Social documentary photographer Lewis Hine knew that he needed his images to elicit emotion from the audience because he knew that emotion spurs action. In order for emotions to be valid, photographs must represent authentic and genuine subjects.
One non-profit organization which uses powerful photography and storytelling to shift the conversation about immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America is Define American which was founded in 2011 by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas with Jake Brewer, Jehmu Greene and Alicia Menendez.
Define American has developed a nationwide program which consists of over 50 college chapters across 22 states. This program mobilizes student leaders to share their stories with their college communities.
The Guilford College Define American chapter has spent this past year interviewing the students that make up this institution. Students are asked to share what they are passionate about and also to answer the question, “How do you define American?”
These are their stories: