hygiene products! Our experiential learning time spent reflecting in the rain, driving over dirt roads and holding the hands of quilters ended where it began -- rooted in the mission of Women in Training, Inc: highlighting period poverty, alongside numerous inequities past and present.

Stephanie A. McCorvey, DPT

WIT Vice President for Youth Development

Three words emerged -- united, compassionate, impactful -- as I observed the WIT Young Leaders ascend the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Their heads were high, steps deliberate, and arm-in-arm as I asked them to empathize “walking in someone else’s shoes!” Passersby appeared moved by the young women’s gesture as they crossed the historic bridge crossed by legends, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Congressman John Lewis and Amelia Boynton Robinson. Yet, the highlight for me was the young ladies shared how they had read about it as history, but nothing compared to how they felt! Their responses simultaneously resonated with, and compelled me to continue sharing myself in worthwhile endeavors.

Dean Beverly Davison-Hill, EdD

WIT Leadership Development Circle

Photos by Jill Friedman

Video by Kenya Ra’Jeen

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