FORTY YEARS AGO President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, urging Americans to come to the rescue of those who lived "on the outskirts of hope." And yet poverty persists – deeply, seemingly intractably – and hidden from the focus of mainstream America.
In Our Own Backyard is an organization of photojournalists committed to the
cause of social justice in the United States. Our inaugural project, AmericanPoverty.org is
a multimedia examination of the daily struggles of impoverished Americans: a comprehensive and innovative campaign that will affect the way the general public and policymakers think about poverty in America.
We believe that increasing awareness about poverty is a critical prelude to building support for initiatives that can create lasting impact in the lives of disadvantaged people. Visual story-telling is unique in its power to achieve that awareness.
We are happy to announce our new partnership with Catholic Charities USA. and their campaign to cut poverty in half by 2020. Together we are producing nine major photographic and multi-media exhibits throughout the United States which will begin in the fall of 2009. Additional partnerships with such organizations as the University of North Carolina Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity, and the Center for American Progress will be critical to carrying the immediacy and emotional impact of visual journalism to the next level, by sponsoring local initiatives, educational curricula, anti-poverty action campaigns and celebrity endorsements inspired by the new imagery.
By pushing the hidden adversity of Americans into greater view, In Our Own Back Yard and its partners will help make fighting poverty a national priority once again.
In Our Own Backyard is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.