A unique university-community partnership with Venice Arts, CCLP created the Institute for Photographic Empowerment, which supports the study and practice of participant-produced documentary projects in photography, film and digital media. The first institute of its kind, IPE serves as a growing resource for people around the world–from journalists, politicians and academics to photographers, filmmakers and project participants–to share ideas and learn from one another.

The institute already is vital in developing a field that was unimaginable a few short decades ago but which may soon change the nature of media communication by enabling researchers and other audiences to learn about communities directly from photography and video created by the community members themselves.

IPE supports a virtual center on the web, conferences, and academic learning and research related to participant-produced photography and video. It also provides new opportunities for the traditionally disenfranchised to use their own images to communicate directly with policymakers about the social issues that profoundly affect their lives, including HIV/AIDS, poverty and environmental degradation.