It’s that time again, happy 2015 folks! As the new year rolls in I try to always make space to remember to give back. For those of you that have been around awhile you know that I come from the non-profit world. Social justice has always been a huge part of my life and remains to be that way.
As you know, each year I’ve been in business I’ve selected three organizations to give back a percentage of my photography profits. I try to chose one local, one national and one international operation doing good things. This year is no different, but I’ve added one additional cause. For 2014 my picks were:
Local: Reproductive Health Access Project. RHAP works through the offices of the community health center I worked with. The executive director is a fantastic lady and their mission “to train and support clinicians to make reproductive health care accessible to everyone” is an important one. I’ve seen their work on the ground floor and it’s sorely needed in so many clinics around the city and the state, as well as on a national level.
DonorsChoose: Before I became a photographer, my background was in education, adult education to be specific, though I did spend a lot of time volunteering in high school classrooms as well. Education and literacy are causes close to my heart. When I found this project, which allows for teachers to get funding for their classrooms, I thought it was pretty fantastic. I found two projects one with books for young first graders and another providing cameras for up and coming artists. Perfect!
National: Llamda Legal . With hope of finally getting word from the supreme court this year for marriage equality, the fight is more important then ever. Llamda Legal works “to acheive full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”
Global: International Rescue Committee. As I used to work with the immigrant and refugee community, issues surrounding displaced people are causes I feel are of dire importance. I used to volunteer with the IRC as a language tutor and have seen the good that this organization does. Their mission: “The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home.”
I love working with couples that share a similar world view and I hope to continue to run a business that always strives to make a positive difference in the world in whatever small ways are possible. This past year I also worked with One Month to Give, a photographer’s collective working to raise funds for various charities and I hope to do so again this fall. I am also always on the lookout for NGO’s and other social justice orientated organizations who made need photography work to get their message across and/or just love learning about new community grass roots organizations. If that’s you, please reach out!