The Jiā 家 Project celebrates families on Chicago's Southside by visually documenting their beauty, diversity, and emotional strength. (Jiā 家 means “family” or “home” in Mandarin Chinese.)
The Jia Project started from a discussion between Photographer Nancy Wong and Connector Brian Gorman. As a photographer Nancy Wong has studied images, and through those studies noticed that many images of Black Americans were harsh and denoted struggle. Brian Gorman was interested in telling a different narrative about who lives in areas the media portrays negatively. So it was determined that families were key to showing the softer side of people, and Black Americans don't necessarily gather the family for professional photos. The idea was hatched to do family photos for free to families of a targeted area, and house the effort at Custom Resources (456 E. 79th Street Chicago) in the heart of Chicago's Southside neighborhood of Chatham.