Over the past year-and-a-half, the Tahirih Justice Center has been engaged in consultation to reimagine our voice and visual identity in alignment with our values. We believe that decisions are made better by consultation and harnessing collective wisdom, so our renewed visual identity emerged from an accountable, accessible, and collaborative process inspired by the principles of design justice. As part of this process, we worked internally to refresh the Tahirih logo.
The bird in our logo symbolizes Tahirih’s vision of equity and justice and recognition that the power to transform our society lies in our collective action. Inspired by Bahá’í writings, Tahirih sees the world of humanity as a bird whose wingspan represents all of humankind across the gender spectrum. Not until we reach equitable justice and gender equality—putting an end to gender-based violence which acts as a broken wing—will we soar.
Birds in the natural world guide how we can engage in collective partnership, solidarity, and adaptability to progress toward our vision of equitable justice, as described by Complex Movements—an artist collective supporting the transformation of communities through the connections between science and social justice:
“The synchronized movement patterns of a starling flock is also known as a murmuration. Guided by simple rules, starling murmurations can react to their environment as a group without a central leader orchestrating their choices; in any instant, any part of the flock can transform the movement of the whole flock.”
Yet despite the liberating qualities we take from the bird for our logo, it has for many years been trapped in a cage. As a representation of the movement toward justice and equity, we freed the bird from the box that contained it. No longer is the bird thin, fragile, and confined. Instead, it flies upward toward a more just future, supported by Tahirih, with the barriers that previously blocked its path dismantled. Now, the bird can rise as a symbol of strength, hope, peace, and freedom for survivors as they embark on their journey to justice.
The bird demonstrates the power of shaping our world through both individual transformation and collective action, signifying Tahirih’s advocacy both for individual immigrant survivors and to change the systems that are complicit in the conditions of their oppression.
We also sought a logo typeface that aligns with our voice and values, selecting a font based on the women’s rights movement from Vocal Type Co., a Black-owned type foundry that seeks to diversify design, build community, and tell history beyond the perspectives that dominate our current narratives and systems. The bold typography centers and honors our namesake Tahirih, the powerful poet, organizer, women’s rights activist, and a heroic figure in the Bahá’í Faith. Tahirih’s last recorded words were:
“You can kill me as soon as you like, but you will never stop the emancipation of women.”
While we have preserved the roots of our logo, Tahirih values adaptation, evolution, and transparency within the ongoing process of personal, collective, and systemic transformation, and we see our refreshed logo as one step toward better embodying the just and equitable world we seek.