Gretchen Ferber

Lewis Hine Documentary Fellow 2008-2009

Gretchen Ferber graduated from Duke University in 2007 with a major in religion and a minor in visual arts. While at Duke, she completed several documentary photography projects including one, The Diversity of Spirituality Through Photography and Written Word, which was exhibited outside Duke President Brodhead’s office in 2007.

During her undergraduate education, Gretchen studied abroad and worked with underprivileged and troubled children in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Cholulu, Mexico. She assisted humanitarian efforts in Gulfport, Mississippi, and St. Croix, Virgin Islands. She founded the Duke/Durham Tennis Project, an after-school program providing weekly tennis lessons for thirty underprivileged students in Durham. She also did extensive local volunteer work through her church with children and the elderly.

Gretchen spent 2007–2008 working with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America organizing for social change in the Philippines.

She worked in Boston with the United South End Settlements, which provides programs that address the needs of individuals and families, from infants to seniors, including pre-school and after-school child care, vacation and summer day camps, residential camping, family services, referrals and support, adult basic education and job readiness, computer classes and open access to technology in the Timothy Smith Computer Learning Center, and senior services such as home repair, benefits advocacy, health screenings and education, home visits and recreation.

"Documentary work inspires in me an urge to tell stories that are untold, to reveal issues in new light, and to understand more about myself and community in the process,” she says. "There is great power in this type of work, and I strive to effect change with creative subtlety."