FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Systemic and institutionalized racism exist in America and must be ended by conscious, collective action demanding change. Though ASMP has a history of commitment to supporting voices for racial justice in the United States, as exemplified by the 1960’s-era Equal Rights Committee, a fair critique makes plain our need to do much more today to address the underlying causes and effects of systemic racism. – ASMP, June 9, 2020
Today, as part of our ongoing work to address the underlying causes and effects of systemic racism, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) is announcing the formation of the ASMP Advisory Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The Council, a diverse group of thought leaders from both within ASMP and beyond, is led by photographer, educator and activist Archy LaSalle. Members include:
- Archy LaSalle (Chair) – Award winning photographer, educator and founder of WHEREAREALLTHEBLACKPEOPLEAT, a project designed to rectify the severe underrepresentation of black and brown artists in the permanent collections of America’s museums and galleries.
- Liam Alexander (Liaison to ASMP Chapters & Board President, ASMP New York) – Fine artist and creative director based in Chicago and New York whose intention is catalyzing social change through artistic expression. Liam has led community focused independent creative projects such as IThou at the NYU Kimmel Galleries, The Exchange at Rush Arts, and #StrokeofGenius
- David Barreda – Oakland-based visual editor, multimedia producer, and journalist. David is currently the photo editor for Earthjustice and a member of the core team at Diversify Photo. Previously, David served as a founding editor at Topic, an award-winning digital magazine. He is a proud member of NAHJ, AAJA, and NPPA.
- Kat Dalager – Director of Operations at Carmichael Lynch and Co-Chair of MOSAIC, the agency’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Employee Resource Group for multicultural employees.
- Samantha Isom – A New York based photographer, Sam spends a substantial portion of each year traveling, especially to the world’s great scuba diving locations. Through her online journal, BrownPassport.com, she documents and reflects on her experiences traveling as a person of color.
- Kiliii Yüyan – Photographer Kiliii Yuyan illuminates the hidden stories of polar regions, wilderness and Indigenous communities. Informed by ancestry that is both Nanai/Hèzhé (Siberian Native) and Chinese-American, he explores the human relationship to the natural world from different cultural perspectives. Kiliii is an award-winning contributor to National Geographic Magazine and other major publications.
ASMP National Board member Amy Tierney will serve as the liaison between the Board and the Council, facilitating communications between the two bodies and working to ensure the Council is empowered with the tools it deems necessary for its important work.
The Council’s mandate from the ASMP National Board of Directors is to provide a framework for the board to implement a comprehensive and sustainable strategy with the following goals:
- TRANSFORMATION internally, so ASMP can recruit and render assistance to a much larger community, with special attention to meeting the needs of photographers of color and members of other marginalized groups, in order for us to become an organization of greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- COOPERATION between ASMP chapters, both individually and collectively, to exchange ideas in the interest of developing materials and programming that can be implemented to build greater diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization.
- PARTNERSHIP BUILDING between ASMP and other like-minded advocacy organizations, so ASMP can build a coalition of unified voices powerful enough to catalyze positive change within the broad photographic, visual media and academic/scholastic ecosystems to ensure that people of color and other marginalized groups have the opportunity to advance their photographic educations and careers in a much different work environment than presently exists.
While ASMP’s mission has always been about trying to help its members be their best selves, both from a business operation and creative perspective, it is clear that we need to do more to ensure we are fully supporting all who seek careers as professional photographers. We can no longer afford to wait for individual photographers to seek us out to become members. Rather, we need to engage in deep dialogue with underrepresented individuals and communities to learn from them how organizations like ours can benefit their creative and business lives, we need to prove to them that we are worthy of that dialog, and we need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to transform the profession to ensure equality of opportunity and the possibilities of career success.
With guidance from the ASMP Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we reaffirm our unblinking commitment to these ideals
Chair, National Board of Directors
Chair, Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Since 1944, ASMP’s core mission has been to advocate, educate, and provide community for image makers — fostering thriving careers, a strong sense of professional ethics, and an unshakable belief in the power of images.
Links to ASMP’s Recent Diversity Programming