I AM THE CHANGE by Valerie Vaughn
Society & Culture

I Am The Change

We’ve all heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. Photographer and artist Valerie Vaughn hopes her photography project, I Am The Change, will not only speak to the hearts and minds of viewers, but also inspire conversations about race, relationships, and diversity. “I Am The Change” is co-hosted by Inclusion in Art and curator Laura Stringer. The opening reception with Valerie Vaughn is February 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 1219 Creative, located at 1219 N Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City.

Read how I AM THE CHANGE created a microcosm of change for one family here. 

Vaughn began the project after a lifetime of witnessing injustices in the criminal justice system, exposure to systemic racism, and the unjustified police killings of unarmed black men and women which have saturated social media in recent years. The project evolved into a proactive initiative and community relations campaign to address relationships in society along culturally diverse and racial lines.

Vaughn wanted to take a photograph showing solidarity between the religious community and the LGTB community. Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, Sr. Minister of All Souls, answered Vaughn’s call, agreeing to pose in the All Souls Sanctuary with her brother, Jarrod Rollins.
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“It was important to have an image that expressed unity between religion and the LGTB community,” said Vaughn. “All Souls is an inclusive church which embraces individuals for who they are. The opportunity to photograph Rev. Lavanhar standing beside my brother, whom I support fiercely, created an image which captured that unity perfectly.”

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“I Am The Change” will run through the first week of March and will be open during regular business hours. For more information, email iamlaurastringer@gmail.com. The exhibition will include a video presentation of all of the photos in the project overlaid with a reading from poet Natalia Callard. After the opening, a website will be launched with all photography, videography, and poetry in the I Am The Change project.

Produced through the lens of still photography, I Am The Change emphasizes the importance of joining in solidarity with empathy for those that may not look like you or have similar life experiences to you. The mission is to acknowledge injustices as we unite to shine light on the importance of the contributions we each have to make to ensure our society as a whole is able to move forward while embracing differences as a means for appreciated diversity instead of division.

project unlabeled WEBArtist Valerie Vaughn is a photographer, memory-maker, story-teller, essence-reflector and the creative mind behind Project Unlabeled, a photography and spoken word project designed to empower, affirm, and encourage young black girls. Check out how project unlabeled impacted some of the models on Upworthy.com. Valerie Vaughn is a professional photographer and owner of Withunmind Photography.

About Inclusion in Art

Inclusion in Art is dedicated to promoting racial and cultural diversity in Oklahoma’s visual arts community. Through exhibitions, workshops, creative projects and lectures, Inclusion in Art continues to support artists of color find the resources available to assist them with their artistic endeavors. Inclusion in Art is dedicated to connecting communities through socially conscious presentations that challenge the mind and embrace progressive thought.

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  1. Your Life Matters - BeyondBelief

    […] my previous blog post about I AM THE CHANGE, I shared with you how Rev. Dr. Marlin Lavanhar was involved, posing for a photo with Valerie’s […]

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