Following national acclaim, books, and magazine covers, self-taught photographer Devin Allen is developing his personal mission—teaching Baltimore youth about photography, Carito Rizzo writes for The Washington Post Magazine. Allen received widespread recognition in 2015 when Time Magazine published on its front cover a photo he took of protests following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody.
How is Allen engaging with young people in Baltimore?
In June 2015, amidst personal turmoil, Allen—a Baltimore native from West Forest Park— started a GoFundMe campaign for his new program called Inspire the Youth. He later partnered with 10 students from Windsor Hill Elementary/Middle School to produce a photography exhibit at Motor House and hosted a popular workshop called Kids Safe Zone.
“Photography saved me mentally, physically and emotionally, and I feel like it could do the same for so many younger kids,”Allen said. He added that working with young people is also why he’s decided to stay in Baltimore. “At the end of the day, when I’m old and I can’t hold a camera steady no more, I’m going to measure my own personal success by how many kids I saved.”
Anything else I should know?
As of May 23, Allen has handed out 600 cameras to kids in Baltimore.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Reporting for this story was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and we thank them for their support. However, the findings and conclusions presented in this article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Foundation.