Interview with Anne Bagasao
Interviewer: Kayla Dizon; Jacelynn Esteban
Date of Interview: 4-28-2021
Anne Bagasao is a wedding planner in Southern California who got involved with the Auntie Sewing Squad during COVID-19. She is a daughter of a Filipino father who migrated from the Philippines as one of the first “Manongs” in Los Angeles and an Appalachian mother from the rural midwest. Her role in the Auntie Sewing Squad is a Super Auntie, a founding Auntie who expedites and distributes, for her section in South Pasadena.
Interview with Badly Licked Bear
Interviewer: Angela Soto Cerros; Zoe Forsyth
Date of Interview: 11-23-2020
Badly Licked Bear is a member of the Auntie Sewing Squad (A.S.S.). For the first 34 years of their life, they grew up between Ranchos Palos Verdes and San Pedro. Currently, at 42 years old, they live in Los Angeles. They became involved because they felt the obligation to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Badly Licked Bear has a history of organizing mutual aid and believes mutual aid is a valuable aspect of community building.
Interview with Jackie Bell Johnson
Interviewer: Aja Whittaker; Sierra Wilson
Date of Interview: 11-23-2020
Jackie Bell Johnson was born in Baltimore into a community that sustained themselves by being honest and hard-working people, including her father, who was a carpenter. Johnson also grew up being a part of Girl Scouts and earned her Silver. Johnson is currently living in Los Angeles, California, as an art teacher at the local community colleges and is a mother of two. Johnson has used her art as an act of protest and activism; she has carried this ideal into her role as an Auntie in the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Interview with Laurie Bernadel
Interviewer: Marley Dunford; Jackson Baker
Date of Interview: 12-5-2020
Laurie Bernadel was born in Queens, New York and raised in North Carolina. Her parents are Haitian immigrants. She attended the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and is now a web developer. Bernadel is a Sewing and Caring Auntie in the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Interview with Josephine Chau
Interviewer: Ariana Moniz; Janelle Weinert
Date of Interview: 11-24-2020
Josephine Chau was born in Utah, then moved to Colorado at the age of six. She then moved back to Utah for college then moved to the east coast, where she now resides in Maryland. Both her parents are immigrants, her dad is from China and her mom is from Hong Kong. She is bilingual in Chinese and English. Josephine is married with one daughter. She has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Her career was in the information technology department at the University of Maryland. She is now retired.
Interview with Young Mi Chi
Interviewer: Eimy Martinez; Marlet Ceballos
Date of Interview: 12-8-2020
Young Mi Chi immigrated with her family from Korea to the U.S. in 1976. She grew up in Koreatown, Los Angeles, where she was very involved with her faith community. Inspired by her strong Christian values, her passion is to help others. She is currently a transporter and a sewist in the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Interview with Colette Drouillard
Interviewer: Evelyn Paez; Eunice Sosa
Date of Interview: 11-20-2020
Colette L Drouillard grew up in Michigan and later lived in various places, including Boston, Tallahassee, and London. She received her PhD in Library Science and is now an Associate Professor in the state of Georgia. During the pandemic, she moved to Michigan to care for her mother and joined the Auntie Sewing Squad to help others.
Interview with Emily Duffy
Interviewer: Zehunna Szestowicki
Date of Interview: 11-27-2020
Emily Duffy is a practicing Pagan woman of Jewish descent, currently living in northern California. Her work in the fashion industry has taken her to LA and San Francisco, but is content living out her later years outside the big cities. FIDM taught her how to sew with industrial techniques, which has heavily influenced her mask-making processes. Aside from her work as a professional fine artist--creating sociopolitically significant work--Duffy finds fulfillment in activist work too. From starting an abortion rights club at Cal, contributing to the Howard Dean campaign, and now sewing masks and organizing "asks" with the Auntie Sewing Squad, Duffy is a poster-Auntie; treating all life with respect and equity.
Interview with Judith Evind
Interviewer: Gina Dashiell; Estrella McDaniel
Date of Interview: 11-17-2020
Judith Evind was born in 1958 and raised in San Francisco CA. Her grandparents migrated from Ireland and Norway. Growing up, she was involved in different organizations from girl scouts to Anti-War marches. She was a dressmaker for 17 years after obtaining her college degree and now works in immunology.
Interview with Cristina Gonzalez
Interviewer: Adamaris Cruz Santiago; Rudy M. Soto
Date of Interview: 11-20-2020
Cristina Gonzalez originally is from California, more specifically from West Los Angeles, however, she currently resides in Virginia along with her husband, who together have five children. Gonzalez has had the opportunity to work as an Archeologist and Historian, due to her degrees in Archaeology and Anthropology. There she took part in an Oral History study centered around African Americans living in Downtown San Diego. She currently runs her own business alongside her husband and navigates homeschooling for her children. Cristina joined the Auntie Sewing Squad because of her disappointment in the U.S. government's failure to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Gonzalez holds the role of a “sewist” on the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Interview with Yessica Gonzalez Rodriguez
Interviewer: Charles Scrivner; Peyton Huck
Date of Interview: 12-10-2020
Born in Nayarit, Mexico, Yessica Gonzalez is a queer, immigrant organizer who serves as a consultant for the TransLatin@ Coalition and a sewer for the Auntie Sewing Squad. Growing up in a low-income household, sewing served as a creative outlet for Yessica to self-determine their gender expression and navigate their teenage years. This skill would ultimately serve Yessica well in the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, during which Yessica now sews masks for underprivileged communities as part of the Auntie Sewing Squad.
Interview with Judy Heyboer
Interviewer: Clarissa Perez; Johnnie Urquidi
Date of Interview: 11-21-2020
Judy Heyboer was born in Southern California and had very active liberal parents which led to her involvement in politics and activism. She is a public school teacher of 30 years. As a bilingual elementary teacher, she has taught transitional kindergarten through third grade and is now teaching special ed. She first became involved with sewing and mutual aid when she joined Afghans for Afghans, which made warm winter clothing and blankets for people in Afghanistan. In the Auntie Sewing Squad, Judy sews masks.
Interview with Sandra Hise
Interviewer: Caitlyn Vieira; Leila Henderson
Date of Interview: 11-20-2020
Sandra Hise is one of the original Auntie’s in the Auntie Sewing Squad. She’s done all sorts of work from being a Sewing and Care Auntie. She’s sewn, ran errands, shared materials, as well as provided support and tutelage to the new members. She is a retired high school English and Media Arts teacher from the Los Angeles Unified School District. She grew up in Los Angeles, California but made many trips back to the South to visit her family. It was in her teens that her mistrust for organized religion and zeal for social justice was born, as she lived through the radical and social unrest of the 1960s. Mutual aid and helping others is nothing new to Sandra Hise, so joining the Auntie Sewing Squad was a perfect fit.
Interview with Mai-Linh Hong
Interviewer: Edna Ruiz; Lucia Neal
Date of Interview: 5-4-2021
Mai-Linh Hong is a Vietnamese American woman, she was born in Vietnam and grew up near Washington D.C. Hong is an author, editor, and Assistant Professor of Literature at UC Merced. Prior to joining the Auntie Sewing Squad, she ran an Etsy shop and its proceeds went to anti-racist and feminist organizations. As an Auntie, she actively donates masks but is also currently co-editing the Auntie Sewing Squad’s new book.
Interview with Aisha Ikramuddin
Interviewer: Lindsay Newey; Yasmin Ahmad
Date of Interview: 5-3-2021
Aisha Ikramuddin is a former environmental health educator who has participated in anti-racist and environmental activism since her college years. She is an Indian Muslim, raised in eastern Washington, and also identifies as a lesbian, married to her wife of 20 years. She is a Sewing Auntie in the Auntie Sewing Squad and also volunteers locally to assist people in making appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
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