42 million people around the world have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict or persecution. Approximately 45% of these refugees are under 18-years-old. Every year over 98,000 refugees seek asylum in the United States and Canada. These refugees have suffered persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion by governments or groups their government cannot or will not control.
Detroit’s Freedom House is a temporary home for survivors of persecution from around the world, seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. It is the only organization that provides services free of charge; shelter, clothing, legal aid, mental health care, language classes, medical care for injuries due to torture, job training, and transitional housing.
Joseph Wesley Black Tea and Canadian potter Dayna Wagner created an iconic symbol of community - a house. These houses allude to the iconic tea pets, a nine-hundred year old Chinese tea tradition in which people douse an unglazed ceramic animal figurine with tea. In feeding their pet in this way, people hope that they might acquire the attributes of their tea pet. By transforming the iconic tea pet into a tea house Joseph Wesley Black Tea hopes that the tea houses remind you of the importance of family and community and even provokes you into sharing a tea with those around you. By donating the net proceeds to Detroit’s Freedom House, Joseph Wesley Black Tea also hopes that the tea houses remind you of the significant work the Detroit Freedom House does in recreating lost communities.