Critical Exposure

Critical Exposure is a nonprofit that teaches youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to become effective advocates for school reform and social change. We empower youth and youth-serving organizations to participate in the democratic process through an approach that combines photography and advocacy to facilitate: Youth Empowerment - Train students in documentary photography, leadership, and advocacy; teach them to document issues affecting their lives; and help them to use their images and voices to build support for changes to improve their schools and communities. Public Engagement - Inform and engage the public by using students' photographs and w...
Nov 12, 2012

Stand up for arts education with CE students!

Our students were excited to hear that the DC State Board of Education (DCSBOE) proposed doubling the number of arts credits needed to graduate. They also noticed that the wording erased the distinction between visual and performing arts.Students feared that without this distinction, some schools might eliminate all visual or all performing arts classes to deal with budget cuts.

Last week, our students testified at the DCSBOE meeting to request that the new requirements maintain the increase in arts requirements, but also ensure that schools maintain both visual and performing arts. Support their campaign by signing the petition.

 

A Note from Our Students
"To show your support and to help out the youth, please sign the petition so that we can hold the SBOE members accountable."
Sep 13, 2012

Get a view from Frederick Douglass' house

"Chocolate City"
"Chocolate City"

This summer we worked with students at We Act Radio as a part of the Summer Youth Employment Program. Students used photography to document issues of gentrification in Anacostia. Tyler participated in our program and wrote the following poem to contextualize his photograph of Frederick Douglass' house.

Chocolate City

Tyler, age 21, We Act Radio

Who are we to blame? Do we blame it on the drug game? Or the men in suits with the million dollar campaigns?
Where do we point the finger? Do we point it at the homeless man who’s snortin’ up? Or the fact that his old home is boarded up?
 
We in the Southside of the 51st state. The nation’s capital huh? Please explain the 1 in 4 unemployment rate…
 
Frederick Douglass house sittin’ on top of the hill, overlookin’ this bull***t, I wonder how he would feel.
 
I’m open to change, but don’t forget about the people who gave this city its name.

Attachments:
Jun 14, 2012

CE fellow uses multimedia to share her experience with bullying and dropping out of school

Samera's junior year of high school was much different than her previous two years. Samera – a bright, charming, and talented teen – was suddenly the target of bullies, and was harassed so severely that she struggled with depression and dropped out. While out of school, she cut herself off from friends and rarely left her home. After six months she decided that she needed to try again and earn her high school diploma. Unfortunately, after a few months at a new school, she learned that she would have to restart as a freshman because the administration would not accept her transferred credits.

Struck by the school’s inflexibility to work with a reformed drop-out and deflated after discovering the difficulty of starting over as a freshman, Samera dropped out again. After another six months, she enrolled herself in a third school that would accept her credits, but is known for its lower academic standards and high rate of school violence and truancy.

Samera is now in our Fellowship Program, where she is learning to use photography to document the issues she has faced in graduating from high school – including bullying and troublesome administrative policies – and is using those photos to advocate for changes in schools that would make it more welcoming for students to stay in school, and allow them to return to school should they drop out. She recently participated in our first-ever multimedia boot camp, where she used her photographs, writing, and her own voice to tell her story.

 

See Change: Samera from Critical Exposure on Vimeo.

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