UNCF, Getty Images Partner For Scholarship Program To Document HBCUs' Visual History
Photo Credit: Klaus Vedfelt

UNCF, Getty Images Partner For Scholarship Program To Document HBCUs' Visual History

The United Negro College Fund is teaming up with Getty Images to invest in the future of young Black leaders and their history.

According to a press release, their partnership includes creating the UNCF-Getty Images Scholarship for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The scholarship will be funded by revenue produced by the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs, which aims to support the digitization of HBCUs’ visual history.

“We thank Getty Images for its partnership and investment in our students’ futures. The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs exemplifies Getty Images’ commitment to support HBCUs and to give a visual life to previously untold stories,” UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax said in a statement. “There is a wealth of unseen imagery within the archives of HBCUs that have rarely been seen, and these grants from Getty Images will be an essential part of the on-going documentation and preservation of Black history.”

Launched in partnership with philanthropic organization Getty Family and Stand Together, the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs Program has committed $500,000 to help digitize historical HBCU photographic archives, as previously reported by AfroTech. It will also support the digitization process for up to 100,000 archival photos for two of its HBCU Grant recipients.

As a result, Getty Images has also pledged to represent the digitized archives and make the content available for both educational and non-commercial uses, offering another revenue source for its HBCU Grant recipients. This commitment not only demonstrates a desire to document the visual history of HBCUs in this country, but preserve their history as well.

“At Getty Images we are excited about this partnership with HBCUs to digitize significant parts of their photographic archives,” Getty Images co-founder and chairman Mark Getty said in a statement. “A photographic archive tells a story; it’s a visual history of who we are. As a society we can only learn from history if it tells everyone’s story. This partnership is an important step in that direction.”

Cassandra Illidge — Vice President of Partnerships at Getty Images — adds that while Getty Images and the photo industry hasn’t always worked from a perspective of diversity, equity and inclusion, it has created this new program with hopes of honoring the legacy of HBCUs, their contribution to American history and supporting the futures of today’s students.

“For Getty Images to move the world, we must ensure that all content creators, their work, and their stories can be preserved,” she says. “We are committed to making content accessible and to ensure a more authentic representation of history.”

All revenue and royalties from the HBCU photos displayed on Getty Images’s website will be distributed to HBCUs across the nation, the Grants Program, its recipients and the new UNCF-Getty Images Scholarship.

Applications for the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs will be accepted now through Sept. 30.

For more information on the scholarship program, click here.