THE AJA PROJECT
PHOTO EDUCATION CAN CHANGE LIVES. The AjA Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in San Diego, California. Utilizing participatory photography methods and an assets-based model, AjA’s programs transform youth and communities. Since its founding, AjA has provided long-term, community-based programming for over 2000 individuals, and has shared visual narratives with over 1 million viewers through large-scale public exhibits.
San Diego Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American students capture the origin stories of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants that make up San Diego’s Little Saigon District.
Journey is an after-school program that utilizes participatory photography methods to address the behavioral health, linguistic ability and social capacity of middle and high school refugee youth. Each year the program serves approximately 100 youth over 27 countries.
The Civil Liberties Project at AjA explores the socio-political climate in which Japanese-American incarceration occurred in the United States. While exploring historic and archival photographs taken in camps, participants had the opportunity to make personal connections to the idea of freedom and identity under our current administration. Participants in the project produced photography in response to or were inspired by the original documents and photographs from the time period.
In partnership with the Barrio Logan Collage Institute, builds on the national movement to integrate art into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Using photography as a platform to explore and learn about the principles through historical and contemporary hands-on activities.
In partnership with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, teach students to turn the lens outward an critically examine issues that affect their lives and communities. Students explore potential solutions and turn research into action. This exploration helps them to gain access to the power of their voice as well as personal investment in their communities. The program is designed to connect with larger community efforts in the area and provide a platform for cooperative solution making between youth, school, administrators, community organizations and policy makers.
In partnership with the San Diego County office of Education, provide photography curriculum to incarcerated youth, pregnant youth, foster youth, expelled teens, chronically truant youth, students in drug treatment centers and group homes for neglected or abused children.