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About Our Founder

Kay Berkson is a social documentary photographer who photographed in diverse Chicago communities for decades. In the 1980's, she became active in human rights work with Central American refugees who sought political asylum in the U.S. Her involvement with refugees who wanted to tell their stories, led to her interest in oral history and to the idea for the Changing Worlds photography and oral history project. She began the project in 1996 in collaboration with Hibbard Elementary School in Chicago's diverse Albany Park neighborhood. She coordinated its expansion into a nonprofit organization in 2000. Since then, she has managed its traveling exhibits and conducted outreach programs for children and adults in numerous Chicago and suburban communities. 

Kay holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago. She worked with families of young children with special needs and consulted to day care centers before returning to school to study photography at Columbia College Chicago.