Change Agents

Our Focus

The Lowery Institute Change Agent Program is a national, yearlong social justice opportunity for students currently enrolled full-time in an accredited, higher education, academic institution to develop and exhibit academic and leadership skills in the pursuit of advancing social justice causes and examining issues that disproportionately affect people of color across the United States. These students, or change agents, work to reinforce the programmatic mission of the Lowery Institute by serving our communities through education, civic engagement, social justice, and community health, for the common good.

In 2020, the Lowery Institute expanded our Change Agent Program to include our Scholar Activist Capstone program. The initial program began with 50 scholar activists and has expanded to our current total of 64 students from 10 different colleges and universities, including Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Agnes Scott College, Morgan State University, Delaware State University, Edward Waters College, Stillman College, Morris Brown College and The University of Missouri.

Established in 2013, with 14 students, the program has grown to include over 60 stipend Change Agents from 8 universities impacting over 10,000 encounters annually. The Change Agent program provides servant leadership, conflict resolution, soft skills training and a platform to address relevant social justice issues that effect our democracy and ability to work for the common good. Intergenerational transfer of knowledge and respect for new ideas has been key to the success of our programming. Pantry coordinators, podcast leaders and civic engagement leaders all participate in ongoing leadership training.

Our Scholar Activist Program is an opportunity for students to work in groups to tackle critical social justice issues. These student groups work to examine a clearly defined research problem and undergo leadership training and service designed to enhance their leadership skills and empower them to be leaders for the common good. Members of the Lowery Institute staff, and guest leaders add value and expertise to the program.


Scholar Activists are undergraduate and graduate students challenged to hone their understanding of critical issues by conducting research on social justice issues to confront systemic racism and expose injustice and inequality . This academic year, 50 such students are working on 5 teams to develop research projects aimed at examining key issues that are central to the programmatic mission of the Lowery Institute. Each team is supervised by a member of the Lowery Institute staff and receives continued guidance and skill training as they work to develop and present their yearlong research topics. These scholar activists also attend leadership development courses and provide service.


“The Change” podcast serves as a virtual opportunity for students to engage in discussions about critical social justice that are relevant to them and are issues affecting their communities. Students host discussions about a revolving series of social justice topics.

The Change Agent tank