Through Words: Exploring the Gap Between Law & Justice
November 3, 2022
About this event
Do law and justice go hand-in-hand? Have some court decisions taken us backward? What role can the arts play in making the law more accessible? Whereas legalese tends to be confusing, complicated and gets stuck in the brain, poetry might be brief and go straight to the heart of the matter.
Center for Art Law is thrilled to host New-York based artist and lawyer Harbani Ahuja for our Art Law Lunch Talk. Harbani is an Artist-in-Residence at the human rights advocacy center ICAAD, where she has developed Dicta: a poetry series created from redacting sections of key Supreme Court cases in US history. Her collections on the Rights of Black People, Immigrant Rights, and Women’s Rights highlight the tensions between law and justice in the courts through striking visual art.
In addition to her work as an artist, Harbani is a public interest attorney committed to serving marginalized communities and advocating for human rights. She is currently Counsel at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, working on economic justice and reducing the racial wealth gap. Previously, she was Senior Legislative Counsel for the New York City Council and has been involved in many legal, policy, legislative, and advocacy efforts, focusing on civil rights, immigrant rights, and public health.
Harbani will be joining us to discuss her career as an attorney, the reasons she chose to pursue a career in law, and how Dicta has changed her outlook on the law and her legal career. She will also be doing a poetry reading of a special selection of her works, which you can preview here.
The image for this event was created using words and AI.
About the Speaker:
Harbani Ahuja is a public interest attorney committed to serving marginalized communities and advocating for human rights in all spaces. She has been involved in many legal, policy, legislative, and advocacy efforts, focusing on civil rights, immigrant rights, and public health. She is currently Counsel at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, working on economic justice and reducing the racial wealth gap. Harbani holds a J.D. with a concentration in Constitutional Law and Rights from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a B.B.A from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Baruch College. She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
Harbani is also a writer who enjoys creating art through various mediums, including graphic design and poetry. Harbani’s creative work can be found in Her Name is Kaur: Sikh Women Write about Love, Courage, and Faith, and on Instagram (@by.bani). Harbani’s latest project, entitled Dicta, combines her love for the law and poetry and seeks to unearth the essence of decisions by courts of law in order to illuminate the broader societal context in which they were written.
The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) works at the intersection of legal innovation and human-centered design to create evidence-based programs with organizations and communities to combat structural discrimination. The center’s Artivism program is based on a belief that the arts play a vital role in driving social justice, and supports emerging and underrepresented artists globally whose work explores issues of justice.
Handouts and Reading Material
Read the handouts HERE.
Recording of the Lecture
Watch the recording HERE.