The Ritz Herald
Synthia SAINT JAMES among some original paintings in her Los Angeles studio. © PAI

Synthia SAINT JAMES Partners With PAI to Lift Up Advocacy and Activism Through Art

Kwanzaa stamp artist creates original painting to support PAI's global advocacy for women, youth and vulnerable communities

Published on May 21, 2021

Today, PAI announced a new partnership with celebrated and award-winning artist, Synthia SAINT JAMES. The collaboration leverages original artwork created by Ms. SAINT JAMES to increase support for PAI’s global efforts to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights for all and tackle root causes perpetuating inequities in access to quality health care, services and support.

Ms. SAINT JAMES is a world-renowned multicultural visual artist, award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, whose art has graced the covers of over 75 books. She is highly celebrated for designing the first Kwanzaa stamp for the United States Postal Service in 1997. Her second design was released in 2016 — a “forever” Kwanzaa stamp. SAINT JAMES is the recipient of more than two dozen awards, including the prestigious Trumpet Award, an honorary doctorate degree from Saint Augustine’s University and a History Maker Award. She is also noted for the international cover art of Terry McMillan’s book “Waiting to Exhale.” With roots in Los Angeles, CA and the Bronx, NY, and of African American, Cherokee and Haitian heritage, she currently resides in Los Angeles.

“We are honored that Synthia SAINT JAMES is putting her art and voice behind PAI’s ambitious agenda to advance gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights for women, youth and communities that have faced discrimination and disinvestment here and abroad,” said PAI President and CEO Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins. “PAI’s partnership with Ms. SAINT JAMES is a powerful representation of how the intersection of art and advocacy can drive activism, lift up voices for change and propel a movement for the fundamental right to sexual and reproductive health for all.”

The creative arts have historically been an important driver for social change and justice. With SAINT JAMES’ creations, unity, diversity, inclusion, strength and resilience are on bold display. These values are also held by PAI and guide the organization’s work.

“It is such a pleasure to create this artwork for PAI and bring forward a message of strength, justice and progress,” said Synthia SAINT JAMES. “The arts have the power to inspire and bring in many voices, and it is voice that sparks change, sustains progress and builds solidarity. This piece, titled ‘HER Voice for Empowerment,’ will celebrate the journey to achieve sexual and reproductive health and rights that PAI and its partners from around the world have been on for 56 years, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Ms. SAINT JAMES’ completed artwork will be unveiled as part of a new major fundraising and advocacy campaign kickoff this summer under PAI’s new executive leadership.

“Having Ms. SAINT JAMES support PAI and our funded partners enables us to have new and urgent conversations that are critical for exponential gains toward sexual and reproductive health, human rights and gender equality,” said Kate Duis, PAI’s director of individual giving. “PAI already has an incredibly strong network of supporters and champions, and we are so excited for many more to join us, as they will undoubtedly be inspired by Ms. SAINT JAMES’ colorful vision of love, justice, health and hope.”

Culture Editor