The cover of this 2015 University of North Georgia’s Professional and Continuing Education course catalogue depicts the image of a track race. There are four people in business attire racing towards the finish line. First and second place go to two white men in suits. Trailing behind them in the race are a woman and a Black man. At the top of the page, the word ‘SUCCESS’ is written in large letters. Below it, there is a circle enclosing the text ‘Why follow when you can LEAD!’ The image on this course catalogue came from a stock photo library. After it received criticism in a newspaper about the message it was sending, the university decided to pull the catalogue and remove the image from its materials. A university spokesperson made a statement saying that the use of this photo was “an isolated case of poor judgment, and was not intentional.” Other media outlets later used google searches and found that many others were also using this stock image in their marketing.
What message does the image of this race send? How did it make you feel to see this image?
Do you think it matters that the offense caused by the image was unintentional? Why or why not?
Why do you think it is possible for people using images like this to make mistakes that are unintentional?