Critical Exposure teaches youth how to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change. We provide at-risk youth with cameras, training, and the opportunity to show the world how it looks through their eyes. Participating students have documented issues ranging from deteriorating school facilities to youth homelessness to teen pregnancy.
To date Critical Exposure has worked with more than 1,400 students in D.C., New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Austin, and Albuquerque. Participants have learned to use photography as a both a vehicle for self-expression and an advocacy tool. Thousands of people have seen the students’ images through public exhibits, community events, legislative hearings, and media coverage, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, PBS, NPR, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Perhaps most importantly, the students and their images have helped affect significant reforms in public education. Our largest victory occurred in Maryland where, thanks in part to the impact of the students’ photographs and testimony and to the work of our partners, the Maryland Education Coalition and the ACLU, the State General Assembly increased funding for school facilities by over $100 million.
“The experience of being in Critical Exposure was very overwhelming for me because I had something as small as a black and white 35 mm camera, but to me it meant so much more. The opportunity to take pictures was my first time to finally be heard, not only by my friends and family, but by the media and public. Being a part of this program I learned that even the smallest thing such as the camera, can give you power and you need to use it in a way that benefits you and your society.”
– Christina, 10th Grade, Philadelphia
For more information, please visit our homepage at http://www.criticalexposure.org