Dear ASMP Community,
As the past week of protests over George Floyd’s death reminded us, this is a time of very needed reckoning where each of us must come to terms with the inequality that underpins our society. Systemic and institutionalized racism exist in America and must be ended by conscious, collective action demanding change. We can begin with persistent self-examination, while pursuing continuing self-education, and relationship building that affirms dignity. We must take daily, concrete, measurable steps to make a difference. We cannot tolerate silence, signaling indifference, as a response to the systemic racism present in our nation.
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.
With protests happening in communities all across the country, the role of ethical photographic practices is more important than ever. A key component of ASMP’s mission is to help educate the next generation so they can sustain themselves successfully as visual artists and documentarians, shaping our visual history and culture.
- To our black community members: we see you, we hear you, we support you. As always, we want to amplify your work.
- We will continue the community engagement effort that began on Friday, June 5, with the special Town Hall Conversation, “1968 – 2020: America Again at a Crossroads,” led by Leon Dash, Professor of Journalism and African American Studies at University of Illinois, and photographer/filmmaker Samantha Isom, whose online journal, brownpassport.com, reflects her experience traveling as a person of color (see video below). Look for others in the days and weeks to come.
- In light of the protests taking place across the country, we re-affirm the importance of ethical photographic practices and the First. Amendment rights of journalists and non-journalists alike.
- We will continue and reinforce ASMP’s mission to help educate the next generation of photographers and filmmakers so they can best sustain themselves economically and creatively.
- A Diversity and Inclusivity resource page that will offer resources from partner organizations such as the National Press Photographers Association, PhotoShelter (The Photographer’s Guide to Inclusive Photography), The Authority Collective (Resources for Photographers and Beyond on Anti-Racism) and additional links vetted by those partners, such as “Take Action: Advocating to End Systemic Racism” (Courtesy of Campaign Zero).