MERJ Events LLC
Statement on Inclusion
We understand diversity to be the range of human differences, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.
We recognize that personal histories, cultural backgrounds, and institutionalized discrimination create and sustain privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others, and this is not acceptable to us.
We seek to create environments at our events where diverse people can thrive and succeed, feel they are valued, and know their presence is wanted. We encourage all participants at our events to work to understand each other and move beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity.
We will be conscious of, and examine, our own biases and take a critical look at our events and the processes in place for participation at our events. We will do the work of seeking out diversity in our teachers, vendors, and students, and will identify and eliminate barriers to participation.
We will welcome conversation about inclusion, be open to criticism and minimize our defensiveness, and address grievances directly. We will treat people with respect.
We will not tolerate racism, hate speech, discrimination, bullying, exclusion, disrespect, prejudice, harassment, or abuse. As such, we reserve the right to take appropriate actions. This includes, but is not limited to, removing any person who engages in these behaviors from our events.
Who we are…
As a child, my parents’ store in Quito, Ecuador had weavers on staff who demonstrated tapestry making to visitors. I loved watching them work, figuring out how the complex patterns were made and climbing all over the large floor loom when it wasn’t in use. Crafts were my very favorite thing to do – I loved learning how things were made and giving it a try myself – and in my world handmade things were always the best things. As an adult, I continue to try making everything! I’ve had the opportunity to mold glass, throw clay, weave baskets, create soap, carve wood, knot lace, fold paper and more. Textiles, though, are always the media to which I return, particularly wool. With wool, I knit, crochet, weave, and sew, allowing me to experience the meditative effects of hand work while making beautiful things.
Internationally-recognized instructor John Mullarkey has been teaching tablet weaving for a decade. His work has been displayed in the Missouri History Museum, and garments using his card woven bands have been featured in international fashion shows. He currently manages two smaller events and is looking forward to working with the teachers and participants of the Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat.