I stumbled upon the Critical Exposure Project a little while ago, and had nearly forgotten about it. I want to highlight it here, though, as it does something I feel is incredibly important. CEP recognized that many students have very meaningful opinions about the environment that they are thrust into (and legally required to be there!), and yet for the most part are given no platform to make their voices heard. Low-income or urban schools have scores upon scores of articles, theories, expositions and the like written about and around them, but very few have asked the students themselves what they feel is needed.
This project teaches students to use photography as the conduit to make their voices heard as they speak out for social justice and reform on their own terms. I love seeing this, as it feels far more honest than most articles I’ve read – where someone from outside of the system comes into a school to observe for awhile and then write about what’s wrong/right with it. It also reflects my own belief that if students are to gain anything from their schools, they must feel as if they are valued and their voices have merit and worth.