Monument Quilt National Mall 5th Anniversary Virtual Convening!

On May 31st 2024, we organized the 5th Anniversary of the Monument Quilt on the National Mall Virtual Convening!

Thank you so much to all the people who joined us!. We are still feeling the incredible energy of connecting, seeing your faces, and hearing your voices. As a group, we have been through many ups and downs, and being part of this project was never easy. That you continue to show up means the world.

We (Mora, Hannah and Shanti), want to foreground this email with our gratitude and a few action steps that you might take now to support the Monument Quilt as we, with the support of our graduate assistance Teresa Williams and of Dan Staples, continue to progress on finding permanent homes for all 750 Monument Quilt blocks.

  1. For the rest of this month, we would like to feature some stories and memories from those who were part of the Monument Quilt. Will you share your story with us? Please add your photos here, and share a few words in this document.
  2. Please share the Monument Quilt archiving proposal with your networks! You can discuss it with friends, email it directly, or even introduce Mora or Hannah to someone who might be interested in collecting a section of the Quilt who are a part of your network. Anyone can help – If you are affiliated with a museum, organization, or with individuals who care about quilting, social justice work, and/or anti-rape activism, part of the Monument Quilt might belong with them. You can find the overview of the archiving proposal right here.
  3. You can give money to support this work. While FORCE does not currently have a fiscal sponsorship right now, you can still give directly here. Funds will directly support our storage unit rent, web fees, and Hannah, Mora and Shanti’s labor. In your donation, please specify that the gift is for the Monument Quilt.

Event Review 

During the gathering, we shared updates about the work that Shanti, Mora and Hannah have been doing to archive the Monument Quilt, including placing 150 quilts in 21 public and private collections. So far, the network of caretakers for the Monument Quilt includes The Baltimore Museum of Art, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian (NMAI), and The Reginald F Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture; University Archives at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Special Collections, University of North Carolina Greensboro, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Ohio University –  Women’s Center and the Kennedy Museum, Colgate University, Drew University, Towson University – Special Collections and University Archives, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Skidmore College, University of Delaware and Cornell University; organizations including The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Blue Mountain Center and Womankind NYC; and individuals, including Robin & Nancy Marquis, Nancy Lord, Michele Beaulieux and Geneva Murray. Thank you to each and every person and institution stewarding a section of the Quilt.

Most recently, we were grateful to Ashley Minner for her hard work on the acquisition of a section of the Monument Quilt by the National Museum of the American Indian. You can read Ashley’s article about what the Quilt means to NMAI in this Spring’s issue of American Indian Magazine. Thank you Ashley!!!!

We took time to remember Gloria Garrett, the “mother of makeup art” and our collaborator and friend, who was born on July 29, 1959 and who died too soon, on January 24, 2022. In 2017 Gloria led a series of workshops with elders in Baltimore and made many beautiful quilts. You can hear from her in this Gloria Garett Interview that we recorded as part of the Monument Quilt history series. Below is a photo from her quilt display at Rita Church Community Center. Rest in Power, Ms Gloria.


We heard from some of the individuals and institutions who have collected a section of the Quilt. Dr Kalima Young, a member of the Leadership Team and key creator and advisor throughout the project, was the MC. We heard stories from:

  • Nancy Lord shared about her own quilt and its role in her journey as a survivor. Nancy now has her quilt block and we got to view it on display during the event. You can read her full story here.
  • Cecilia Wichmann, Associate Curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art, shared about the Monument Quilt acquisition and exhibition last year, and the importance of the Monument Quilt in the BMA collection. You can watch a video conversation between members of FORCE here.
  • Laurraine Ojo-Ohikuare and Beth Saunders, with Special Collections at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, shared about their collection of UMBC made quilts and their incredible searchable database, which is viewable here.
  • Lisa Nitsch from House of Ruth Maryland shared some written words about what the workshops at HRM meant and with whom we are now working to place quilts at some of the House of Ruth locations throughout Baltimore.
  • Teresa Williams and Jeanetta Mohlke-Hill, of Michigan State University, discussed their ideas and efforts to support the process through Teresa’s work as a Graduate Assistant this summer and Jeanetta’s work to seek partners at MSU to collect a section of the Quilt.
  • Monica Johnson shared about the Booklyn box sets, which include a quilt square along with some of the literature and pamphlets from the final display. There are still several left, so if you are attached to a library that might acquire one, please check this out!

To close out the event, Hannah shared some ways to support this ongoing effort (see the list above). Jadelynn St Dre, another member of the Leadership Team, closed with two beautiful prompts for reflection that helped us create a stunning collective poem. Jadelynn asked us to share two things: “A gift I have received from my time with you/the Quilt is… and…. A gift I hope this community will keep from me is…” Here is the art piece that Shanti created of this collective poem.

Lastly, here are a few links you might enjoy: a video about the history of the Monument Quilt and from the final display.

Thank you for being part of this work and this community.

With eternal gratitude, 

The archiving team