Gerald L. Campbell was a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1976 to 1985, the Director of Policy and Research for the National Security Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1980, the Senior Advisor to the Director of the United States Information Agency from 1985 to 1990, and the Special Assistant to the Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs, at the U.S. Department of Justice from 1992 to 1993.
From 1997 to 2001, Campbell was the Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Health for the State of Texas. Until recently, he was President and a member of the Board of Directors of The Impact Group, Inc., a non-profit education foundation located in Washington, D.C. and Tyson's Corner, Virginia.
In June 1990, Campbell began to inquire into the nature, root cause, and the spiritual dynamics of socially dysfunctional behaviors. He spent nearly five years exploring the streets of Washington, D.C., associating with and befriending the homeless, violent youth, and substance abusers.
With camera and tape recorder in hand, he took black and white photographic images -- and recorded the personal stories -- of many of these individuals. He also recorded the stories of many teenagers who had been incarcerated for capital crimes.
A senior member of President Reagan's Domestic Policy Council said of Campbell's work: "He has captured the image and voice of the homeless -- their own voices -- in ways that are instructive to us all. On film and note pad he has recorded what they confided to him. Campbell finds in their stories and existence a message for the nation, a message about the importance of bonding in simple humanity. He is their camera, not their filter; he is 'Boswell'" to their 'Samuel Johnson.'"
Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) has written about his efforts: "Your work with and on behalf of the homeless in Washington, D.C. is a model that should be emulated across the country. The isolation and the loneliness felt by the destitute, the poor, and the hungry is the same isolation felt by virtually every American at some point in their lives."
A member of the Arts Education Advisory Panel of the Washington, D.C. Council on the Arts and Humanities said: "The artistic merit of Gerald Campbell's photographs are unparalleled in quality. The technical skill is flawless and the subject matter has the emotional substance that competes with the subject matter of Vincent Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters."
The Curator of the Washington Center for Photography said: "I am stunned by the intensity and compassion expressed in your body of work. It has been a long time since I have seen portraits which combine spiritual presence and strength with technical accomplishment. I see what Eugene Smith was searching for within your images: the ability to see past skin and culture and see the true individual within."
The photographic images and personal stories displayed on this web site are representative of the artistic portion of his work.
Campbell is persuaded that the nature and root cause of socially dysfunctional behaviors can only be discovered through the stories people tell about themselves. Personal stories, together with photographic images that capture the interior presence of a person, create a unique synergism that generates a more insightful understanding of the origins of human problems than any other methodology.
Unless Americans reach out and forge a spirit of solidarity with one another, it will not be possible for the nation to reduce the incidence of substance abuse, youth violence, and homelessness. Why? The reason is as penetrating as it is challenging. For only through qualitative relationships such as love, compassion, understanding, and mercy can the person alleviate that "unmet need to belong." And the existential "need to belong" constitutes the causal headwaters of all socially dysfunctional behaviors.
Gerald L. Campbell was educated at Gonzaga University (Philosophy), St. Louis University (Philosophy), Georgetown University (Philosophy), and the Catholic University of America (International Relations).
The photographic image on this page (above) shows Campbell (right) testifying as an expert witness before a committee of the United States Senate.