2022 In Review
Change Agent Program
Our Impact…In 2022 over 10,000 lives empowered… for the common good.
Since the inception of our Change Agent Program in 2013, over 500 change agents have served with the Institute to work directly with at-risk populations to help create tangible change. These efforts have included teaching conflict resolution, anti-bullying, and literacy efforts in Atlanta Public Schools, serving in Mimi’s Pantry, registering college students to vote, and other direct actions. These students engage in leadership and social justice training to promote and advance real-world issues.
Number of Students - 64
Number of Capstone Teams - 5
Number of Different Universities - 10
Agnes Scott College
Clark Atlanta University
Delaware State University
Edward Waters College
Morgan State College
Morris Brown College
University of Missouri
Scholar Activist Program:
In the 2022 year, our scholar activists are investigating the following areas:
Lowery Institute Capstone Focuses:
- Education – The Education Capstone team is researching the Digital Divide, gaps in academic achievement and retention of middle school students. These scholar activists work one day a week with the 8th grade students at Herman J. Russell West End Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Racial Justice – The Racial Justice Capstone team is beginning a multi-year examination of racial justice; focusing on examining the impact of racial trauma on contemporary racial issues. The team is examining the legacy of racial injustice and developing strategies for holding multigenerational dialogues on race.
- Food Insecurity – The Food Insecurity Capstone team is continuing past efforts to advance food security on college campuses. Students are working to craft and develop policy options to address collegiate food insecurity on a macro-level. Students are also investigating the possibility of expanding campus pantries to new institutions such as Edwards Water College and Stillman College.
- Civic Engagement – The Civic Engagement Capstone team is continuing a multi-year examination of voter suppression and misinformation during elections. In the Fall of 2022, the team focused on executing events that encouraged collegiate participation in the November mid-term and run-off elections. Their work will transition to preparing to hosting a Town Hall Meeting in May 2023 to highlight their work.
- Criminal Justice – The Criminal Justice Capstone is examining the intricacies of the criminal justice system in Georgia with a focus on issues pertaining to juvenile justice. This includes examining issues of bail reform, solitary confinement, and inmate abuse.
Each of these capstones terminate in May 2023 and will produce a 15 YouTube presentation and a detailed quantitative report.
In addition to serving on one of these capstone teams, Lowery Institute Change Agents also support the work of the Institute by serving as Pantry Coordinators, “The Change” podcast hosts, and by helping to facilitate leadership training sessions at partner schools in Atlanta Public Schools.
Access was increased by 200%
In partnership with the leadership of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Spelman College, we have been intentional about working to meet students at their point of need. Access was increased by 200% by adding two satellite pantries at Spelman College and Morehouse College. Although there is not yet a satellite pantry at Morris Brown College, we have been able to provide them with weekly dinner bags for students who register.
Student coordinators increase by 475%
In 2021, the pantry operated with two student Pantry Coordinators. In 2022, the pantry expanded to operating with 11 student Pantry Coordinators increasing the management and stipends by 475%: four Spelman students, three Morehouse students, three Clark Atlanta students, and one Morris Brown student. We are grateful to the Andrew Young Leadership Center at Morehouse College and to the leadership at Spelman College for sharing their space to make Mimi’s Pantry more accessible for students.
Storage capabilities increased by 40%
In 2022 we received a new, state-of-the-art refrigerator from Kroger. Additionally, we received a gently used refrigerator from Mack II, Inc. and Mr. V’s Appliance Repairs. The addition of these refrigerators has allowed us to expand our food options which has allowed us to increase our fresh produce and other fresh options.
Special events increased by 400%
We have also pursued innovative ways to help students, including providing gift cards, cash stipends and targeted events. This year we gave away 4,640 lbs of food in partnership with Kroger for our 1st Annual Welcome Back Grocery Giveaway, 599.14 lbs. of food in partnership with Publix for the 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Giveaway, 1239.4 lbs in food in Partnership with KPMG, LLP, and $3,230 in gift cards in partnership with Cascade United Methodist Church, Connections@Metropolitan UMC, and Publix for our 1st Annual Winter Break Load Up.
As we provide for our students, it is important to us that we are up to date on their current needs. We do this through collecting qualitative and quantitative data through frequent surveys. From these surveys we are able to update our pantry stock items and dinner meals to accommodate students dietary and nutritional needs. Although we have been able conduct this effort successfully, our current systems would be more efficient and sustainable with the addition of data and inventory software that would help our pantry provide enhanced services for our students.
Thank you, Partners and Donors:
Donations made to Mimi’s Pantry by community members and corporations are vital in helping our overall operations, increasing awareness of our pantry and helping us serve the needs of our students. We are so thankful for our community donors, Publix, Kroger, The Atlanta Hawks,Rock Nation…, The New Advent Choir of Cascade United Methodist Church, Church of the Incarnation, KPMG, LLP, Members of the Camellia Rose Chapter of the Links, Inc., Connections@Metropolitan UMC, Clark Atlanta University’s Political Science Department, Second Helpings, Zion Praise Ringers, Ministry at Hill Baptist Church, 24/7 Young Adult and College Ministry at dReam Center Church of Atlanta and CORE2GLOBE. We sincerely appreciate all who have helped us remain stocked and able to meet students’ needs.
Number of Eligible Students Registered: 5,822
Number of Students Served: 4,711
Total Outgoing Food for Students 2022 (lbs.): 48,381.04
Total Outgoing Food for Community 2022 (lbs.): 19,253.79
Total Gift Cards Given Out: 164
Pantry Locations: 200% Increase
Pantry Coordinators from 2021 - 2022: 475% Increase
Appliances: 40% Increase
In-school Leadership and Literacy:
Total Number of Students Served: 200
Duration of Program: 26 weeks (13 weeks spring at MAJ – 13 weeks Fall at HJRWEA)
7 leadership constructs taught at Middle School
3 books read at Elementary School
- Servant leadership
- Voting rights
Finding Your Voice
Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights Tour 2.0
100% tour participants surveyed gained a better understanding of the voting rights struggle in America
95% participants surveyed felt the trip increased their resolve to tackle race issues
Participants were led in rigorous discussion as they traveled by bus to the historic Selma, Alabama, considered ground zero in the struggle for voting rights during the 1960’s. The lessons from Selma were explored and resulted in a series of intergenerational conversations focused on voter rights and voter suppression.
Over 2000 encounters:
Throughout 2022, the activities led by the Institute included voter registration, voter education, symposiums, phone banking, canvassing, social media campaigns and rides to the polls. Over the course of the year, we not only registered students for the election, but also conducted over 2,000 in person interactions via canvassing dormitories on the campuses of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Morris Brown College. We also touched over 800 people during phone banking sessions for the run-off election.
Sharing your voice:
Georgia Votes Summit –
On September 23, 2022, scholar activists in the civic engagement cohort: David Valdes from Morehouse College and Julia Hopkins from Clark Atlanta University presented two years of research on voter suppression, focusing on the new Georgia voter laws. This presentation supersedes the Town Hall that will be led by our Civic Engagement Scholar Activists in May 2023.
In partnership with Campus Vote Project, Black Voters Matter and RISE, on November 29, 30, and December 1, Lowery Institute Civic Engagement capstone students hosted a three day phone banking event to promote voter turnout before the Georgia Senate Run-off election. Over three days, over 30 volunteers made over 800 phone calls to potential voters. Students also conducted canvassing of student dorms, distributing flyers and interacting with over 2000 potential collegiate voters.
Race Towards Reconciliation
In 2022, the Race Toward Reconciliation Book Club met and discussed five books: The 1619 Project by Dr. Nikole Hannah-Jones, Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper, Will by Will Smith, The Sum of Us, by Heather McGhee and Folk Stories from the Hills of Puerto Rico by Rafael Ocasio.
Number of participants: 2,200
Conversations on race: 150
Age Range of participants: 18-64
Be The Healing Symposium, held over the summer featured renowned author/psychologist/researcher, Dr. Joy DeGruy. The 2-day symposium focused on the trauma of systemic racism and addressed cultivating community healing and tools for moving towards racial justice. The Lowery Institute was proud to present this powerful experience in collaboration with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and AHF- Stand Against Hate Campaign.
We were proud to host an Equitable Dinner which is a collaboration between Out of Hand Theater, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, among others. Equitable Dinners sets the table for racial equity through a series of hosted dinners that are meant to inspire anti-racism action and meaningful connections through art and courageous conversation.