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Getty Images, the Getty Family and Stand Together Announce Recipients of Inaugural Grant to Preserve the Visual History of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Jan 25, 2022
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New York—January 25, 2021: Getty Images, a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace, in partnership with the Getty Family and Stand Together, a philanthropic community tackling some of the biggest challenges of our times, today announced the recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Photo Archive Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The $500,000 grant will support the digitization of up to 200,000 archival photos from Claflin University, Jackson State University, North Carolina Central University and Prairie View A&M University, to help preserve the invaluable photographic history of HBCUs.

Launching today on, the “Historically Black Colleges & Universities Collection” will see thousands of images added throughout 2022. Getty Images will work alongside archivists at each HBCU and Adnet Global, a renowned post‑production agency that specializes in the digitization, restoration, and discoverability of visual analog historic libraries, in the photo digitization process.

“The Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs were created to honor the vast history of HBCUs and their contribution to American history,” said Cassandra Illidge, VP of Partnerships at Getty Images. We are committed to preserving the visual narrative of all cultures and communities to ensure these vital artifacts are accessible to storytellers around the world.

“Jackson State University is honored to be a recipient of the inaugural Getty Images photo digitization grant, which will provide the critical resources needed to help us create a digital archive of thousands of photographs in our collection,” said Thomas K. Hudson, J.D, President of Jackson State University. “Preserving the rich culture and heritage of the African diaspora found at HBCU’s is an essential step in ensuring that the stories of our ancestors are accessible to share for generations to come. Thank you to Getty Images, the Getty family and Stand Together for providing this generous support.”

"We are enormously grateful to receive the Getty Images Photo Digitization Grant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities," said Claflin University President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack. "This partnership will help Claflin preserve its illustrious history in photographs documenting the University’s emergence as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities.   These images provide compelling visual narratives of how Claflin’s dedicated and visionary administrators, distinguished faculty and staff, and high‑achieving scholars made indelible contributions to Orangeburg, the state of South Carolina, and the world."

“North Carolina Central University’s rich history, vibrant culture and steady growth over the past 111 years have been captured through images. The generous investment by Getty Images will offer new, technologically enhanced and advanced ways in which we, as a leading Historically Black University, can further tell our story,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor of NCCU. “A strategic partnership with the world’s largest visual storytelling and preservation company is one that will strengthen and elevate the importance of digitizing our important photographic collections that document the history of NCCU and other HBCUs that are institutional gems to our nation. The collaboration also trains the next generation of librarians, archivists and public historians who will work with these priceless collections.”

"This assistance is timely and important to the preservation of the unique history of our 145‑year‑old university,” said Ruth J. Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University. “We are grateful to Getty Images for valuing the preservation of these images."

Each HBCU will retain all copyright for their photographs and all revenue generated from the images will be funneled back into impact programs: 50 percent will go to grant recipients; 30 percent of revenue will be used for a financial donation to scholarship funds focused on furthering the education of students at HBCUs; and 20 percent will be reinvested to fund the Getty Images Photo Archive Grants for HBCUs each year.

The grant applications were judged by an esteemed panel which included:
  • 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
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.

About Getty Images: 
Getty Images is a preeminent global visual content creator and marketplace that offers a full range of content solutions to meet the needs of any customer around the globe, no matter their size. Through its Getty Images, iStock and Unsplash brands, websites and APIs, Getty Images serves over 1 million customers in almost every country in the world and is the first‑place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 450,000 contributors and more than 300 content partners to deliver this powerful and comprehensive content. Each year Getty Images covers more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events providing depth and breadth of coverage that is unmatched. Getty Images maintains one of the largest and best privately‑owned photographic archives in the world with over 135 million images dating back to the beginning of photography.

For company news and announcements, visit our Newsroom.

About Stand Together:
Stand Together empowers people dedicated to helping others improve their lives. Our philanthropic community tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, including reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, strengthening K‑12 education, helping neighbors beat poverty and addiction, empowering everyone to find fulfilling work, and more. We can all make a greater difference by uniting together than by acting on our own. For more information visit, Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Claflin University
Claflin University is a comprehensive institution of higher education affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A historically black University founded in 1869, Claflin is dedicated to providing a student‑centered, liberal arts education grounded in cutting‑edge research, experiential learning, state‑of‑the art technology, community service, and life‑long personal and professional fulfillment. Claflin is a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff and administrators who work to cultivate practical wisdom, judgment, knowledge, skills and character needed for globally engaged citizenship and effective leadership.  For more information, visit or call 1‑800‑922‑1276.

About Jackson State University
Jackson State University, founded in 1877, is a historically black, high research activity university located in Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. Jackson State’s nurturing academic environment challenges individuals to change lives through teaching, research and service. Officially designated as Mississippi’s Urban University, Jackson State continues to enhance the state, nation and world through comprehensive economic development, healthcare, technological and educational initiatives. The only public university in metropolitan Jackson, Jackson State is located near downtown, with five satellite locations throughout the area. For more information, visit or call 609‑979‑2121.

About North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Consistently ranked as a top Historically Black College or University, NCCU offers flagship programs in the sciences, education, law, business, nursing and the arts. Founded in 1910 and located in the Research Triangle Region, NCCU remains committed to diversity in and access to higher education. The university, which offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 100 disciplines, master’s degrees in more than 40 areas, and a Ph.D. in Integrated Biosciences, has an expanding academic portfolio that meets current and future workforce demands in industries from clinical research to information technology. NCCU’s signature graduate and undergraduate degrees are housed in seven colleges and schools. NCCU is a leader in the scientific study of health disparities and provides students with the opportunity to gain laboratory skills and experience working with faculty researchers and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry professionals in two, state‑of‑the‑art research institutes that are housed on campus. For more information, visit or call (919) 530‑6100.

About Prairie View A&M University
Designated an institution of “the first class” in the Texas Constitution, Prairie View A&M University is the second‑oldest public institution of higher education in the state. With an established reputation for producing engineers, nurses and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degree programs through seven colleges and the school of Architecture. A member of The Texas A&M University System, the university is dedicated to fulfilling its land‑grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service. For more information regarding PVAMU, visit or call (936) 261‑331.
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