Tired of seeing the same melanin free faces in your travel ads, or having to search the hashtag #travelingwhileblack for a little getaway inspo? Then the latest unlikely (but timely) collab between Delta Air Lines and Adobe is sure to pique your interest.
This past Wednesday, the airline and multinational computer software company released a series of stock images to combat the lack of diversity in travel advertising. The digital library, “Faces of Travel” includes 100 stock images that represents a more “inclusive and accurate view” of travelers of color worldwide. According to NBC News, the photos are available to download for free on the Adobe stock photo website for social media use, advertising, and creative content.
Delta and Adobe brought aboard creative agency Kin, a company with roots in culturally driven social change, and photographer Seo Ju Park to capture the photos. Among them you will find Black women toasting each other, riding horses and bikes, and enjoying fine dining. The hope is that by creating these images and making them easily accessible, creatives and media professionals will feel inclined to use more inclusive content in their work.
Shannon Womack, Delta’s director of lifecycle marketing, mentioned in a recent statement that “‘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.”
“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 launch the new initiative, Delta partnered with Refinery 29 on a pop up event at the Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure exhibit on Tuesday in Manhattan, offering a preview of the collection to event goers. The show also featured a behind the scenes look at the curation of the images with a video produced by Park, and a panel discussion on diversifying the travel landscape.
Refinery 29’s Chelsea Sanders, vice president of brand innovation and strategic partnerships and Kin’s co-founder Kwame Taylor-Hayford led the panel, alongside panelist 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.
After partnering with Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative last year on the “Keep Climbing: Navigating Global Spaces with Black and Brown Faces” program, Delta continues to promote diversity in travel with initiatives like “Faces of Travel,” and has additional plans to increase the number of Black students traveling abroad. This year, they plan to provide six students from Georgia colleges and universities with that very opportunity.