A message from the Las Fotos Project staff.#BlackLivesMatter

We are not surprised. We are present to the pain of the Black community and to the grief of Black parents who have lost their children to systemic violence, but we are not surprised. The recent actions led by the Black community have come as a result of centuries of systemic racism and violence. 

Embedded within the vibrant stories of hope that our students have captured throughout Los Angeles are also the truths of racial injustice that impact all facets of our community – our homes, our schools, our economy, our healthcare, and our safety. We have to only look to the past to know that the recent protests are not the beginning, and we have to only look at the inequitable distribution of resources across Los Angeles to know that it’s not the end. While these injustices are not new, many have become normalized in American culture through bias, mico-aggressions, and more. They exist in the unjust killing of Black people by law enforcement, and they also exist in the absence of Black voices in our art spaces and board rooms.

Inclusivity has always been a value within our organization and we have sought to create a space for all involved with our organization, students, mentors, and Teaching Artists, that encompass this. However, we recognize that the majority of students served by our organization are non-Black Latinx. We recognize that anti-Blackness exists within our Latinx communities, and this, too, affects our relationships at home, with community members and businesses. We also recognize that “inclusivity” is not enough. We – as a community, as arts administrators and artists, as non-profit leaders, educators, and individuals – must do more to break apart racist systems and the privileges afforded by them.

We are actively-listening and taking our cues from Black womxn, queer, and femme leaders at the forefront of change. As a result of this, our team is committed to learning, reassessing, and working with our youth to implement anti-racist strategies in our programs and organization as a whole so that we may better support our teenage girls and community at large.  And so, we pledge to not just be in solidarity with our Black community members but to actively work to dismantle systemic racism that continues to attack Black communities and tear apart Black families. We pledge to create space where Latinx youth may learn, dialogue, and build on strategies to break down anti-Blackness in our communities. We pledge to create opportunities and collaborations for more Black youth to share their stories and enact change through photography. 

We call on other organizations and non-Black artists to partner with us in these efforts as well.

In Community,

Las Fotos Project staff

#BlackLivesMatter

Below are resources to support, learn and organize:
Black Lives Matter

Movement for Black Lives

Reclaim the Block

People’s City Council Freedom Fund

Black Lives Matter – LA

Ground Game LA 

SNaPCo

Black Youth-Focused Orgs

BreakOUT! – ending the criminalization of LGBTQ Youth in New Orleans

Black Youth Project – the Black Youth Project will examine the attitudes, resources, and culture of the young, urban black millennial, exploring how these factors and others influence their decision-making, norms, and behavior in critical domains such as sex, health, and politics.

Black Girls Code – Black Girls CODE is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. 

Learning Resources

The Authority Collective, and visit their Anti-racist Photo resource.
The Great Unlearn by Rachel Cargle