The Center for Urban Pedagogy, aka CUP, is a non-profit organization that attempt to make the legislation visible in the clearest manner. The predicate of the law is that nobody shall ignores it, but in reality, little is done to veritably make the law known to all. The risk involved in a society that maintains actively or passively the ignorance of its law, is that a legal aristocracy develops itself. Knowing your rights allows a practice in the totality of their extents. It also participate to a thorough and voluntary defense in a potential bone of contention. The Center for Urban Pedagogy, through an articulated graphic design strategy, has produced various booklets and posters in this spirit. All of them can be bought, but also downloadable as PDF on their website. The Vendor Power, for example, informs New York street vendors of their rights and a useful behavior to follow in case of trouble with a zealous police officer. I Got Arrested is addressed to American kids who were arrested by the police (often for very minor offense) so that they could know their rights and apprehend the whole experience in a less traumatic way. Know Your Lines investigates the voting zones in the United States to develop an awareness of the various policies which modify the lines of those zones for electoral motivations. What is Affordable Housing? is a small book which establishes an inventory of government helped forms of housing in the United States, and in New York more specifically, as well as the criteria that are required to apply for such a housing. This document does not miss to notice that many of those programs have been lacking of public development and interest (especially Public Housing whose construction was stopped after the 1974 moratorium ordered by Richard Nixon). Many more of those manuals exist and can be found on the CUP’s website. A lot of other similar initiatives probably exist for other cities and other countries and can be considered as models for such a strategy of legal sensitization and empowerment.
All the following illustrations have been created by the Center for Urban Pedagogy: