The Clothesline Project
In 1990, visual artist Rachel Carey-Harper, moved by the power of the AIDS quilt, presented the concept of using shirts - hanging on a clothesline - as the vehicle for raising awareness about violence against women.
The concept was simple – let each woman tell her story in her own unique way, using words and/or artwork to decorate her shirt. Once finished, she would then hang her shirt on the clothesline. This very action serves many purposes. It acts as an educational tool for those who come to view the Clothesline; it becomes a healing tool for anyone who makes a shirt ( by hanging the shirt on the line, survivors, friends and family can literally turn their back on some of that pain of their experience and walk away); finally, it allows those who are still suffering in silence to understand that they are not alone. Over the past 15 years, Adelphi’s Criminal Justice Club has hosted its own Clothesline, allowing students, faculty, staff and the community the opportunity to make t-shirts and to view the hundreds of t-shirts we’ve accumulated over the years.
Stephanie Lake is the Director of the Criminal Justice Program and has been a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Adelphi University since 2002. Professor Lake earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia after researching the causes and consequences of race and gender disparities in felony sentencing. As a faculty member at Adelphi, Professor Lake has served as an advisor to many student organizations on campus and runs the prolific Criminal Justice Club on campus. The CJ Club hosts 3-5 events per semester, many involving the arts as a way for students to challenge injustice in the criminal justice system and inequity in the global system more generally. Past examples have included an annual Clothesline Project, participation in Chalk Up and the Fall Arts Festival, Fair Trade Fashion Shows, hosting Sundown Town workshops, hosting the Yes Men and participating in flash mobs to bring attention to the 25th Anniversary of the worst industrial disaster in history (Bhopal), hosting the director and producer of the documentary, “Every Mother’s Son”, participation in Die Ins and collaborations with just about every other program, club and organization on campus.
Collaborators and Sponsors
Criminal Justice Program
Criminal Justice Club