Creating For A Cause

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Jamie Diamond, a 2012 Great Neck North High School grad, has returned to Great Neck and will be hosting an art sale fundraiser for Planned Parenthood on Sunday, Oct. 22.

After graduating from George Washington University, where she majored in women’s studies and creative writing, Diamond started The Hanger Project in March 2017, for which she makes and sells wire hanger pendants to raise money for women’s rights groups. So far, she has donated about $1,400.

“The hanger symbol has a long tradition of being used for advocacy and awareness about women’s rights issues. It represents unequal access to safe abortion—more specifically, the unsafe measures women will take when they cannot access safe care,” said Diamond, who explained that 87 percent of U.S. counties do not have an abortion provider and, especially in rural areas, it’s difficult getting from one far-away county to another since not everyone has access to a car or public transportation. “Even if you could get to the provider, you may not be able to pay for it or be seen due to a high volume of women needing the service and the low number of providers. Because of these obstacles, women resort to unsafe measures out of desperation, such as the ubiquitous hanger.”

While in New Orleans from August 2016 to 2017 as an Avodah Jewish Service Corps fellow, which matches recent college grads with nonprofits doing antipoverty work across America, she worked at the MacArthur Justice Center, which oversees the city jail, with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, doing research projects, assisting the attorneys, copy editing and other tasks.

Diamond has been inspired by all the people using their talents and skills to fight for a better world.

“Art has always been a passion that I’ve done in some form on the side,” said Diamond, whose jewelry can be viewed on Etsy at http://etsy.me/2z0jIRY. She sells the hangers for a $5 minimum donation to Planned Parenthood and has also donated to the New Orleans Abortion Fund. To date, more than 100 people have bought the hangers.

“I hope my project inspires others to get involved. There is no right way to get involved and make a difference, and it can be fun and creative,” said the artist. “People think ‘I don’t want to get involved with politics—it’s too stressful, too boring, I’m not interested.’ But every day is politics, our lives are politics, affected by policy in every way from public education to the number of supermarkets in your neighborhood to the people cleaning your house, cutting your grass, your school dress code, why your mom likely cleans up the dinner table and not your dad. As feminist theorists say, ‘The personal is political.’ It’s about noticing how politics manifests in your life and figuring out how you can make a positive difference with your unique life experiences, skills and resources.”

The fundraiser will feature local artisans’ work and 20 percent of the proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood. Ceramicist Hannah First, a 2011 grad, also from the Community School program at North, who attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and is now teaching ceramics on Long Island and in New York City, will be selling her work as well.

The art show will be held at 69 Arleigh Rd. in Great Neck between 2 and 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Entry is free, but donations are encouraged. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2gkILIC.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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