Who we are
The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) strengthens the visual resources field by increasing public and professional awareness of visual information management while advocating for the value of images in the teaching and learning environment. The Foundation supports a range of educational activities in multiple formats and venues, for example, instructional tools, regional workshops, online learning, and advocacy materials, to build bridges across the information management and educational communities. The Foundation’s research interests advance scholarship in the field, improve outreach to the larger community on significant issues, such as intellectual property rights and the development of best practices protocols for the dissemination of digital images, and further public access to visual resources information. Significant areas of focus include image collections, technology, metadata, cataloging, visual literacy, and copyright. The Foundation’s educational and research agenda advances scholarship in the field and improves outreach to the larger community.
The VRA and VRAF condemn all violence, and acts of racism, including police brutality, against Black people, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Unacknowledged structural, institutionalized, and legislated racism can no longer be tolerated. Our Black colleagues, their lives, their work, and their sense of belonging to this community matter.
As a members’ organization (VRA) and a foundation (VRAF), we strive to create an inclusive community that values and encourages diversity in its membership and work. Our mission is not only to promote knowledge sharing, skill development, and best practices, but also to foster open, inclusive communication; to offer a supportive community; and to advocate for all people who engage in the management of visual assets.
We have an obligation to do the work necessary to live up to this mission. Inclusion requires that we acknowledge the intergenerational history and persistence of systemic racism and actively work to counter racism and its lethal effects. We must disrupt the roles that our institutions and practices play in perpetuating injustice and racism by asking what we need to change in hiring and promotions, in curricula, in collecting policies, in description of materials, and in making our knowledge and materials accessible. We must acknowledge that the leadership and membership of VRA and VRAF is disproportionately white and that writing this statement does not resolve long-standing injustices. We must also examine ways in which our organizations can advocate meaningfully and concretely for equity and justice. It is incumbent on us to support people who work in the field by advancing the perspectives of people who have been marginalized by fostering open forums for discussion and ensuring that people of color fill leadership positions, working to dismantle the effects of structural racism in our varied professions, and taking stands against racism and racist practices when we see them. Far from being neutral, visual assets and the institutions and people that provide access to them have a great deal of power to shape and reinforce power structures. A key part of our work as visual assets and cultural heritage professionals is to address ways in which our practices must change to challenge and dismantle, rather than support or permit, white supremacy.
The VRA and the VRAF call on all our colleagues to move forward with action and purpose just as we will ourselves. We implore you to reexamine your own practices and policies as individuals, as committees, and as local chapters. We, the VRA and VRAF board members, acknowledge that we need to make measurable changes in the structure of our organizations and are committed to undertake this work.
VRAF Board of Directors and the VRA Executive Board
Approved by the Visual Resources Association EAC (Equitable Action Committee)
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Visions Collective
- National Bail Fund Network or local bail funds across the US
- American Civil Liberties Union
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- We Here
- Anti-racism Resource List for White People
- Social Justice and Museums Resource List
- Anti-Racist Educational Reading & Viewing Lists
- Dear White People, This Is What We Want You To Do
- For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies
- Research-based Solutions to Stop Police Violence (Twitter thread)
- Maintaining Professionalism In The Age of Black Death Is….A Lot
- What Not to Say to Your Black Colleagues Right Now
- My Role in the Social Change Ecosystem
- 10 Books About Race To Read Instead Of Asking A Person Of Color To Explain Things To You
- Recruiting and Retaining Librarians from Underrepresented Minoritized Groups - Library Juice Course ($175) July 6 - August 2
- Allyship, Anti-Oppression Practices, and Building Inclusive Libraries - Library Juice Course ($175) August 3 - August 30
- Cultural Competence for Librarians - Library Juice Course ($175) September 7 - October 4
- Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism–from Ferguson to Charleston
VRA established the VRA Foundation to oversee and develop grants, administer educational activities, and support community outreach projects. The missions of the two organizations are closely aligned, with a few important distinctions. VRA is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of media management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environment; and supporting its members in every stage of their professional lives. VRAF’s mission proceeds from there to provide financial support for a broad range of educational and research efforts in the profession, including but not limited to the activities of VRA.
VRA solicits donations from its members for two funds and purposes:
1) the Luraine Tansey Educational Fund, which provides travel awards to assist VRA members with conference attendance; and
2) the General Operating Fund, which primarily supports conferences and membership resources and support.
VRA is a non-profit 501 (c) 6 trade association created to provide direct services to its members, while VRAF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization serving the entire visual resources profession more broadly, regardless of VRA membership.
VRAF fundraising supports educational activities (e.g. VRA Annual Conferences, Regional Workshops,and ARLIS/NA-VRAF Summer Educational Institute), research initiatives and visual resources-based projects (through Project Grant Awards), professional development efforts (through Professional Development Grants, Internship Awards, and Regional Workshops), and operating expenses of the Foundation.
Donations to VRAF are tax deductible. Donations to VRA are not deductible as charitable donations, but donations may be deducted as a business expense, if applicable.
VRA’s main sources of operating revenue are membership dues and conference registration fees. VRAF receives no funding from VRA and relies entirely on donations and grants to finance its efforts. The VRA membership is VRAF’s primary donation base. Additionally, it depends on external sources that include businesses, foundations, and other individuals who are not VRA members. VRAF is able to receive and manage grant funding from other 501 (c) 3 organizations to support visual resources educational and research efforts, and may at times support VRA’s research projects through grant partnerships.
VRA’s Board is elected by the VRA membership, while VRAF Directors are appointed alternately by the VRA and VRAF Boards. All members of both the VRA and VRAF Boards are volunteers.
Please Support VRA and VRAF
Donations are increasingly important as the membership base and conference proceeds are vulnerable to fluctuations in the economy. To be better prepared for our future, the VRA and VRAF Boards continue our efforts to ensure that our common goals are well-supported.
We hope that you will join us in supporting the fundraising goals of both the Association and the Foundation. Taken together, these initiatives represent a solid commitment to the VRA membership and the profession. Any donation for these various purposes is very much welcome and appreciated. As we move forward together, our goal is to continue to provide excellent programs and services to meet our common strategic goals.
There are online donation forms available on the websites of both organizations whenever you wish to make a gift.
http://vraweb.org/ Click on “Separate Chapter Membership and Donations”
Donate via PayPal (one-time or monthly sustaining donation) or
Donate by mail (download a PDF form to mail in)
Donate via My VRA. Log in and select the “Separate Chapter Membership and Donations” option.
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