#CHOOSEARTISAN: Sasa Designs, John Kerry and History in the Making

Chances are, if you’re reading this – you’re already an artisan enthusiast. You believe in “voting with your dollar” and know just how important it is to know who is behind the products you buy. Unlike you, many people don’t, and the country’s pervasive focus on discounts and throw-away fashion means we have a LOT of work to do to empower artisans the world over.

On September 10, 2015 the U.S. State Department showed their commitment to supporting the work of organizations like Sasa Designs, launching the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise’s #chooseartisan campaign. How do we know they’re ready to work on this? Secretary of State John Kerry prioritized not only being at the event, but meeting representatives from artisan groups around the world – and Sasa Designs was the first group he acknowledged in his speech!

(State Department Photo, Public Domain)

Sasa Designs by the Deaf was represented by CEO, Megan MacDonald, and  filmmaker, Tim Kerns, at the event. Tim’s film “ Her Hands, Your Heart” was entered in a global multimedia competition held in conjunction with the event and….we won! After Secretary of State Kerry’s remarks specifically highlighted the work of Sasa Designs, our film was selected by an external panel of judges from 142 applicants because it gave our artisans their own voice in sharing their stories. We could not be more thankful for having succeeded in our mission to use film as a medium to empower and highlight our artisan team. The support and acknowledgement of the State Department at this global event was unexpected and humbling to say the least!

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