One of the main visions of Documentary Family Photographers Worldwide (DFP) and Documentary Family Awards (DFA) has been to create a community and platform which celebrates and empowers photographers and families of diverse backgrounds and stories.
Both DFP and DFA are small organizations with big goals in a niche genre. We believe we should be using our privilege to ensure that all photographers and all families feel seen, feel valued and feel represented.
It has been our intention to prioritize giving voice and representation to diverse photographers and families. And while our attempts have been well meaning to make a conscious effort, we acknowledge there is more to do and we need to work harder to provide equity and further opportunities to marginalized photographers.
We apologize that we are not where we had hoped to be with our vision at this point.
We are going to change that starting immediately.
The DFP and DFA have chosen to come together, combining our resources in an effort to push forward the changes so desperately needed in the documentary family photography world and beyond.
Our immediate short-term goal is to assemble a Diversity & Inclusivity Committee. The goal of the committee will be to identify and implement ways we can strengthen our diversity, inclusion, accessibility and understanding. To consistently improve our allyship and give more opportunity, access & voice to marginalized groups, those with disabilities and others who may not have the platform and privilege that we have.
We know it is pertinent that we are not just making performative statements, but rather, we are actually putting in the work that goes along with the words we speak in order to make a tangible, long term impact. A lot more work goes into building a culture of inclusivity and diversity rather than just as an initiative.
We have taken the time to attend anti-racism and inclusivity courses by Black and Minority Leaders. We have discussed with marginalized photographers in our community. We read, actively learn, listen, assess and own up to our mistakes and will continue to do so. We are willing and ready to keep learning, and keep up with this work, actively showing up so that DFP and DFA can do better and better.
We recognize it is our responsibility to remain aware of the lack of greater diversity within the genre and the larger world of photography as a whole. We will continuously strive to represent a wider range of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities and religious beliefs, so that all our viewers are able to see themselves reflected in the work we feature.
We are committed to:
- Creating an inclusive community where diversity is valued, celebrated and represented.
- Striving to be an actively antiracist community permanently and not temporarily
- Implementing a diversity and inclusivity committee so we can continuously evaluate how we can further improve and make positive change in the genre
- Increasing avenues for marginalized educators to offer education opportunities for everyone
- Providing easier access to educational opportunities in the documentary family photography genre
- Creating scholarship opportunities for marginalized photographers within or interested in the documentary family photography genre
- Diversifying leadership in the community
- Making a concerted effort on a regular basis to understanding the struggles of marginalized individuals
- Showing that family is global, diverse and multicultural
- Using our own PRIVILEGE as a way to transfer benefits to those who do not have that same privilege
- Creating spaces to amplify, celebrate and support diverse voices and work
- Taking ownership of our shortcomings, obstacles, plans and work while de-centering ourselves in the process
We Stand in Solidarity
Another of the DFP and DFA platforms has been to transform the perspective of what the world defines as “family”. Our objective is to push the definition of family to be more inclusive of families not just living in the same household or sharing the same lineage, but to acknowledge and celebrate that family is what we make of it.
Family to us means sharing some portion of life with the ones you love, sharing laughter, sadness, tragedy, victory, loss, regret, happiness, compassion, support and success.
It is important to remember, not only are each of these Black men and women someone’s son, daughter, child, brother, sister, sibling, father, mother, parent… they are also part of a larger family, a community that should not have to face adversity on a daily basis simply because of the color of their skin.
We stand in solidarity with Black lives. Black lives matter.