|Dear Members, |
ASMP-NY stands in solidarity with the Black community. As a whole ASMP has a history of being in a place committed to supporting voices for racial justice in the United States.
Social change starts at the grassroots with local chapters like ASMP-NY. For several years, our diverse local board has pursued the inclusion and expansion of our programs to younger, more intersectional communities. However, we can do more.
We have spent the past two weeks writing this letter and looking at what will bring meaningful change to our industry. We know that nothing meaningful and sustainable can be accomplished in haste, and we clearly understand this work will be ongoing.
We are holding ourselves accountable to learn from our community, identify our blind spots, and take actionable steps, advocating for a more racially just organization, photographic community, and world at-large. This is a process, and ASMP-NY has chosen to lead the way. We look forward to embarking on this journey with you.
As a community, we will work together to:
1) Be responsible for the space we create within our organization and industry by increasing visibility, creating equity, and offering access
2) Be accountable for the images and stories that we tell. As creators of the visual narrative, we need to reflect on what and how we are contributing. We want to be sure that we are expressing the vision, lives, and diverse cultures of our black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities in an effort to advocate, lift up, and recalibrate our industry one story at a time.
Some of our immediate steps are:
– Our next membership meeting will be a town hall style, open forum on diversity, inclusivity, and racial justice, and how we can move our industry forward in a positive direction. We’re committed to creating a safe, inviting space for our community to be engaged in this ongoing discussion.
– We will host a discussion on responsible reporting, freedom of the press, ethical journalism, and freedom of expression.
– We are developing programming that focuses on removing the barriers to entry into our industry; equipment, education, and mentorship.
We believe that the lives of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color matter.
Members of our board have been, and will continue to meet weekly in order to implement and incorporate these programs and ideas into the fabric of what we do. If you would like to join us in this endeavor, have ideas, or would like your voice to be included, please email us and let us know.
The ASMP New York Board,
Pamela Jean Tinnen
Elsa m Espino
Duane A. Lyken