This year Sedona international City of Peace is celebrating its 10th Anniversary as a United Nations recognized International City of Peace with Arts for Peace Week. Knowing that the arts have a unique way of opening minds and heart SIPOC has curated a series of special events spanning six days. They have announced that acclaimed powerhouse creator and activist Erika Lucille Ewing will be joining them bringing her immeasurable experience to the project.
In addition to taking part in several of the week’s events, Ewing will be facilitating a special project at Sedona Red Rock High School utilizing fashion activism in the arts classes.
Erika Lucille Ewing refers to herself as an “Artivist” but she might best be described as a force of nature. Her impressive background spans multiple disciples. She has performed in plays, radio, film, and television. Her work as an actor, writer, director, and producer of social-issued-based dramas in the classroom garnered much attention, and she received accolades in the applied theater arts and education field. She has worked for New York University and The City University of New York’s Creative Arts Team- Applied Theater Arts and Education Program. In 2003, she was invited to be a Guest Lecturer at NYU Tisch School of The Arts; and from 2008 to 2009, she also served as Adjunct Professor at CUNY Graduate Center and taught literacy, drama, and dramatic writing for NYU and City College Students.
After several years of working, volunteering, living, and serving in under-served communities in and around NYC, she emerged as a social media activist sharing critical commentary and facilitating robust discussion groups on social media platforms. Her unwavering beliefs about the need for radical positive change and social transformation led her to the NYC streets in 2015, and quickly she was appointed as the Chief of Staff of Black Lives Matter of Greater NYC (BLMNY). During that time, Ewing, also known as “Elucia Frances, spoke out on the front lines against injustice and racial hatred, empowering youth to participate in social action.
Determined to make a difference in 2018 she founded Got To Stop LLC a social impact consulting company that raises awareness about social injustice through fashion, the arts, education, and advocacy.
In 2019 she received accolades for a moving performance at Harlem’s renowned Apollo Theater, was Mistress of Ceremonies and Co-Organizer for “Honoring Today’s Renaissance Woman where Oscar winner and icon Cecily Tyson was the honoree, worked on several anti-human trafficking campaigns that were part of a proclamations from both the State of Ohio’s Governor’s Office and the NY State Senate.
Got To Stop LLC clothing designs are fully covered in powerful wording to raise social consciousness around social injustice and to spark courageous conversations. Wearing GTS LLC fashions is a purpose-driven act on its own. Ewing’s tagline is ” It’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle. It’s fashion for the activists who are about that life.”
Ewing says of her work, “Through fashion activism, we elevate social consciousness and spark courageous conversations about the social issues we must stop and change to achieve world peace.” She continues “It is my vision of fire! Fire to change, fire to warm, fire to heal, fire to melt our hearts and souls for the good of humankind. We all deserve peace, and it begins within me.”
She has designed a special series of pieces to commemorate Sedona Arts for Peace Week.
The company’s consultancy includes collaborating with community-based organizations, schools, mental health providers, and policymakers on arts-based and community projects that aim to educate, empower, inspire, and ignite communities to take action against injustice. Ewing’s community involvement and engagement are nationally and internationally acclaimed.
She has been a driving force behind multiple award winning murals in Harlem including the Black Lives Matter mural and the I Am The Vote mural project, she rang the Nasdaq Bell to open trading and just this year has been recognized with multiple awards including the Rhythm & Gospel Inspirational Award: Fashion Community Influencer, Weeby Gold Anthem Award Winners, “Best Strategy” Humanitarian Action and Services. Transformative Prevention Education, UNITAS-Curriculum Writing Team. She is also featured in the award-winning documentary: An American Street Mural In Harlem, Harlem International Film Festival 2022.
Women’s clothing store Just us Girls located in Sedona’s Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is carrying a selection of pieces specially designed for this event. You can learn more about her work and shop her social impact collections on her website www.gottostopllc.com.
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