"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Artist Advocates Explore Art & Discrimination

Artist advocates explore the intersection of art & discrimination illuminating injustice through the universal language
ICAAD celebrates its first year with an art exhibition, live music, and silent art auction

NEW YORK, December 19, 2012 – The art exhibition, “Exploring the Intersection of Art and Discrimination,” celebrated ICAAD’s first year of protecting the rights of vulnerable communities. Using the universal language of art, talented artists exhibited their work on issues of women’s rights, minority rights, disability rights, racial identity, and religious freedoms to benefit ICAAD, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to combat structural discrimination and to promote human rights norms through the use of domestic and international law.

ICAAD is partnering with artists around the world to bring human rights awareness to the global village. Hansdeep Singh, Director of Legal Programs at ICAAD said, “Art provides a refuge from the disquietude that results from the grave topic of discrimination. It allows an individual to go beyond the pain and understand the context for why we continually struggle as a society to overcome inequality. Art raises awareness of the value of human dignity, an inalienable right that doesn’t exist for many of the world’s vulnerable populations.”

art and discrimination

In response to seeing her work being hosted in the gallery, Rebecca DiTota said, “I feel that art is one of the greatest expressions understood by all, and that my photography would best demonstrate what I wanted to convey. My pieces were inspired by my handicapped brother and the discrimination he faces in school and in society as a whole. It was a true honor to have my work displayed, and participating in the event is a memory I will never forget.”

The exhibition was also a fundraiser for ICAAD, with proceeds of the silent auction being divided by the non-profit and the artists. Some of the art work that was exhibited is still available, please contact us if you are interested.

View photos and video of the art, music, and gallery.

The gallery included the work of eleven artists from around the US and Canada: Oregon, N. Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Michigan, and Toronto. The event featured 26 pieces for sale and also included live music by socially conscious performers including: Anya Skidan, K-Sise & Junclassic, and Alycea and the X-Isles.

art and discrimination“This piece depicts two Sikh women, both wearing different articles of faith, a dastaar (turban) and a chuni (headscarf).”The French ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood are called into question by the piece which highlights the 2004 French legislation preventing those belonging to minority faiths from manifesting their religious identity. “The women are gagged in this piece to symbolize the legislation silencing their voices and identity,” said artist Lakhpreet Kaur.

This is the first step in ICAAD’s development of a traveling art and discrimination exhibition which will, in time, be held in various places around the world.  We are expanding our artist base to various countries to raise awareness about discrimination in places where ICAAD is engaged in advocacy or litigation.

Dua by Amit Kaur

Dua by Amit Kaur

View photos and video of the art, music, and gallery.


On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
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