In 24 hours we have raised $1,200 through our Facebook Fundraiser and through offline donations. We are thrilled and grateful. We still have much more to raise to reach our goal of $2,500. Please consider donating. Small donations add up! We are grateful for any support. Thank you!
Friends and Colleagues,
This year, with COVID-19, and the vast unemployment we felt guilty to ask others for donations, and were going to pass on this year’s grant. But, with many tragic BIPOC deaths, we could not sit idly back and do nothing. We are hoping to make this year’s grant a reality. The goal for this grant is to seek out a photographer who is focused on racial injustice within their community.
Like you, we feel the time is imminent for racial injustice change to begin. And while the momentum is high and the world is in the fighting spirit, we want to help be a part of the change in some way. We know that things will not change overnight. We can all recognize that we need a kinder world. For this to begin we need to be more open to listening and learning, without holding prejudice, and evolve more as human beings.
Taking Focus was founded on the very principle of shedding light on unjust issues, with both our image-making and storytelling. We want to feed a photographer’s hunger and drive to see.
We are hoping as a community you can help grant a photographer the resources they need to make impactful work about racial injustice; a photographer who is interested in using their work to make a difference. Their idea may be large scale or may have a single focus within their immediate surroundings.
As a photographer, creating personal work that you feel is important can be incredibly hard to fund. We feel this issue is so important to have a light continued to be shined upon. We hope that you will help make this year’s grant a reality for someone who wants to do good.
We want to be very transparent with you. As a grant funder you should know the stipulations of this grant and what will be required of the recipient. A portion of the grant will be to help fund the creation of the project; whether it is for equipment, food, hotel, etc. The other portion of the grant will be for what we call, “The Giving Back Component”. For example, “The Giving Back Component” could be an exhibition of the final work that educates the general public or a specific group; “The Giving Back Component” could also be a fundraiser for the subject(s) of the project or a US-based organization for a related cause; “The Giving Back Component” could be a community outreach effort to educate the general public. Think out-of-the-box, the possibilities are endless.
As always being a small grassroots organization we are coming to you to help and join us. We ask you to help us make this a reality. This is something for both Taking Focus and you to be a part of. We continue to have faith in humanity and know that the issue is about human progress. We believe that as a collective group we can always make a difference.
We are asking you to donate today, so we can fund a photographer that will continue to bring forth the wake up call America needs. We are asking you to donate today, so a photographer can shed light upon racial injustice. We are asking you to donate today, so a photographer can educate their community through “The Giving Back Component”.
In 2019 we awarded Rory Doyle the first grant from Taking Focus for $2,500 for his project ‘Delta Hill Riders’ focusing on the black cowboys of Mississippi. Rory’s project was ultimately selected by Mike Davis, a world renowned photo editor who runs the Alexia Grant competition and is a professor of visual storytelling at Syracuse University. Rory used his portion of “The Giving Back Component” to team up with a few wonderful organizations that support enriching the lives of the youth in their communities:
Rosedale Freedom Project organization whose mission is to support the Delta Mississippi young leaders in the development of critical consciousness and practice of justice through community building, exploration, artistic creation, organizing, and the study of social history and grassroots democracy.
Spring Initiative organization whose mission is to empower young people in the Mississippi Delta to beat the odds, access the opportunities they deserve and build successful, happy and hopeful lives for themselves.
F-L-Y (Forever Lifting Youth) Zone is a community awareness movement based in Cleveland, Mississippi.
This opportunity led all of the youth from these different initiatives to attend an event hosted by the Ark-La-Miss Rodeo in Greenville, Mississippi. At this event, they were given the chance to see local cowboys show off their horses, hear about their history, ride the horses, and learn more about Rory’s work, experiences, and reasons for documenting their story.
Thank you for your time and we hope to see your support of this year’s Taking Focus Grant.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King, Letter from a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963.
FB Fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/donate/1628672163980150/
TF Donation Page: www.takingfocus.org/donateChecks can be made payable to; Taking Focus, INC.
Taking Focus, Inc., P.O. Box 351025, Palm Coast, FL 32135
* All donations are tax deductible, we are a 501C3 organization.
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