Arianne Riley


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Arianne Riley, an African American activist, became a member of the Auntie Sewing Squad eight months into the pandemic. To help supply facemasks to disenfranchised communities, Riley, alongside many other Aunties, helped sew and donate masks across the U.S. She has been a part of many organizations prior to joining the Auntie Sewing Squad. She attended UC Davis and has continued to make PPE after the Auntie Sewing Squad’s retirement.

Thematic Summary

(00:00:00) Arianne Riley defines activism and how she became an activist. (00:04:43) Riley discusses her experiences in three organizations prior to joining the Auntie Sewing Squad, including the Black Student Union, the Education Opportunity Program, and the African Black Coalition Conference. (00:09:52) Riley discusses what set the Auntie Sewing Squad apart from other online mask-making groups: their approach to labor and Auntie care. (14:40) She describes a few challenges she experienced in the Squad, including being one of the few Black people in the sewing squad and her own personal productivity in making masks. (00:20:13) Riley gives suggestions on how people can serve their communities. (00:26:52). Riley discusses how COVID-19 has made her pay closer attention to her body, health, and family.

Interview Date



Valerie Crane; Mathew Trejo

Interview with Arianne Riley



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