These Maya Angelou-Inspired Shirts Benefit The Causes She Would've Wanted Us To Protect

"We wanted to make beautiful, loud art that pushed everyone forward — the people wearing it, and the organizations it benefitted."

After the 2016 presidential election, Zoë Fay-Stindt was one of the many people, as she put it to A Plus, "grasping for something tangible they could do that would make things feel less apocalyptic."

Drawing inspiration from the late Maya Angelou's poem, "Still I Rise," which had recently been appearing "everywhere" the Austin-based poet looked, she viewed it "as a sort of mantra, a call for hope" — and a call to action. "It felt like the only option," she explained. "Because we will [rise]. And we do. And if we let fear and injustice paralyze us, nothing's going to get done." 

Having seen list upon list of "organizations that would need all the help they could get in a Trump world," she decided to raise money for them by creating t-shirts designed by two artist friends, Thomas Lewis and Ashley Tenn. Each shirt's design symbolizes the artist's interpretation of Angelou's message, as well as Andra Day's popular song, "Rise Up."



Both designs are available on Bonfire, in various colors of t-shirts and tank tops. Fay-Stindt hopes to sell 100 of each by June 14, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Radical Monarchs, an activism organization empowering girls of color to embrace their identities, find sisterhood, and become advocates in their communities. To decide which organizations to include in the campaign, Fay-Stindt worked with Felicia Blow, a friend and fellow activist. 

"We didn't even try to just settle on one organization," she explained. "There are so many… right now that continue to step up and pave the path towards a better, more equal and just world, limiting ourselves to three was a challenge." 

"We wanted to make beautiful, loud art that pushed everyone forward — the people wearing it and the organizations it benefitted," Fay-Stindt concluded. Maya Angelou, known just as much for her civil rights activism as she was for her poetry, couldn't have said it better herself. 

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