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Funding From the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to Support Students Studying Documentary Filmmaking and Photography Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College
(404) 798-5212
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

Spelman College Logan Family Foundation Photography and Documentary ATLANTA (Sept. 17, 2020) The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation is stepping in to support students studying documentary filmmaking and photography at Spelman College.

This year, students enrolled in arts programs faced a significant challenge while transitioning from in-person classes to remote instruction. Unlike other disciplines, instruction in the arts often requires access to studio space and equipment.

A new grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, which supports advancing social justice, will allow the College to purchase and send equipment to documentary filmmaking and photography majors, who are currently completing their studies virtually.

“The generous support by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation will allow students to produce the work that fills their imaginations and advances conversations about art, culture and social justice,” said Ayoka Chenzira, Ph.D., division chair for the arts and chair of the Department of Art and Visual Culture. “The foundation has a long history of supporting this kind of work, and it is an honor to be the first HBCU to receive a grant. We could not have asked for a better partner.”

Spelman College Documentary Film and PhotographyStudents who major or minor in documentary filmmaking and photography share equipment from the pool from each program. Funding will assist learners during the upcoming academic year and beyond by equipping remote students with camera packages for assignments and thesis completion.

“This gift is vital to our developing creatives. It enables our students to look around their communities and tell their stories during this historic moment through the lens of their experiences as young Black women,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “The support of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation enlarges our capacity to enrich curricula and continue providing creative spaces beyond our campus for our students interested in pursuing careers in the arts.”

In 2017, under the direction of Dr. Chenzira, Spelman became the first historically Black college or university to offer undergraduate degrees in documentary filmmaking and photography. Through both programs, the College is developing the next generation of Black women creators who see the world through their histories, experiences and interests.

The robust programs offer students an opportunity to study history, theory and production in a liberal arts environment using film and photography as vehicles for social justice.

About the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation
Founded in 2016 and based in Berkeley, California, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation supports organizations that advance social justice by promoting world-changing work in investigative journalism, the arts, and documentary film. Nonprofit news organizations in the South and Puerto Rico that do significant investigative reporting and are not currently supported by JLFF were eligible to participate in the Foundation’s side fund.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching and No. 4 for both innovation and social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit


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