Dear Eddie Adams Workshop Community,
Eddie Adams built this workshop 30 years ago with the simple mission to bring together newcomers in the field of photojournalism with seasoned professionals and build a community rooted in mentorship and shared experience.
Since that time, we have helped to educate, develop and prepare thousands of future photojournalists for careers in what we believed was a dynamic, inspiring and safe environment for all participants.
As many of you may have read, our organization was recently mentioned in a Columbia Journalism Review article about sexual harassment in the photojournalism world. The article describes behavior at past Workshops that is unconscionable, upsetting and counter to everything that we stand for as an organization. Every person who attends the Workshop deserves respect and safe, fair and professional treatment in an environment of equality, whether you are a student, volunteer, faculty member or sponsor. Every attendee also deserves to feel able to come forward without fear of retribution.
Last year we implemented a new zero-tolerance Code of Conduct that every Workshop attendee is required to sign. We were trying to be proactive and raise awareness about this important issue. We were also trying to create a community where these basic values would prevail.
We realize now that we failed to fully realize our vision. In addition, we did not adequately define what a "zero-tolerance" policy really meant or how to implement such a policy—especially when we receive anonymous allegations.
We are currently working with our board, past attendees, anti-harassment experts and legal counsel to help us implement important changes. These include:
Create a more transparent zero-tolerance policy;
Set in place stronger harassment awareness through programming and a prerequisite anti-harassment webinar;
Implement an on-site reporting process (in-person and electronic) for allegations of misconduct; and
Restructure the workshop program format.
We are committed to having these changes in place by our upcoming Workshop in October. In addition, we are exploring adding an independent legal observer to oversee real-time reporting protocols.
Eddie built this Workshop through his personal relationships with photographers, photo editors and managing editors from agencies, news publications and organizations, who graciously donate their time to mentor 100 students each year. We are proud that alumni now return as faculty for the next generation.
These allegations undermine everything we stand for and the mission we are seeking to pursue at our Workshop. We value and respect our relationships with the Workshop community and are committed to change that creates a more professional atmosphere that discourages misconduct and fosters learning and collaboration in a safe, supportive and inclusive way.
We are listening and will be in touch soon with more details about the upcoming Workshop.
Chairwoman of the Board
Eddie Adams Workshop
Eddie Adams Workshop