“A travel document is much more than a piece of paper. It is the weight that determines freedom or imprisonment, health or harm, family unity or separation, or injustice and rights.” – Abraham, Families for Freedom

Over 41 million immigrants, 13% of the population, call the US home. Millions more have parents who migrated here and live in communities that are directly affected by immigration policies.

Driven by a concern for this xenophobic rhetoric, we, a group of high school students, took part in Picture Justice 2016. The program was a partnership between the United Nations International School, PROOF: Media for Social Justice, and the New York State Youth Leadership Council. It provided us with the opportunity to explore the experiences of immigrants in New York City through a social justice lens. We trained with photographers and met with lawyers and activists working on immigration reform. We listened to and transcribed the stories of immigrants and took their portraits.

We believe that anyone who is forced to flee from violence, poverty, disaster or in search of a better life deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that human rights should not be determined by a person’s papers.

We also believe that photos and stories can be powerful tools for social justice. With this exhibit, we hope to raise discussions around important and difficult questions on human rights and belonging in the US.


  • Proof


    Media for social justice

  • The United Nations International School (UNIS)

    The United Nations International School (UNIS)

    The United Nations International School (UNIS), is affiliated with the United Nations. UNIS offers a K-12 education guided by the UN principles of global peace, fundamental human and equal rights, sustainability, and social progress. Its global curriculum enables students to better understand and act upon current global challenges. Students at UNIS come from over 120 countries.

    PROOF: Media for Social Justice, organizes and documents global and domestic social injustices to reveal the power of everyday upstanders. PROOF’s network of human rights activists facilitates the testimony of those who take action against injustice. By engaging a network of photo journalists, activists, and scholars ethically collecting testimonies, PROOF’s exhibitions and workshops are encouraging righteous action.


 archive : 2017

Featuring: Various Artists

Curated by: Leora Kahn

Presented by: Proof, The United Nations International School (UNIS)
  • Proof
  • The United Nations International School (UNIS)


View Location Details Download a detailed map of this location Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Sep 162017

Photos as Tools for Social Justice

Throughout July 2017, students from UNIS and KIPP College Prep in the Bronx took part in the UNIS Human Rights Project, a photojournalism program for high school students sponsored by UNIS and the EE Ford Foundation.

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