This week’s Winning Wednesday is from a founding advisory board member that has been working with Our Group from the beginning. Jeff Sheng’s unifying Fearless Campaign has been a source of pride for all the members that have been involved and we are proud to support Fearless and Jeff in the current drive to make the full dream a reality. Read Jeff Sheng’s message to the Our Group community below.
Dear Our Group,
As some of you may know, I am one of the founding advisors for OUR GROUP. I became involved because of my photo project “Fearless,” a photo series that I began in 2003 about “out” LGBTQ high school and collegiate athletes, and since that time, have photographed over 150 athletes already, some of whom are on the board and active members of OUR GROUP.
What motivates me to continue working on this project, are the stories of high school and college athletes – brave young men and women who are sometimes one of the few “out” people in their entire school, let alone your sports teams. These are the unheard acts of true heroism and courage, and it highly frustrates me that book publishers don’t see how powerful and important your lives truly are. It’s why I have to fundraise on my own to self-publish this book, for its 10-year anniversary next year, so that I can finish “Fearless” into a large photo book next year.
As such, I am working on a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 which will allow me to self-publish this work next year into a beautiful large photo book featuring their stories, as well as to fund at least 50 more photo shoots to reach a goal of over 200 athletes. I just launched the drive last weekend, and already have over $5000 pledged. Nike is sponsoring this drive with some really amazing Nike “Fearless” T-shirts, the same ones they printed for their employees when I exhibited my work on their campus two years ago. You can read more about the different pledge levels and the gifts associated with them at the links below. Also, if any of you would like to be part of the series, please let me know. There is no charge at all to be in it (which is why this fundraising drive is so important). All I ask is that you do your best to help publicize this so I can reach the $50,000 goal (if the goal isn’t met, then the project isn’t funded by Kickstarter and the shirts don’t get printed etc).
Thank you again,