Delta Air Lines is working to fix the lack of minority faces in travel advertising.
The airline released a new photo library Wednesday called “Faces of Travel,” which contains 100 images that reflect a more “inclusive and accurate view” of Black and brown travelers from around the globe. In partnership with Adobe, the photos will be available to download for free on the software company’s stock library for social media, advertising and other content creation.
Delta and Adobe tapped Kin, a creative company that advances social change through culture, along with photographer Seo Ju Park to capture the diverse travel photos, which in part show Black women riding bikes, toasting with friends, and dining at a restaurant. By making these photos and videos available to the public, both companies anticipate that media professionals will use more inclusive content in their work.
“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,” Shannon Womack, Delta’s director of lifecycle marketing, said 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.”
To kick-off the initiative, Delta and Refinery 29 launched an event at the Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure exhibit within the Starrett-Lehigh Building in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Tuesday, allowing an exclusive viewing of their collection along with a behind-the-scenes video with Park, who shot all the photos on location. The event also included a panel discussion about diversifying the travel landscape with Refinery 29’s Chelsea Sanders, vice president of brand innovation and strategic partnerships, and Kin’s co-founder Kwame Taylor-Hayford. The panel also featured Alexander-Julian Gibbson, a creative director and stylist based in NYC.
“We get to normalize that we all travel — all people from all races, all backgrounds,” Park said in the video. “I just want people to feel secure, that they can explore without having to change who they are — visually or culturally or emotionally,” she added.
Delta’s new initiative to promote diversity in travel comes after it partnered with the Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative last year to create the “Keep Climbing: Navigating Global Spaces with Black and Brown Faces” program. With that project, Delta aimed to increase the number of Black students studying abroad by providing students from six Georgia colleges and universities with opportunities to study abroad.