The newly launched Pics for the Kids raises funds for Avenues for Justice, a New York-based organisation which offers young offenders alternatives to prison
Recent months have seen photographers and creatives come together for various photo print sales, launched in response to both the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement with the aim of raising vital funds for charities. Pics for the Kids is the latest: the print sale sees more than 50 photographs on offer to raise funds for Avenues for Justice, a New York-based organisation which works to keep young people in the city out of prison. Avenues for Justice, which was founded in 1979, offers alternatives to incarceration like counseling, training, education and employment assistance.
This sale features work by photographers from around the world, including: Campbell Addy, Nadine Ijewere and Jawara Wauchope, Alec Soth, Jack Davison, Leilah Weinraub, Brianna Capozzi, Kristin-Lee Moolman, Gray Sorrenti, Justin French, Charlotte Wales, Johnny Dufort, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Nick Sethi, and Inez & Vinoodh. Each eight-by-ten inch print from Pics for the Kids costs $100, with funds going straight to the vital work Avenues for Justice is doing.
“Avenues for Justice has been helping kids in New York for 40 years by making sure they don’t get caught in the American prison system,” explain Pics for the Kids’ organisers Leo Becerra and Rémi Lamandé, a fashion producer and photographer respectively. “It’s a local organisation and we thought that by choosing an organisation that touches our community we could affect these kids directly. We hope to not only raise funds via the print sale but also to bring awareness to the issue of mass youth incarceration and the work that this Avenues for Justice does to support the local communities.
“We wanted to do something to help after the story of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder came out. Then Breonna Taylor’s story came out, then George Floyd’s, then the Black Lives Matter protests happened,” they continue. “It has all been a realisation of the big painful problem that is racial injustice and mass incarceration in America, and racism across the globe.” Both based in New York, they sought out Avenues for Justice because of its strong local impact. The organisation provides programmes for young offenders to help them avoid prison, and the figures show how important its work is: 90 per cent of the people Avenues for Justice works with stay out of incarceration, while between 25 and 50 per cent of those who go to prison remain crime-free afterwards. (What’s more, a year-long Avenues for Justice programme costs $5,200 for one young person, but the cost of keeping a young person in prison for one year in New York averages at $353,000.)