A-gen-cy noun: action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect.Too often the actions of real people of color making real change in their neighborhoods and lives are ignored in the media. Even worse are portrayals that people of color lack the agency to address the wrongs and find solutions that empowers residents and improves conditions. Too often these stories are told from outside, not inside, the community. Change Agent is a podcasts series by Chicagoans trained to tell stories of their neighborhood transformations and the folks who make that happen. Developed by Judith McCray and Maurice Bisaillon of Juneteenth Productions, Change Agents is a partnership between community organizers and emerging journalists of color who are provided the tools to produce professionally crafted episodes that highlight issues, challenges and ground level efforts for change.
Cooking Up Opportunity
ChiFresh is a thriving food service contractor run by worker-owners who are all formally incarcerated. On busy days ChiFresh can prepare and deliver upwards of 500 meals for clients ranging from nursing homes to schools. Soon though, they will be able produce TEN TIMES that number, as they ready themselves for a move to a much larger space in the city's westside. Join Change Agents producers Charles Tharpe and Justin Myers as they introduce us to these entrepreneurs and share their stories of second chances and transformations, in Cooking Up Opportunity.
Growing a Greater Englewood
Where do you get food when the grocery stores aren't open, or when their shelves have gone bare? Many Chicagoans asked themselves this question for the first time during the 2020 Covid pandemic, but for those living in the food deserts of the city's West and Southside's, the question wasn't a new one. Join Change Agents producers Liz Murice Alexander, and Dylan Cohen as they take a look at the urban farming collective Grow Greater Englewood, who works in partnership with community stakeholders to develop local food economies and land sovereignty which empower residents to thrive.
Change Agents: The Road to Reclaiming History
As communities across the nation grapple with the racist symbols of their past in the form of statues and monuments, in University City, Missouri citizens have embarked on their own journey of racial reckoning, centering the debate on a less discussed, but more common form of memorial. As part of the Renaming Streets Task Force, seven citizens had 120 days to research over 200 street names and determine which ones should be targeted for change. Join Change Agents hosts Victoria Benefield and Emily Soto for The Road to Reclaiming History.
Know History, Know Self
Description: Many crucial historical perspectives are missing from classrooms all over the nation. Specifically, Asian-American students are not properly represented in the curriculum, and in many cases, not represented at all. When a Chicago-based organization spearheads the TEAACH Act, the prospect of mandating Asian-American curriculum in Illinois schools finally becomes a possibility.
Do the Math
A parent and community-led coalition is fighting to keep three elementary schools in the North Lawndale neighborhood open after another community group proposes to close the schools in exchange for one STEAM school. Students, parents and teachers rally against the closures and come up with a proposal of their own.
Trust, Learning, Caring
Trust Learning Care, covers the Brighton Park Neighborhood Councils as it brings parents and teachers together to demand a say in how Chicago Public Schools will allocate the $1.8 billion dollars it has coming from the American Rescue Plan.