Travel across continents and around the world offers the potential for people of different cultures and backgrounds to come together. Yet images around the pasttime don’t always accurately reflect the diversity of globe-trotters. That’s what sparked a new partnership between Delta and Adobe, “Faces of Travel,” a collection of stock photos and film designed to increase visibility of underrepresented groups in travel media.
Created with agency Kin and Mexican-Korean photographer Seo Ju Park, the collection is free of charge and part of the Adobe Stock collection, home to 3 million users.
“Faces of Travel was designed to better reflect the diverse customers we see on our planes every day and ensure they feel seen and heard in broader travel culture,” added Shannon Womack, Delta’s director of lifecycle marketing, in a statement. “The importance of this initiative goes beyond Delta, and we want to encourage others to take part in this movement because we know that it will take all of us to truly reflect the faces of travel.”
According to Kwame Taylor-Hayford, co-founder of Kin, what sparked the idea for the collection was his team’s struggles while developing a DEI campaign with Delta. “We were having a hard time finding great visuals of diverse people traveling to present our ideas,” he told Ad Age. “So we thought it was their responsibility as the leader in the space to fix it. It’s a generous brand act to inspire change in the industry.”
Delta joins other groups and individuals who have sought to bring diversity to stock footage. Director and photographer Joshua Kissi, for example, teamed up with Karen Okonkwo a few years ago to launch TONL, a collection of premiere, diverse stock photos. Influencer management agency Shade was also behind Nappy, a stock photo collection of people of color. The "Why" section of the Nappy site notes, “If you were to type in the word ‘coffee’ on [stock photo site] Unsplash, you’d rarely see a cup of coffee being held by Black or Brown hands," It’s the same result if you type in terms like ‘computer’ or ‘travel.’... But Black and Brown people drink coffee too, we use computers, and we certainly love traveling.”
Delta’s initiative includes a host of other activities, including influencer activations and partnerships with media brands such as Vice and Meredith. Delta last year also partnered with The Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative (AGREC) to form the “Keep Climbing: Navigating Global Spaces with Black and Brown Faces” program. The airline is working with six Georgia-based colleges to expose more students of color to study abroad programs and increase the percentage of Black students traveling overseas.