Mainstream media outlets are frequently outshined by social media users who can better report on current events in their own communities. The unbiased, passionate and raw reports from the people who live and breathe the news tell a better story than the doctored accounts that make it to the front page or on TV. As a result, social media has spawned a new wave of community activists whose voices heard on important subjects that are typically covered as an afterthought, if at all by mainstream media.

Case and point, the long history of police brutality and systematic economic oppression in Baltimore City, versus a day of vandalism during a protest of the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore City police − Mainstream media chose to focus on the latter. It was the Baltimore City residents who took to social media to share powerful stories and images from the most peaceful protests, and to highlight to real reason for the protests and subsequent vandalism, being ignored for decades by the city and its officials.

Social Media networks are starting to take notice of the influence that individuals have when telling their stories and galvanizing movements for causes they believe in. In a display of support, Getty Images has announced a grant in cooperation with Instagram to award $30,000 total to winners who use Instagram to document stories from underrepresented communities around the world.

Think your ‘gram game is strong? Want to serve your community? To enter, you need to upload 10-20 images from your Instagram profile and detail your approach on using Instagram to shed light on your overlooked community. Application deadline is June 4th, 2015 and 3 grant winners will be awarded $10,000 in September.

“Be the change you want to see in this world”. If you feel your community is being overlooked or taken for granted for the sake of sensational news headlines, now is your chance to show the world the real story.

Official rules and entry