Celebrate Black joy, healing and wellness by supporting Black online communities and creatives with the new initiative #BlackJoyMatters, launched by Shavone Charles, director of consumer and product communications for the creative online channel VSCO. Launched today (July 16), the inaugural project will use VSCO’s platform and social media to share “a more complete portrait of modern Black existence, and putting Black joy at the center,” according to a release. 

By highlighting multidisciplinary Black creatives and thought leaders over the remainder of the summer, users can take part in the mobile in-app experience by sharing their visions of Black joy on social media with art, first-person videos or selfies shared with the hashtag #BlackJoyMatters. 

“Black people don’t just deserve to be alive—we also deserve to be happy,” Charles wrote in a blog post announcing the project. “We deserve to celebrate and be celebrated for the spectrum of our experiences and stories—there is joy and resilience beyond our trauma. Now more than ever, we need the world to see, celebrate and archive Black Joy.”

To kick the project off, the #BlackJoyMatters Art & Portrait Series will feature submitted imagery and art across VSCO’s platforms. It will also debut a new carousel in the “Discover” section of the VSCO app with curated Black joy stories. To see some examples of the Black visual storytellers on the app, check out the Melanin Collection; Art and Resistance, a curated collection of queer life in Brazil by VSCO creator, Rodrigo Oliveira and Every Image Is an Offering, which celebrates the beauty of the Black trans and gender-non-conforming community through the lens of its members, to name a few. 

To participate in #BlackJoyMatters and to see the art, visit the website here