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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Social Media Accessibility & Inclusivity

Where to Find Diverse Images for Free

As an organization, it's important that images you use for social media represent the wide range of users you intend to reach. But if you've ever used a search engine like Google, Unsplash, or Pixabay to search for images of people (a student, doctor, teacher, etc...), you may have noticed that the majority of images are of white, able-bodied people. Certain searches, like "IT worker," also tend to have extreme gender bias. And visibly queer people are scarcely pictured in image search results. While search engines have gotten better at increasing representation in recent years, largely thanks to the critiques of scholars like Safiya Noble, they still have a long way to go.

Because of the deficit of diverse images in standard image search engines, many groups have created their own image databases to increase the diversity of representation in stock photos. The following resources all provide free-use images centering people who share a particular identity.