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WATCH: Kids Craft Comics To Explore Immigration Fears

When Mexican-American artist Nora Litz first talked with her students about immigration — she was shocked to hear how scared they were.

"I felt I had to do something," she says. She was already teaching a children's writing workshop — but she decided to offer a specific weekend class for kids with parents in the country illegally — targeted at the Mexican population in downtown Philadelphia.

The class is called Illustrated Stories of Immigration -- a free, two-hour comics workshop led by artists and writers every Saturday.

In the class, students crafted stories about ICE taking away their family members in the night, of the proposed wall with Mexico, of having to move to an unknown place. Telling these stories is therapeutic. For many kids, their imaginations created happy endings and by the end of the class, they reported being less afraid, sleeping better than before, Litz says.

The workshop lasted just a few months, but the organization, Mighty Writers, intends to do more.

Watch this short video to meet them and hear their stories.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meredith Rizzo
Meredith Rizzo is a visuals editor and art director on NPR's Science desk. She produces multimedia stories that illuminate science topics through visual reporting, animation, illustration, photography and video. In her time on the Science desk, she's reported from Hong Kong during the early days of the pandemic, photographed the experiences of the first patient to receive an experimental CRISPR treatment for sickle cell disease and covered post-wildfire issues from Australia to California. In 2021, she worked with a team on NPR's Joy Generator, a randomized ideas machine for ways to tap into positive emotions following a year of life in the pandemic. In 2019, she photographed, reported and produced another interactive visual guide exploring how the shape and size of many common grocery store plastics affect their recyclability.
LA Johnson
LA Johnson is an art director and illustrator at NPR. She joined in 2014 and has a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design.