Social Justice Advocacy and Photography

Photographs convey potent messages. They entice. They draw us in. They communicate ideas that resonate across time, place, and context. Photography has often been used to bring awareness to social justice issues and to inspire action. Today we live in a world in which more people than ever create and consume images. Photography may be our most powerful means to inspire positive change. These lessons include explorations of self-identity, community, and service.

Unit 1 - Lessons

Exploring Your Background and Identity

A self-portrait, including a selfie, expresses identity. Students share about their family history, cultural background, and participation in societal groups as they experiment with self-portraiture.

Exploring Your Community

Students explore how photography can shine a light on similarities and differences that exist between social groups. They begin to identify bias, stereotypes, and forms of injustice.

Photography and Social Justice

Students learn about photographers past and present whose work demonstrates a passion for social justice advocacy. Learning from such examples continues throughout all lesson plans.

Service and Photography

Students distinguish between types of service (direct, indirect, advocacy, research, and settings). They find and photograph examples of them in their communities.

Building Community with Photography

Students define and explore “asset mapping” as a means to identify a community’s physical, economic, and organizational strengths. They connect with community members and learn their stories.

Identifying and Planning Advocacy

Students identify a community issue as an opportunity for advocacy. They find community partners, craft a statement of purpose, and hone a plan of advocacy

Inspiration to Take Action

Students create an action plan for their advocacy, including how to use photography to advance and document it.

Reflecting on Advocacy Actions

Students describe, and through photography, document their advocacy in action.

Unit 2 - From Our Partners

Amplifier x Getty Photo Challenge: In Pursuit of...

Create works that combine photographs and text to declare what you are In Pursuit of. These four lessons, along with the accompanying video, will guide you through how to make bold visual artworks documenting what YOU are in pursuit of in your life, right now. The Open Call is now closed, but we still encourage you to use the prompt and resources to spark your creativity.