Pexels Hosts Gallery Event In Toronto To Celebrate Diversity
Six months ago, Pexels embarked on a Quest For Diversity In Stock Media — a mission to improve representation in the media and help offer creators access to a robust free photography library that celebrates diversity. Historically, stock photos have excluded photos of people of color or non-binary individuals. The gallery event, We Are One, was a culmination of recent efforts showcasing images submitted to Pexels by the community of photographers.
The images in this exhibition answered the question of what diversity means to the featured photographers.
To bring the movement and like-minded people together, Pexels narrowed in on Toronto as host city to the first We Are One event. Why the title? “We Are One” is the idea that there is beauty in our differences, and also in unity.
How we did it
It started with a photo challenge where we asked photographers to show us what diversity meant to them. Over the span of 2 weeks, we received 8000 submissions in which 20 winners were selected to have their photos featured at the official We Are One event hosted at Free Space on September 28th.
We joined forces with local communities aligned with the mission and catered to photographers. Among our partners, The Creator Class is a development program dedicated to advancing the creative and commercial abilities of the next storytellers, entrepreneurs and producers. Their community events, productions and commercial projects have reached millions globally. Operating out of Free Space, a cultural incubator for their community of creators located in Toronto, we felt it was the perfect fit as they were experienced in event production of this nature in addition to being well-known to the local creative community.
When it comes to camera gear, Henry’s is a household name in Canada. As our presenting sponsor for the night, they were kind enough to donate a Canon M100 camera (valued at $800 CAD) as the door prize and print the beautiful photos of the winners to be displayed on the gallery walls.
Finally, we wanted the night to have a bigger purpose and pay it forward, so we invited Get Real as our local non-profit and encouraged attendees to make a donation towards the organization’s educational programs around LGBTQ+ awareness and mental health.
Over 100 local photographers and creatives attended our first (of many!) events. Next stop: the world. Oh and don’t miss the event photos.