Attention Michigan Friends: Fashions for Freedom is Saturday, March 31st!

Live in Michigan? We’ve go exciting news about an event happening in your neck of the woods!

Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brighton is hosting Fashions for Freedom on Saturday, March 31st at The Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Another faithful Amani-supporting church, New Life Church in Ann Arbor, is organizing a fabulous marketplace where Amani products from Liberia and Kenya will be for sale, including some of the newest clothing designs from Liberia. The event will highlight Amani’s work and tell the story of transformation through fashion and narrative. The “Fashions for Freedom” event is based on the Sankofa Fashion Show hosted in Liberia in 2011.

See the press release below for more details.


Press Release: March 1, 2012                                                           Contact:  Donna Alberta



Fashions for Freedom is a unique runway fashion show that tells a story of social justice and personal transformation through narrative, music, dance and fashion design. The show is being held on Saturday, March 31 from 12 – 3pm at The Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. The featured 27-garment collection was created by Bravo TV’s Project Runway star and top NYC designer Korto Momolu, a native Liberian.

The Fashions for Freedom luncheon event will highlight the work of an African non-profit organization, Amani ya Juu, and will benefit its newest location in Liberia. Amani ya Juu (meaning “higher peace” in Swahili) is a sewing-marketing-training and reconciliation project for marginalized women who have known the bitterness, brutality and despair of civil unrest and war.

Amani began in Kenya in 1996 and has sister sites today in Rwanda, Burundi and Liberia. The women of Amani live and work in community together, producing high-quality apparel, accessories, jewelry and home fashions that are sold at fair trade prices in their native countries as well as the United States. The Fashions for Freedom event will have a full range of Amani products on display and available for purchase.

Fashions for Freedom is a joint venture of Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brighton and New Life Church in Ann Arbor (on the campus of the University of Michigan). They hope to see the ballroom at The Marriott filled to capacity with guests spanning generational and racial lines, forging an alliance of women committed to offering hope and restoration to those victimized by war and injustice.

Tickets may be purchased online at or in person at the following locations: Beverly Rae’s (downtown Brighton), The Brighton Chamber of Commerce, The Clothing Cove (downtown Milford), Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brighton, or New Life Church in Ann Arbor.

Ticket prices are $30 General Admission, $40 VIP Admission (priority runway seating), $15 Student Admission (high school/college), or VIP Table of 10 for $400. 

For more information, please call Cornerstone Presbyterian Church at 810. 227. 9411.

Additional Background Information:  

In Liberia (as in other countries) sex crimes against women were commonly used weapons of warfare. Their use has had a terrible effect on women in post-war Liberia. Women are still struggling with self-value, self-respect and self-importance. The vices of sex for education, sex for jobs, and sex for food keeps women trapped, making it difficult for them to experience the inherent dignity and worth every human being craves.

Liberia’s President and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is working hard to change this, providing women with education in practical skills training that makes it possible for them to support their families with dignity and self-respect.

Becky Chinchen, founder of Amani ya Juu, vividly recalls stopping at a checkpoint 18 years ago with her family, starting their long journey into exile as she and her children dealt with the impact of civil war in Liberia. After several attempts to stay in the country, they were forced to leave. “We are here to share God’s peace,” were Becky’s words as she faced the barrel of a gun carried by a child soldier in the village of Lapia. “I’m not here for peace, I’m here to kill!” were the words shouted back. These words still echo in her memory today. This was Becky’s last attempt to plea for peace as she evacuated, leaving Liberian soil for what she imagined would be forever.

In 1996, Becky founded Amani ya Juu in Kenya, far away from the Liberian civil war. Amani offered African refugee women a place where wounds could heal, where life could be resuscitated, and where purpose could be restored. Peace was lived out in Kenya and soon passed to sister centers in Rwanda, Burundi, and Washington, D.C.  And now, God’s peace for families and communities has come full circle with Amani Liberia.

Where war once robbed an entire nation of peace through brutal civil conflict, Amani ya Juu became a haven of peace. Where peace had been snuffed out many years ago in the little Liberian border town, peace is being passed again.

For more information about Amani:

Amani ya Juu …transforming women’s lives one stitch at a time, where peace is sewn through the eye of a needle. 


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