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Josh Schachter, MS

Josh Schachter, MS, is a photographer, visual storyteller, educator, and community activist who has worked for organizations throughout the U.S. to document issues from urban revitalization to food security. Over the past decade he has taught documentary photography to youth, teachers, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations around the globe from New Delhi, Brazil, and Tibet to Nigeria. Since 2005 he has developed a passion for digital storytelling and has facilitated digital storytelling workshops in the US, India and South Africa. His images have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, films and web sites, in venues ranging from the New York Times to the Navajo Times.

The founder of the photography and digital storytelling programs at the Tucson-based nonprofit organization, VOICES, Inc., he co-managed the youth-produced magazine 110 Degrees. As a VOICES guest artist in 2005/06, he co-facilitated the Looking Forward Looking Back Project, in which Tohono O’odham youth shared their lives and culture through digital stories. Since 2006 he has been traveling to India, where he worked with young performance artists to photograph their lives and stories in Kathputli Colony, home to nearly 9,000 traditional Indian artists in New Delhi. In collaboration with the nonprofit organization, BRIDGES to Understanding, he worked in the far north of India on community digital storytelling projects with Tibetan refugees. In January 2007 he co-founded the Finding Voice program with ESL teacher Julie Kasper at Catalina Magnet High School, where they use photography to develop the literacy skills of refugee and immigrant students. In June 2008, an exhibit of the Catalina students’ work was exhibited in the US Senate and six students presented their stories and immigration policy recommendations at a congressional briefing in the House of Representatives. 

He is particularly interested in how youth media projects can help ensure youth have a voice in the development of local, state and national policy. During the summer of 2008, he worked in collaboration with the Institute for Research on African Women, Children and Culture to create a digital media program for teenage girls in southeastern Nigeria. From Nigeria, he headed to South Africa, where he collaborated once again with Bridges to Understanding by facilitating a digital storytelling workshop for youth and adults in townships outside Cape Town. In addition to working with youth, he notes he had the good fortune to collaborate with adult educators, community leaders and organizations on photography and digital storytelling projects.

Josh earned a master's degree in environment management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies, where he explored how urban youth could use photography to share their own lives and perspectives.