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by Anthony Burke Boylan
Tue May 20, 2014

Chicago Non-Profit Uses The Arts To Help Local Youth Process Gun Violence

Eighteen years after its founding, Changing Worlds still helps children discover themselves by learning about cultures — their own and those around them — through nontraditional methods.

Originally serving immigrant and refugee students, Changing Worlds aides children in exploring their culture and expanding their worldview through the arts. But now, the organization is just as likely to help children use art to express their feelings about gun violence in their neighborhoods.

“After 9/11, we helped Muslim students tell their stories and fostered a better understanding among their peers,’’ said Kay Berkson, a social worker, social documentary photographer and founder of Changing Worlds. “Today, one of our programs is in Englewood, where children might express their concerns about murder and death and lack of confidence in the future through poetry.’’