“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” — Assata Shakur
This is just one of the quotes and images that appear on the T-shirts created by Liberation Ink. Now, the on-line site where people have been ordering social justice T-shirts since 2004, has become a nonprofit project of Causa Justa :: Just Cause.
We’re excited about bringing Liberation Ink into our CJJC family.
Local, Sweatshop-free and Union printed T-shirts and bags
Formerly a worker-owned collective, Liberation Ink was predominantly volunteer-run for the majority of its existence. The collective sold thousands of shirts and raised tens of thousands of dollars, which it donated to local movement organizations.
This year the collective donated Liberation Ink to Causa Justa and we now run it as part of our organization.
As their art and activism increased in the world, members of the collective realized it would take more hands to keep it running, and even grow it.
“It’s an honor for Causa Justa that the worker-owners who founded Liberation Ink entrusted us with this visionary project,” says Maria Poblet, CJJC executive director.
Worker collectives have long been an integral part of the social justice movement. They serve as critical examples of the kind of work places that all workers should enjoy and contribute to advancing democratic practices and processes.
Emunah Yuka Edinburg, one of six founding members in 2004, remained an active part of the collective all the way through to the transition to CJJC this year. Emunah talks about why they founded the collective.
“Since we’d all known each other from student organizing days, and several of us had done arts activism work on campus, it just made sense to pool our skills and interests. I learned so much! None of us knew how to start a business, or how to run it. Of course, that would have helped, but we just dived in. We learned how to silkscreen print, how to work successfully with friends, how to run an online store, how to produce designs that are true to our values/politics yet widely appealing enough to actually make money! And so much more…”
“When we first started Liberation Ink as a tiny project out of our garage, we’d always hoped that a community organization would take it on as a part of their fundraising.” — Emunah Yuka Edinburg, one of the founding members of collective
For CJJC this social enterprise is a powerful addition. We can develop and sell shirts that spread the message of our work and that of the movement of which we are a part.
“We’ll carry forward Liberation Ink’s vision of growing grassroots support for community organizing, with beautiful wearable art that spreads messages of social justice,” says Poblet.
“I believe that t-shirts are a great way to express one’s own values, to educate others (even if it’s just someone reading your back in a supermarket line) and to make the world more beautiful,” says Emunah.
Hands-On Job Skills
Among the things CJJC envisions is that Liberation Ink will allow hands-on job skills in marketing, design, webpage development, merchandising and sales to people from the community as well raising much-needed grassroots funds for the functioning of our organization.
Says Emunah, “I know that CJJC will strategically use the messaging of a ‘sea of Liberation Ink t-shirts’ at actions and events. In terms of the business end, I truly hope that the funds raised from shirt sales can contribute to CJJC continuing the good work it does and also that the online store can expose CJJC to an even broader audience beyond the bay!
She added, “When we first started Liberation Ink as a tiny project out of our garage, we’d always hoped that a community organization would take it on as a part of their fundraising. I think it’s a match made in heaven and can’t wait for the results of this momentous transition!”
If you’d like to pick up a CJJC T-shirt or any of the other beautiful shirts, you can do so at the Liberation Ink store here!
To stay up on our Liberation Ink project, subscribe to Lib Ink emails, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @liberationink
Don’t go shirtless ~ Buy from Liberation Ink.