J usticeAid believes in justice and the power of art to bring us together in the fight for a more equitable nation and world. This year, in parallel with our fundraising for Black Voters Matter, each month we will highlight Black artists in order to uplift those whose voices have been muted, and whose visions can help us all see ourselves as we really are, and as we could be.


Arrested Development, “Tennessee”

Given the naked suppression of Black voices and votes that we witnessed in Tennessee earlier this month, Arrested Development’s “Tennessee” seems a fitting piece to share. The song was the band’s first hit in 1992 but was derived from a place of great loss. The chorus offers up this prayer: “Take me to another place, take me to another land, make me forget all that hurts me, and help me understand your plan.”


The 2021 ground-breaking documentary, “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” follows civil rights attorney Jeffery Robinson as he confronts the enduring legacy of anti-Black racism in the United States, weaving together examples from the U.S. Constitution, education system, and policing.

“The entire purpose of this film is to ask people to take a long hard look at our actual history of white supremacy and anti-Black racism. That is something that has been really erased from the common narrative and creation story about America.” —Jefferey Robinson

Robinson is the Executive Director of the Who We Are Project. Until April 2021, he was an ACLU deputy legal director and the director of the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality. He was a featured guest speaker at JusticeAid’s 2018 public forum on 21st Century Debtors’ Prisons, where he discussed the complexities involved in the role of race and the criminal legal system in the U.S. The film is the winner of the Documentary Spotlight Audience Award at SXSW 2021.


Titus Kaphar

The Jerome Project (2014)

Titus Kaphar makes paintings, sculptures, and installations that examine the history of representation.

The Jerome Project is a series of 97 portraits made from mug shots of incarcerated Black men who share the first and last name of the artist’s father, Jerome. The resulting series reflects the disproportionate effect that mass incarceration has on Black people and memorializes the experiences of distance and separation commonly felt by families with loved ones in prison.Each figure appears before a gold-leaf ground that recalls the Byzantine tradition of icon painting. The thick layers of tar encroach upon the subject, representing the harm and the long-term effects of life under the carceral state.

Kaphar is a distinguished recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship. His work has been included in solo exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1, and the National Portrait Gallery. His work is included in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, amongst others.


Paine the Poet, JusticeAid Artist in Residence

Meet Paine the Poet, JusticeAid’s Inaugural Artist in Residence who will be performing at our 2022 Spring Concert.

Paine The Poet is a spoken word artist, activist, educator, and public speaker from Columbus, OH. He uses his gift of poetry and lyricism to bridge the gap between the “disenfranchised” and the society from which they have been detached. 

His experience as a formerly incarcerated individual of eight years makes him a powerful voice for “convicted felons” and those deemed a “menace to society.”

Paine has headlined at the National Gallery of Art, 93.9 WKYS, the U.S Capitol, the NFL and various social justice events throughout the U.S. He played a impactful role as Jahlal Mahad in the 2021 film American Skin, and also in 2021 wrote the opening for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year ceremony honoring Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

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JusticeAid is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. Our mission is to leverage the community-building power of art and music to transform awareness into action in the fight against injustice. Since 2013 JusticeAid has granted over two million dollars to nonprofits that are protecting civil rights for all. Throughout 2023 JusticeAid is raising money for Black Voters Matter (BVM).

Read up on JusticeAid events and our support for Black Voters Matter.