Bio: Taylor Payne was living a mile away from Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014, the day that police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown. In the following weeks and months, Payne was among those who protested the killing and continued her work as a community organizer. That November, at an activist training, she met CheyOnna Sewell, an activist living in St. Louis at the time who “was always knitting,” Payne recalled.
In October 2014, Sewell and Payne helped form the Yarn Mission, a knitting collective aimed at fighting racial injustice through community organizing and by supporting black creators’ work. The quiet setting of a knitting circle has helped them discuss difficult topics, Payne said. “A lot of times what we’re talking about is really traumatic,” she said. “It’s the only way I’m able to talk about a lot of the things that have happened in Ferguson and continue to happen in St. Louis.”