ICP Statement of Action

Jun 09, 2020

Dear ICP Community,

ICP was founded on the principles of concerned photography, the belief that imagery has the power to educate and change the world. It is unacceptable that systemic racism, injustice, and violence towards people of color have continued to endure in our nation and around the world. We stand in solidarity with Black communities and everyone who is working toward a more just future, and we believe that Black lives matter.

As a center for photography, we will always emphasize the unique role of images as catalysts for social change. Images and words are important tools in the fight for justice. Actions are also essential. We recognize the significance of our position as an organization that educates imagemakers and photojournalists, and that exhibits and collects the work of visual authors. 

ICP’s Equity Working Group is an internal, cross-departmental team of ICP employees. Inspired by initiatives to address long-standing disparities of power in the field of photography and the nonprofit arts sector, the group has been meeting since 2018 and explores internal and external strategies that deepen ICP’s commitment to equity, access, and inclusion. The Equity Working Group was launched as part of ICP's participation in Race Forward's Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab, a yearlong training program to increase racial equity in New York City's arts and cultural sector. ICP recognizes that we have urgent and further work to do and as a next step, ICP will provide equity training for all staff members and create a budget for further professional development opportunities around this work.

ICP is also launching a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative to examine organizational structures and hiring practices to work toward increased diversity in our staff, student, and faculty communities. Our Trustees will redouble their efforts toward achieving greater Trustee diversity. To inform and guide this initiative, ICP will also establish an external Advisory Council, including Black artists, educators, scholars and leaders, with the goal of creating enduring and significant institutional change.

In the next four weeks, ICP will convene a public conversation to examine emerging issues in photojournalism around topics including protection of protestor safety, privacy, consent, minimization of harm, facial recognition, metadata and freedom of expression in showing images of protest.

On March 20, we launched our #ICPConcerned initiative to document the global pandemic by encouraging people from around the world to share their experiences of COVID-19. In the past two weeks, it has evolved into a forum for images of protest and the Black Lives Matter movement. When we reopen our center, we will feature an exhibition showcasing this work.

Throughout our 46 years, ICP’s mission of concerned photography has informed our exhibitions, education and community programs. We have sought to empower imagemakers to use visual imagery as a powerful tool in the fight against social injustice for all peoples. We will continue to uplift and amplify Black voices, stories and images, listen and learn, and use our voice and our institution to promote positive social change.

Best regards,

Mark Lubell
Executive Director