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Auntie Sewing Squad 3: It’s Only Retirement, It’s Not Goodbye Ep 143

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

In May of 2020 I interviewed Valerie Soe and Kristina Wong about the Auntie Sewing Squad, a sewing circle that was formed on March 24th during the global Coronavirus pandemic. Initially the group sewed masks for frontline medical and essential workers, and then for vulnerable marginalized communities. From the outset, Kristina described the Auntie Sewing Squad as a stop gap measure, and said that she had no intention of turning it into a nonprofit. In fact, she stated that the nature of what the Auntie Sewing Squad does is not sustainable in the long run and that the goal would be for the group to eventually retire. It’s only retirement, it’s not goodbye.

The work of the Auntie Sewing Squad, has gone beyond mask making. So, when I learned that the Auntie Sewing Squad had set a date to retire, I had to invite Valerie and Kristina back on to talk about the Auntie Sewing Squad’s retirement.

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • Why and when the Auntie Sewing Squad is going into retirement
  • The work that the Auntie Sewing Squad has done aside from sewing masks
  • How the Auntie Sewing Squad is spending $10,000 on N-95 masks for farmworkers who have to work during the wildfires
  • How Kristina and the Auntie Sewing Squad allocates food and supplies from the L.A. food bank to communities in need
  • The Super Aunties of the Auntie Sewing Squad
  • How the Auntie Sewing Squad is not the alternative to FEMA
  • The other ways that Aunties are trying to support communities in need
  • Dealing with the recent passing of Auntie Sally
  • Super Auntie Constance Parng’s breakout case of COVID
  • How Kristina has been able to do more to affect change as an Auntie than an elected official
  • The statement that the Auntie Sewing Squad put out after the Atlanta Spa Shootings
  • The book about the Auntie Sewing Squad that will be coming out this fall (The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care and Racial Justice)
  • The full-length documentary being made about the Auntie Sewing Squad (We Go Down Sewing)
  • How COVID hospitalizations have affected people in need of other medical treatments/procedures
  • The Auntie Sewing Squad retirement party
  • How the Auntie Sewing Squad is nonhierarchical
  • The term mutual aid
  • The unique community and bonds that have formed amongst the Aunties and members of Auntie Sewing Squad
  • What will happen to the group after it retires, and will the community still exist online
  • Kristina’s show about the Auntie Sewing Squad which is set to be performed in New York in November


Related Links:



The Auntie Sewing Squad’s website:


The Auntie Sewing Squad on Instagram:


Auntie Sewing Squad Facebook group:


Auntie Sewing Squad Facebook page:


The Auntie Sewing Squad’s YouTube channel:



The Auntie Sewing Squad’s book, The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care and Racial Justice, 30% off code 17M6662, valid for UC Press website only:


The Auntie Sewing Squad’s HQ (list of notable Aunties):




World Harvest Food Bank:


Mutual Aid:


Super Auntie Constance Parng’s Talking Taiwan interview:


Atlanta Spa Shootings:


The Auntie Sewing Squad’s Statement on Rising Anti-Asian Hate and Violence:


Kristina Wong’s website:


Kristina Wong’s Facebook page:


Kristina Wong’s YouTube channel:


Valerie Soe’s blog:


Valerie Soe’s Facebook page:


Valerie’s previous Talking Taiwan interview about her documentary film, Love Boat Taiwan:


Talking Taiwan Episode 75: Auntie Sewing Squad Combats Covid-19 One Mask at a Time:

Talking Taiwan Episode 107: Auntie Sewing Squad 2: Supporting Communities On the Fringe Through Caring:

About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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