CHANGE AGENT VIOLENCE INITIATIVE
The Lowery Institute ‘Agents of Change’ Program connects high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students with elementary, middle and high school students in Atlanta’s historic Westside community. In addition, work in an alternative school is available to some Change Agents. The program allows the Lowery Institute to do the following:
- Perform mission-critical work that advances the strategic initiatives of the Institute in the areas of social justice, nonviolent interpersonal engagement, and intergenerational knowledge transfer.
- Engage undergraduate and graduate students in a service-learning leadership program designed to increase civic participation amongst a burgeoning group of student activists.
- Work with K-12 APS students in both small and large group dimensions to create positive self-identity and increased efficacy amongst ‘at-risk’ student population, primarily concentrated in the Washington High School cluster.
- Gather information through observation of and engagement with APS K-12 students in order to assess the level of conflict to be addressed by their undergraduate and graduate peer mentors.
- Identify the best environment for students to receive small group instruction.
- Build relationships with teachers, administrators and curriculum development staff at JELI partner schools.
- Interact with influential leaders in the metro Atlanta community and the educational arena to enhance the servant leadership capacity of Change Agents as the next generation of leadership.
- Expand the capacity of the Lowery Institute to empower lesser-served members of Atlanta’s Westside community to effect positive change.
- Explore, support, and inspire thoughtful dialogue and engagement with all those working for the betterment of our communities.
Change Agent Servant Leadership Program
Our Change Agent (CA) program, is examining factors that put young people at risk for experiencing and/or perpetrating violence. Utilizing the non-violence principles of the Institute and coupling them with conflict management, alternative dispute resolution and peer mediation training, our program works directly with elementary school students through peer-led interactions and engagements during school-time hours. CA’s encourage students to de-escalate potential conflict through the adoption and use of this program focusing on five designated markers: Stop, Think, Engage, Process, and Start Over (S.T.E.P.S.). The curriculum is structured to reinforce each of the steps around topic including: respect/disrespect, use of violence, anger management, emotional intelligence, relationships, trust building, discipline, active listening, friendship, acknowledgment, teamwork and problem-solving.