United States

NYU Prison Education Program Celebrates First Graduation by Kate Lord

In my new role as a photographer for NYU, I had the opportunity to capture the very first graduation of the NYU Prison Education Program. I truly admire the hard work and dedication of these students and the staff and faculty who have put this program together!

My heart hurts. by Kate Lord

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My heart hurts.

What do we do now? We support those marginalized by this election in every way we can. Here's a list of organizations for which we should all donate our time and money:

RAINN: RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.

Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.

ACLU: For almost 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

NAACP: Our mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. 

Define American: Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

Muslim American Society: The primary purpose of our Public Affairs and Civic Engagement program is to conduct public relations, educate and mobilize the American Muslim community to participate in public affairs and civic activities on a non-partisan bases, and to energize a new generation of community activists.

GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBT acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love.

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund: TLDEF is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, and public policy efforts.

Southern Poverty Law Center: We monitor hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and expose their activities to the public, the media and law enforcement. 

Stand with Standing Rock: The Oceti Sakowin Camp is a historic gathering of tribes, allies and people from all walks of life standing in solidarity to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline.

UNHCR: USA for UNHCR helps to save, protect and rebuild the lives of millions of refugees and others forced to flee their homes due to violence and conflict.

International Rescue Committee: The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. 

Refugee Transitions: Refugee Transitions is a community-based nonprofit agency serving high-need, low-income refugee, asylee, and immigrant newcomers from over 50 countries. 

Please take the time to look at your local organizations that are confronting the issues this election has dragged into the light.

"When they go low, we go high." - Michelle Obama

Hugs.

#imSTILLwithher

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Launches New Video by Kate Lord

Last year, my friend Brianne Riviello called to talk about a project she was working on via Viacom Talent for Good and asked me to be the director of photography. With Michelle McLaughlin, Brianne was directing and producing a promotional video for the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Name Change Project. I'm so pleased to share the final story here. The Name Change Project pairs pro bono lawyers with transgender individuals attempting to navigate the legal system to change their names to match their true identities. This process is much more complicated than changing your name after marriage and can often lead to embarrassing and discouraging exchanges; with the help of TLDEF, clients receive respectful and knowledgeable legal guidance through the proceedings.

When your legal name does not match your identity, daily tasks can easily become daunting and humiliating, from getting a new driver's license, looking for a job, going to the dentist, or even raising your hand in class to be marked present. TLDEF is working to change that.

Kricket, Athena, Naz, Mike, Cecilia: thank you for sharing your stories and being a part of this project!

Take a look, share! And learn more: www.transgenderlegal.org/namechange

'Save Renewal Farm' Campaign Suceeds by Kate Lord

Renewal Farm, a unique substance abuse program set on a farm in Upstate New York, helps long-term drug users with histories of chronic homelessness and unemployment renew their lives. It is twice as successful as similar programs. But, due to federal funding cuts, Renewal Farm was at risk of closing if they didn't raise $150,000 by December 31, 2015.

It is set in a special sanctuary in Garrison, New York, far from the neighborhoods and people that enable drug use. The natural beauty of the setting -- along with integrated drug treatment and critical reentry services like job training, job placement and housing assistance -- inspires change.

Thirty-three-year-old James from Elmhurst Queens, who had a serious alcohol and prescription pain killer addiction, lost his job in 2011, and was cut off by his family. James joined Renewal Farm in July 2015, committed to a better life for him and his son. “I have been to lots of treatment programs and sober houses, but none of them are like the Farm,” says James. “The Farm provides a very safe environment and staying here gives me the time I need to work on myself,” he says.

After a successful crowd-funding campaign, Renewal Farm raised more than their goal and will remain open for another year. They are currently looking for long-term funding.

Pursuing Dreams: Stories of Refugee and Immigrant Youth in California by Kate Lord

I'm thrilled to finally share my latest short film, Pursuing Dreams, produced with Refugee Transitions. I spent two weeks with Jyoti, Fatuma, and Win, three students who immigrated to the U.S. with their families from Bhutan, Somalia, and Burma (Myanmar), and now call Oakland, CA, home.

Refugee Transitions is a community-based nonprofit agency serving high-need, low-income refugee, asylee, and immigrant newcomers from over 50 countries in the Bay Area.

Now more than ever, it's important to get to know our newcomers and welcome them to our country. These students are AMAZING and are working hard to make their communities stronger. It was a privilege to help them tell their stories.

Gala Videos for Girl Scouts of Greater New York by Kate Lord

The Girl Scouts of Greater New York celebrated their 101st anniversary this spring. For their annual gala, I created five videos introducing their honorees and featuring different aspects of the Girl Scout program. As an alumni of the Girl Scouts, it was really fun to meet the girls and hear about what they're learning!

This video features Dayle Haddon, founder of the nonprofit WomenOne and a former model. WomenOne is devoted to creating positive change in the lives of women and girls globally through access to quality education. Working with Ms. Haddon was a joy, not only because of my personal interest in global girls' education, but because she had such a wonderful connection with the girls! They all loved her and really took her talk to heart. Check it out below!

View four more videos I created for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York on their YouTube page.

Keeping Pace with Amy Dixon, Blind Triathlete & Sommelier by Kate Lord

In the last month of 2013, I was assigned my favorite editorial shoot of the year. For The Wall Street Journal, I spent a day with Amy Dixon, a visually impaired sommelier and triathlete; Lettie Teague wrote a great column about Amy's career as a retail wine consultant in Connecticut.

Amy is training for several championship competitions next year, including the USA Paratriathlon National Championship and the PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships. Points from these races could qualify her to represent the US in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio! Follow her progress on her blog, The Blind Sommelier.

Amy Dixon, a visually impaired sommelier and triathlete, puts on her swim cap before a light swim workout at the YMCA at Greenwich in Greenwich, Connecticut, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Her Guiding Eyes for the Blind guide dog Elvis stays close by.

Amy gets kisses from her guide dog Elvis.

Amy changes to bike gear for the next portion of her workout. 

Amy trains on the bike. During each of her workouts, she trains for two of the three portions of the triathlon. In actual competition, she'll complete a 750m swim, a20k bike race, and a 5k run.

Amy tests wines at Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines in Darien, Connecticut, where she works regularly. When a sommelier smells a wine, she's looking for flaws, said Dixon. "You're looking for what makes the wine tick," she said.

Amy has memorized where certain bottles are stored at the shop. She is planning to open a wine bar in Connecticut, but is still looking for the location. The bar will be called The Wine Lab, inspired by Elvis and her early training as a pharmacy student.

Amy has memorized where certain bottles are stored at the shop. She is planning to open a wine bar in Connecticut, but is still looking for the location. The bar will be called The Wine Lab, inspired by Elvis and her early training as a pharmacy student.

Amateur Boxers Duke It Out for Cancer Research by Kate Lord

Haymakers for Hope is a nonprofit organization that hosts amateur boxing events to raise money and awareness for cancer research -- in the past four years, they've raised more than a million dollars for cancer research! They held their annual New York City event at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Nov. 14, 2013, and I had an awesome time capturing the fights.

 Cancer survivors acted as the night's ring girls, announcing each round. 

Haymakers for Hope at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Nov. 14, 2013.
 Fight 13: Scott Bruckmann v. Salah Zalatimo

Haymakers for Hope at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Nov. 14, 2013.
 Fight 2: Raquel Cepeda v. Macy Tanking

Haymakers for Hope at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Nov. 14, 2013.
 Fight 5: Stuart Goldfarb v. Steve Reynolds

Haymakers for Hope at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Nov. 14, 2013.

Y'all, I'm leaping. by Kate Lord

Staff IDs from The Winston-Salem Journal, The Wilmington Star-News, NBC Universal, and The Wall Street Journal
Staff IDs from The Winston-Salem Journal, The Wilmington Star-News, NBC Universal, and The Wall Street Journal

Y'all, I'm leaping into the unknown, and it feels right. Friday was my last day at The Wall Street Journal; I'm officially an entrepreneur and I'm so excited about this adventure!

I started my career working in news in print and on the web, most recently as a photo editor at The Wall Street Journal and as a multimedia producer at NBC Universal. I loved the access afforded to these major organizations, but found that more often than not, we covered a tragedy but weren't able to circle back to tell the stories of the people and organizations striving to make their communities stronger in the aftermath. I chose to head out on my own to find these stories and support the organizations and small businesses behind them.

I'm passionate about helping nonprofits and small businesses craft their visual voice.

I tell stories with photos and video, working with each organization to form a narrative that defines their mission and inspires their audience. I’ve spent time with cloistered nuns in Peru for Sister Cities International, cheered Special Olympic athletes while filming the World Games in China, and documented mother-daughter relationships in an indigenous Mayan region of Guatemala for Starfish One by One. Last year, I made my first short film, "Magho (Daughter)," with She's the First, a nonprofit that sponsors girls' education worldwide.

My first project as a full-time freelancer starts next week - I'm traveling to East Africa to shoot photos and video for She's the First. We'll be visiting their partner programs in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, and talking to the girls about their schoolwork, their families and their aspirations. We'll meet their mothers and explore the differences developing between their own lives and their daughters' due to education. We'll be blogging at shesthefirst.org/blog, and I'll be tweetingand instagramming as often as the internet connection allows!

Thanks so much to everyone who has watched my films, clicked through my photos, and cheered me on while planning my leap. I can't express how much your support has boosted me and given me the confidence to take this step;

I can't wait to share more powerful, inspiring stories with you.

Promo Video: Coro's Leadership New York by Kate Lord

I've been working with Coro New York Leadership Center for more than a year, shooting stills and video that explains their purpose and expresses the enthusiasm of their participants. Their programs vary depending on on the participants' career level and goals, but all of them have sung the center's praises, from recent college graduates to established private sector professionals.

Leadership New York is targeted at successful mid-career professionals who are looking to grow their understanding of public policy and professional development exploration. In this promotional video, recent alumni program explain what they've learned from the program.

Building Connections for a Better City by Kate Lord

For the second year, Coro New York Leadership Center asked me to create a promotional video for their annual gala. While last year's video focused on the organization's network and the power of those connections to improve the city, 2013's focus is Coro's ability to create positive change in New York during times of crisis, times of prosperity and for the future.

For this video, I met a city employee and a business development district director who worked together to create a volunteer hub in Red Hook after Hurricane Sandy; I spent time with the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council, a group of high school students who are influencing city policy as it effects young people; and I attended a meet-up of African immigrants looking for employment that matches their education and professional experience.

The First International Day of the Girl by Kate Lord

The United Nations declared October 11 the first International Day of the Girl, with a purpose “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

She's the First celebrated with a 48-hour leadership summit for our campus leaders, which included an assembly with the Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn, a reception with our most influential supporters, and activities from the Hearst Magazines & AOL Headquarters. Campus leaders from across the nation gathered for two days of activities and workshops planned for the students to bond with and learn from one another.

The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn and She's the First celebrate the first United Nations' International Day of the Girl.
The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn and She's the First celebrate the first United Nations' International Day of the Girl.
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She's the First campus leaders in Washington Square Park
She's the First campus leaders in Washington Square Park
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Summer Camp with The Young Women's Leadership Schools and She's the First! by Kate Lord

One of the exciting aspects of shooting with She's the First is the opportunity to work with young women domestically and abroad. Most of my STF work shared here are from projects about girls sponsored abroad (in Guatemala and India), but what makes STF unique is its two-fold empowerment programs here in the U.S. While providing the necessary guidance and support, She's the First encourages American students to create and implement their own fundraisers to sponsor the education of girls in the developing world. In the process, the Americans gain a better understanding of the complexities that lead to poverty and are empowered by knowing that they have the skills necessary to make a positive change in the world. This summer, STF worked with The Young Women's Leadership Schools in New York City, a network of public secondary schools for young women from low-income backgrounds that empowers them to break the cycle of poverty through education (a shared mission with STF!) Many of the girls who attend these schools will be first-generation high school graduates, like the girls STF supports in the developing world. She's the First lead a three-week "boot camp" on social media and completed the camp with a bead-making fundraiser to support a student in Uganda!

I had so much fun getting into the summer camp spirit - I can't wait to return to TYWLS next summer!

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Girls Who Rock 2012 by Kate Lord

Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart

GIRLS WHO ROCK is a benefit concert for She's the First, a nonprofit that sponsors girls education worldwide. Proceeds benefited girls from Shanti Bhavan Children's Project in India (where I'm going NEXT MONTH to film a documentary about one of our girls!) This year's concert was sponsored by Umojawa and was held at Gramercy Theater in New York, NY.

the pumped up audience!
the pumped up audience!
The Jane Doze
The Jane Doze
Jessica Latshaw
Jessica Latshaw
Shin-B
Shin-B
Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart

GIRLS WHO ROCK 2011: A Benefit Concert for Girls Education by Kate Lord

I had a fantastic time shooting this year's line-up for GIRLS WHO ROCK, a benefit concert for She's the First. Proceeds from the event, headlined by JoJo, went to sponsor girls in Uganda at one of She's the First's partner schools, Arlington Academy of Hope. The event was held at Gramercy Theater on June 10.

JoJo brought down the house with her hits "Leave (Get Out)" and "Too Little Too Late." She also debuted the title track from her upcoming album, "Jumping Trains." Eddy brought Southern Rock to New York, while Nina Sky, who enlisted days before the concert via Twitter, had a huge following in their hometown.

Inauguration weekend by Kate Lord

crowd

On the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration, crowds gathered in the National Mall to check out the scene.

Texans for Obama

A Texan woman wears a "Texans for Obama" bumper sticker on the back of her winter coat in the National Mall Monday, January 19.

Street Vendor

A street vendor warms his hands as a large group descends on his Obama merchandise on the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration.

Gallery Place-Chinatown

Cambrea Sturgis, 9, of Kannapolis, N.C. stands in the crowd waiting to push out of the Gallery Place - Chinatown metro stop in Washington Tuesday, Jan. 20. The D.C. metro system saw record crowds on inauguration day.

Indiana Avenue checkpoint

A panoramic image of the crowd locked outside of the National Mall at a checkpoint on Indiana Avenue on inauguration day.

Joyce Miller

Joyce Miller, a teacher from Texas, listens to a radio broadcast of President Barack Obama's inaugural speech and recites it aloud for the large crowd at the Indiana Avenue checkpoint to hear. The crowd, which waited 4 hours in the cold and didn't make it inside the checkpoint in time to hear Obama's speech, stood quietly and listened to Miller recite.

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Joyce Miller celebrates after President Barack Obama finished his speech.

Metro Center

Tuesday night, long after the hub-bub of the inauguration was over, the Metro Center metro stop was not crowded at all.