The Authority Collective is
a group of more than 200
womxn, non-binary and gender expansive people of color
working in the photography, film and VR/AR industries.

Our mission is to
empower marginalized artistswith resources and community,
and to take action against systemic and individual abuses
in the world of lens-based
editorial, documentary and commercial visual work.


OUR MISSION 



︎ ACCESS


People of color — especially womxn, queer, trans, Black and indigenous people of color — are often blocked from job opportunities, professional relationships, and resources because of finances, harassment or discrimination.

Our goal is to remove barriers to access for BIPOC entering editorial, journalism, documentary, commercial and fine art careers. The Authority Collective connects our community members with job, mentorship, networking and professional development resources.


︎ ACCOUNTABILITY


Token representation and half-hearted calls for “diversity” are not enough to solve equity problems within our industries. Continuing to hire disproportionately more white/cis-male/heterosexual lenses for stories about black, brown and other marginalized communities is not acceptable. It is crucial to take decision-makers and fellow storytellers to task when they perpetuate harmful narratives and stereotypes about marginalized groups.

The Authority Collective believes that ally-ship in visual media industries is more than merely recognizing privilege and voicing support — it's about harnessing that privilege to elevate underrepresented storytellers with direct action and funding.

We aim to shift the power dynamic in both traditional and independent media so that the stories we tell more accurately represent the diversity of our world. The Authority Collective will develop resources and training opportunities for industry leaders, decision-makers and colleagues on inclusion, accountability, impact and the implementation of anti-oppressive practices.



︎ AUTHORITY


We are claiming our authority as people of color working in lens-based storytelling media. A white, cisgender, heteronormative, patriarchal lens dominates our world’s visual histories, and it is this same lens that determines access and success in many industries — including ours.

Through our public-facing resources, consulting services, and by elevating our community members to leadership roles within the industry, we are establishing our power to set standards that challenge colonial aesthetics, narratives and notions of success.


BOARD OF DIRECTORS




Our Board of Directors is composed of women and non-binary visual storytellers of color. As of now, the Authority Collective is completely volunteer-run and we are organizing in addition to our full-time work as editors, freelance visual storytellers, educators and consultants.


TARA PIXLEY, Los Angeles, California
JOVELLE TAMAYO, Seattle, Washington
DANIELLE VILLASANA, Istanbul, Turkey
MARY KANG, New York, New York
ELAINE CROMIE, Detroit, Michigan
MELISSA BUNNI ELIAN, New York, New York
MENGWEN CAO, New York, New York
ARIEL ZAMBELICH, New York, New York
DANIELLE A. SCRUGGS, Chicago, Illinois
HANNAH YOON, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 











THE STORY OF
OUR AUTHORITY:
HOW IT ALL BEGAN



In November 2017, a group of womxn and non-binary imagemakers of color — frustrated with racism and inequity in the visual media industry — met in Los Angeles, California, searching for community and solutions.

During this symposium, hosted by the Las Fotos Project space in LA, we asked: Who gets to tell and profit on the stories of marginalized people? Who decides who gets to be an “authority” in the photography industry? How do we establish ourselves as authorities? How do we get gatekeepers to interrogate their practices and push past basic conversations about “diversity”?

We wanted to create actionable solutions for ourselves and industry leaders, to create a culture of accessibility, transparency, accountability. From that, created the Authority Collective — to support each other as we navigate the world of visual media and to challenge harmful narratives perpetuated by inequities in our industry.



instagram @authoritycollective  /  twitter @theauthorityc  /  facebook @authorityCollective / patreon @authoritycollective / email: authoritycollective@gmail.com
︎ AUTHORITY COLLECTIVE 2020