By Gabriele Strauch

Courtesy of Julius Drost | Unsplash

The Southwest Neighborhood Youth Activities Task Force (SWNA YATF), in partnership with Critical Exposure (CE), is offering an exciting photography and storytelling program for Southwest youth, ages 14-16. The mission of CE is “to train DC youth to harness the power of photography and their own voices to fight for educational equity and social justice” (

The six-week program for a maximum of 15 students will occur twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m., during the period July 13 – Aug. 19, 2021, with lunch preceding each class session. Tuesdays will be devoted to learning photography and storytelling skills; Thursdays will take participants on guided field trips in the SW neighborhood. Eligible students will receive a $180 stipend upon successful completion of the program. The program will culminate in a photography exhibit and a celebratory recognition ceremony of the students’ work.

Interested applicants must be ages 12-14, reside in Southwest or attend a SW school, in good academic standing, and committed to learning how to use photography as a tool to educate and promote social change. The application deadline is Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

For more information or to apply for the photography and storytelling program, contact YATF Chair Thelma D. Jones at 202-251-1639 or

Gabriele “Gabi” Strauch is the vice chair for YATF and the co-lead coordinator for the YATF photography and storytelling program.

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