- Nathaniel Branden
As many of you already know, part of my mission is to use photography to bring out people's unique beauty. I am so very proud that I was asked to accompany The Change Project as one of their photographers as they travel the country sharing their mission of tolerance, love and equality for all. For those of you who don't know about The Change Project, I asked Steven Romeo, founder of the organization to submit today's blog post.
Two weeks ago, The Change Project successfully kicked off 2015 by attending the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in Denver, Colorado. After 4 days jam packed with queer activism, the organization ended up raising $5000 through sales of their self-designed T-shirts, and expanded their photography campaign with a whole day of new photoshoots. Founded in June of 2013, the Alabama based non-profit began as the brainchild of progressive activist Steven Romeo. Through photography and social media campaigns, The Change Project is bringing awareness to the diversity of identities within the queer community - something it hopes will reduce the stigmatization that persists around many marginalized identities.
Since that first summer, The Change Project has held open shoots at Pride events across much of the Southeast, as well as several major conferences and universities. Meanwhile, the organization has expanded its work to include design consulting for smaller activist groups, and fundraises for multiple progressive causes by selling a self-designed clothing line. This year, The Change Project has an impressive line – up planned. Besides Creating Change, TCP will be attending 19 Pride events and conferences spanning from Tampa and Houston in the South to Chicago and Philadelphia in the North. Also in the works is a fine arts installation. “Our Bodies, Our Lives” will be on display in The Change Project’s Birmingham headquarters, and will highlight the violence society often imposes upon queer bodies for not fitting social norms.
Over the past two years, The Change Project has grown from a school project based out of founder Steven Romeo’s living room, to a multifaceted campaign touring across the nation. Historically, art has always played a large role in queer activist movements, such as the “Silence = Death” campaign and the Memorial Quilt Project during the AIDS crisis. The Change Project follows in the footsteps of those revolutionary leaders, using the new media of today to bring to life the lived realities – both pleasant and horrific – of queer people in the modern age.
Visit us: http://www.embodyprogress.org/