African American News

Getty Images and Stand Together Announce Inaugural Grant to Preserve HBCU’s Historical Archives

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs will commit $500,000 towards the digitization of two winning HBCU’s photographic libraries.

NEW YORKJune 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, in partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, a philanthropic community tackling some of the biggest challenges of our times, today announced the launch of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs, that aims to support the digitization of the invaluable visual history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The launch invites all HBCUs nationwide to apply online at through Thursday, September 30, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT.

The Grants will commit $500,000 towards the digitization of two HBCU’s photographic archives, including the digitization of up to 100,000 archival assets per Grant recipient. Included in the Grant will be opportunities to also apply metadata and licensing opportunities for the winning HBCU’s existing digitized libraries.

Grant judge, Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, NAACP said “Black history is American history. While some of that history is known, too much is still hidden. Our HBCUs hold precious and treasured experiences, stories, images, and artifacts. We are excited to participate in this important initiative to preserve and strengthen the ability to amplify our collective story.”

Grant recipients will retain all copyright for their visual assets and once digitized, the historical content will be placed in a newly created stand-alone photo collection called the “HBCU Photo Collection” and will be available for licensing on the Getty Images platform, which includes and owns of one of the largest privately owned historical photo archives in the world.

All royalties from the images that are preserved through the Grants are funnelled back into impact programs: Fifty percent will go to Grant recipients, who will retain all copyright of the visual assets; thirty percent of royalties will be used for a financial donation to a scholarship fund focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and twenty percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

In addition to being available to license on the Getty Images platform, the HBCU Photo Collection will also be made available as part of Getty Images’ content donation initiative for non-commercial use free of charge in support of learning about and reflecting on Black history for Black storytellers and not-for profits as part of the Getty Images Black History & Culture Collection launching later in 2021.

Grant judge, Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvanisaid, “Getty Images is one of the main sources for imagery. Historically Black Colleges and University have archives of some of the most important images related to Black Lives. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is a collaboration that may increase access and dissemination of these important images to the world. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs also stands as a model of how to leverage resources and organizational structure to remove barriers to diversity of content and purpose.”

Submissions for the Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for HBCUs will be judged by a prestigious industry-leading panel including;      

  • Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair at NYU Tisch School of the Arts
  • Aba Blankson, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at NAACP
  • Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, Professor of Sociology – The Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations at University of Pennsylvania
  • Renata Cherlise, Founder of
  • Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor in Chief of The Undefeated
  • Mercedes Cooper, Vice President, Public Programming at ARRAY

Grant judge, Dr. Deborah Willis, Academic Director, Professor & Chair, NYU Tisch School of the Arts said, “Photographic collections housed in HBCU’s from the 20th Century focus on the notion of photography as biography and helped shape the fabric of African American identities. These collections explore the cultural values, educational and religious traditions, as well as perceptions of black communities through to the 21st Century. Collective and individual memories are the foundation of these photographs highlighting the classrooms, student activities on campus, scientific explorations, art practices, and the making of portraits from college presidents to teachers and visitors to the campuses. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is an essential part of the on-going documentation and preservation of Black images at HBCUs.”

Stand Together is committed to supporting, telling, and showcasing the stories of talented Black students and is partnering with Getty Images to continue to amplify and lift up the many contributions of HBCUs through the curation of historical images. Additionally, Heal America, a movement supported by Stand Together that fights racial injustice with love and redemption, will also promote the Grant.

The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs is part of Getty Images’ commitment to anti-racism, inclusion, and dismantling discrimination including bringing to market unseen historical content and creating revenue streams for organizations working to build a more inclusive society. It is part of the company’s wider grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world.


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