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Serious Play: Social Impact Studios Demonstrate Work

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Emerson students and faculty joined community partners from the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and the Center for Teen Empowerment to demonstrate work they created in two Social Impact Studios offered this fall.

Social Impact Studios pair Emerson classes with community partners, who apply storytelling, filmmaking, art, and design to change unjust systems.

The studios were part of Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence, an initiative launched in December 2021 to use co-created, community-centered storytelling to disrupt cycles of violence in Boston. The Peace Institute and the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Gun Violence Prevention are Emerson’s partners in the initiative.

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Collaborators in Co-Design for Peace in Boston, led by Visual and Media Arts senior affiliated faculty member David Kelleher, created virtual reality versions of Peace Play in an Urban Setting, a therapeutic sand box used by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.

Professor Eric Gordon, director of the Engagement Lab, led Games for Social Change, a collaboration with Teen Empowerment that used game design and theory to interrogate violence.

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