Issue 61, February 2024 — We Use Our Minds

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Issue 60, November 2023 — We Adapt and Manage

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Issue 59, August 2023 — We Take Action

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Issue 58, February 2023 — Finding Our Voices

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Issue 57, November 2022 — Creating New Community

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Issue 56, August 2022 — Our Immigration Stories

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Issue 55, February 2022 – Re-Training Ourselves, Re-Making Our Work

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Issue 54, November 2021 – Supporting Our Communities and Advocating for Safety on the Job

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Issue 53, August 2021 – Doing Our Jobs and Caring for Our Children

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Issue 52, March 2021 – Mental Health

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Issue 51, September 2020 – Pandemic

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Issue 50, March 2020 – Stand Up and Be Counted

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Issue 49, September 2019 – Play

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Issue 48, March 2019 – Indigenous Peoples

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Issue 47, September 2018 – Math

We use it all the time – deciding when to leave the house in order to arrive at work on time, figuring out sale prices, understanding our budgets and our paychecks, and making sense of data presented in charts and graphs at work, in the media, and in our communities. With this issue,  The Change Agent will focus on students’ experience with numeracy. Join us as we share stories of how people use math in their lives, where they would like to use it more, and what works for them when it comes to improving numeracy skills.  

Issue 46, March 2018 – Hair

It’s a major topic in many mainstream magazines. And now we’re taking a look at it, too!

We all think about it — sometimes fussing over it and sometimes enjoying it. It figures prominently in definitions of beauty; we fight with our kids about it; students can get expelled from school because of it; laws and religious rules are made about it; we work as hairdressers and spend money on hair; and we might even make ourselves sick from the products we put on it. Everyone has something to say about hair!

Issue 45, September 2017 – Career Pathways

Change Agent issue 45

Students have a lot to say about Career Pathways, and we are proud to share their perspectives in this first-ever exploration of the topic from a student point of view.

Hear what they have to say about the challenges and opportunities they face as they work to achieve their goals. Share their hopes and moments of regret as they learn and grow from their sometimes twisted path toward a career. Hear from young people just starting out, older students switching careers, highly skilled immigrants who need new credentials, and those for whom available career pathways don’t quite align with their dreams. Compare pathway maps, lattices, and roadways. Study graphs and charts that encourage critical thinking about job prospects. Support your students to pursue research that will teach them about jobs and careers, as well as how to connect with resources.

Issue 44, March 2017 – When We Fight We Win

Issue 44

When we fight, what might we win? In this issue, writers share their stories of struggle and reflect on the large and small things they have won in the process. Maybe by fighting, they achieved their goal. Or maybe they didn’t achieve their goal yet, but by being in the fight, they’ve made friends, created community, used their voice, navigated a hard struggle, and discovered their power. What else might you win when you engage in the fight — whether it’s an internal battle or a struggle to create social and political change? Read on to find out.

Issue 43, September 2016 – Transportation

Cover of Issue 43

Transportation is a big deal. It’s how we get to work, school, medical appointments, the store, and home. How we get around informs how we feel. Do we arrive at work or school and then back home to our children feeling stressed from crowded buses and long waits for transfers? Or do we come and go with a fair amount of confidence that we’ll be on time, and that our transportation is accessible and dependable? With this issue of The Change Agent, learners have a chance to use this highly relevant topic as an entry point to improving their reading, writing, and math skills. Teachers will find CCR-aligned activities that help ensure they are equipping students with the skills they need for college and careers. A special section (pp. 44-49) on work in the transportation industry includes an exploration of career pathways. There are also opportunities for research, learning about your own local transit system, and taking action steps.

Issue 42, March 2016 – Talking about Race

Issue 42 Cover

Race has shaped U.S. history, continues to shape current events, and shapes our lives and our students’ lives. Yet it is a challenging topic to bring up (not to mention teach) in the classroom. If you’re not sure race matters in your teaching or to your students, just listen to what they say about it in this issue. Race matters to our self-perception, to our children, at our jobs, in our communities, and in history. Indeed, it matters in almost every aspect of life in the U.S. It is so important that we made an extra effort with this issue to offer supports to teachers. Students themselves (on pp. 3 and 41) make the case for why race should be taught in the classroom. Educators share advice and insights on pages 40, 42, 43, and in our “Issue Extras.” Throughout the magazine, students’ heartfelt stories and penetrating analyses remind us that race manifests itself internally, interpersonally, and institutionally, and the costs of ignoring it are greater than the possible costs of taking it on.

Issue 41, September 2015 – Celebrations

Issue 41 Cover

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Change Agent, we turn our attention to—what else—celebrations! In this issue, students write about everything from private rituals to family- and community-based holidays, parties, graduations, commemorations, feasts, and fêtes. A special treat for this issue is the gorgeous cover art “Juneteenth on Oak Bluffs” and “Jubilee” on the back cover, both by Sonia Lynn Sadler.

Issue 40, March 2015 – Prisons and Justice?

Issue 40 Cover

We are proud to kick off our 20th anniversary year with this rich and inspiring issue on prisons, which includes heartfelt exposés of what it is like to be in prison or to have a family member in prison, thoughtful analyses of everything from addiction to the death penalty to the roots of racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Our contributors show how people have fought for their humanity, lobbied for more contact with loved ones, won the right not to be shackled during labor, become readers and students and advocates while incarcerated, and explored alternatives to incarceration.

Issue 39, September 2014 – All About Food

Food brings up powerful memories. Stories from the kitchen often touch on themes that matter the most to us. Exploring how we produce, distribute, and eat our food helps us raise many interesting questions about our society and our economy. With this issue, we offer some of our most poignant and profound writing ever.

Issue 38, March 2014 – Immigration

Issue 38 Cover

Immigration is a hot button topic in the United States, and this issue explores it in a way that is accessible, engaging, and humanizing. Immigrants share inspiring, courageous, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of their journeys to the U.S. Non-immigrants provide their perspective as people in “receiving” communities, who are richly affected by new waves of immigrants. Political refugees, economic refugees, and immigrants “following their heart” detail what “pushed” and what “pulled” them to come to the U.S. Heartfelt revelations of parents and children who get separated due to migration or deportation will resonate with readers, as will the stories of parents raising bi-cultural children. Articles, cartoons, charts and graphs explore U.S. immigration policy, citizenship statistics, the rise of immigrant entrepreneurs, and current global migration patterns. We also explore micro and macro issues related to immigrants in the workplace. Home health aides, a meat skinner, a contractor, a farmworker, and many others write about the challenges and opportunities of being immigrant workers. Analytical articles and side bars on everything from labor law to free trade policies provide a larger context.

Issue 37, September 2013 – Technology

In this issue adult learners describe the complicated role that technology plays in their lives—sometimes opening doors, easing communication, nurturing relationships, and improving education, and other times… not so much. Contributors share their tips and tricks for how they make technology work for them, how they persuade their families to occasionally unplug, and how they navigate the pressure to buy new gadgets. Examining the larger context, writers also explore the ecological effects of technology, as well as the role of public policy and the economy on our access to technology.

Issue 36, March 2013 – Good Jobs, Not Just Any Jobs!

Many adults are attending school to get the skills they need to get a better job. But will they be able to find a good job? Speaking of which…what is a good job? And how do you get one? In this issue, The Change Agent explores these questions and more. Students share compelling stories of satisfying work, as well as dangerous and demeaning work and those jobs that are a mixture of both. Their advice and stories will inspire readers to make goals, learn skills, and think critically about the world of work. In addition to providing food for thought, this issue shares concrete examples of ordinary people—alone and with others—taking steps to be agents of change in the workplace.

Issue 35, September 2012 – Tales of Resilience

What inspires us to try to respond to and recover from difficulties? What actually enables us to respond and recover? In this inspiring issue of The Change Agent, writers explore how our communities and families often rally to soften or deflect a blow…and perhaps even change the conditions that created the blow. Read stories about how individuals, neighborhoods, and whole communities have drawn strength and persevered to respond to challenges and create change. Whether it’s a story about a newly diagnosed HIV patient, an ESOL class that’s lost the only bus line in their neighborhood, or a community that’s been deserted by its principal employer, these stories will inspire you, build your resolve, equip you with action steps, and encourage you to notice the resiliency and strength in yourself and in the people and communities around you.

Issue 34, March 2012 – What’s Age Got To Do With It?


In this often humorous and always illuminating issue, students and practitioners ask and answer: What does age have to do with learning? With more and more young people (ages 16-24) in ABE, how are dynamics shifting in the classroom and in programs? What happens when teenagers and 40-somethings tackle Shakespeare together? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Why are so many high schoolers choosing adult education instead of traditional secondary school? Read inspiring stories of older and younger students getting past their preconceptions and reaching out to make friends, share struggles, and learn from each other across generational lines.

Issue 33, September 2011 – Peaceful Tomorrows


This issue breaks new ground. Done in collaboration with September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, it teaches the history of 9/11, wrestles with important legal and moral questions related to security and liberty, examines the “rule of law” in the context of terrorism, provides a forum for the profound voices of people seeking justice and reconciliation, and includes extremely moving stories – many of them written by adult learners – about 9/11 and the aftermath.

Issue 32, March 2011 – Staying Safe in a Toxic World


This issue, produced in collaboration with TERC’s Statistics for Action project, will explore the local environment and will tell our stories of environmental clean-ups and community efforts to identify pollution sources and deal with them. Includes inspiring articles by learners and lots of math and science, as well as reading and writing and opportunities for critical thinking.

Issue 31, September 2010 – Fashion: The Power, The Peril, and The Passion


Fashion is a topic that can be both fun and serious. In this thought provoking, visually appealing issue, we examine: how our clothes make us feel, bathing suits through the ages, extreme body art, how to make fashion small talk in the ESOL classroom, rules for shopping, fashion and female body image, dressing for success, clothing and stereotypes, the hidden cost of cheap clothes, how to have fun with fashion without breaking the budget, who makes our clothes and where, the problem with fur, how parents and kids work out their fashion conflicts, and much more!

Issue 30, March 2010 – Coming Home From War


With this issue we open our pages to veterans, family members of veterans, and war refugees. In their own voices, they talk about what it’s like to come home from war (or, for some, to have to seek a new home), what it’s like to welcome their veteran home, and how they remember and memorialize the soldiers who did not make it home. Using poetry, short narratives, interviews, cartoons, illustrations, and photo stories, this issue roots reading, writing, and math lessons in content that is intensely moving and relevant to adult learners. Background pieces, maps, and quick facts about the war(s) provide opportunities for students to extend their learning. Lesson plans and discussion questions give teachers classroom-ready material that will engage students and provide an important forum for critical thinking, sharing, and achieving understanding across diverse experiences. And as always with The Change Agent, we feature the positive ways that veterans and community members have organized and advocated on behalf of veterans to promote healing, to ensure benefits, and to acknowledge society’s overall responsibility for the human cost of war. Extra in this issue: a special feature by Heather Lash called “Listening to Refugees” – for teachers who are looking for guidance when it comes to responding to the trauma and sadness that sometimes comes out in students’ stories.

Issue 29, September 2009 – The Economy


What exactly happened when Wall Street crashed in 2008? What led to the crisis? What exactly is a housing bubble? A bank bailout? A stimulus package? Using clear language accompanied by illustrations and graphics, the September 2009 issue of The Change Agent explains the roots of the crisis, tells how people are responding, gives voice to the unemployed, and tells inspiring stories of what we could do to create an economy that works for everyone. True stories by learners shed light on how people are coping, what they are doing to address financial stresses and injustices, and how they are staying hopeful. Use this issue of The Change Agent to teach math, grammar, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students will appreciate having these lessons rooted in relevant social issues and communicated in articles, essays, and cartoons that help demystify difficult economic concepts.

Issue 28, March 2009 – Health: The Big Picture


Explore students’ experiences dealing with health challenges and their individual and community-based responses to those challenges. Learn about the U.S. health insurance industry, student-recommended home remedies, students’ experiences of health disparities, the connection between mental and physical health, and much more.

Issue 27, September 2008 – Climate Change


This issue is filled with pictures, illustrations, short articles, cartoons, math lessons, and quizzes to break down the science and economics of climate change. Learn about greenhouse gases, energy-saving tricks that also save money, green jobs, and how adult learners are teaching their kids about conservation, saying no to junk mail, and lobbying their mayors to do more for the environment. Read student writing exploring responses to climate change and things that can be done to make a positive impact. As one Hurricane Katrina survivor reminds us, hope comes from “learning more about a problem and participating directly in the solution.” This idea – that understanding and participation are at the root of hopefulness – is a central theme in this issue’s articles, graphics, and lesson plans.

Issue 26, March 2008 – Democracy in Action


Thinking about how to integrate all the election-year buzz into your classroom? Wondering how to invite students into a conversation about civic participation that includes voting but goes beyond it as well? In this issue you’ll find lessons that evoke deep thinking about the meaning of democracy and the many ways adults participate in public life.

Issue 25, September 2007 – Taking Action to Stay in School


How do students support each other to stay in school? How do they work together to find personal and collective solutions? How do they inspire, motivate, and encourage each other to balance a multitude of demands so that they can stay in school? Download the current issue to find the answer to these questions plus much more.

Issue 24, March 2007 – Caring for Our Children


In this issue read about issues surrounding parenting, helping children learn, work and family, adjusting to life in the U.S. and much more. Questions explored range from how programs can prepare parents to advocate and be active in their children’s education to the pros and cons of bilingual education.

Issue 23, September 2006 – Immigration


It’s right now, it’s emotional, it’s complex, and it’s uncertain. This issue offers a broad array of information, lessons, opinions, and provocative articles aimed at helping readers sort through the current debate.

Issue 22, March 2006 – Values


This issue aims at understanding the examining the important intersection between values and politics. It includes material about the personal expression of values and moves readers to also carefully examine the values in our society and how they are expressed in public policy.

Issue 21, September 2005 – Building Peace


Students, teachers and others write about the building blocks of peace and invite readers to consider taking action in their lives. Starting with ourselves and our families, then thinking about our communities, and the world, this issue offers humble suggestions for building peace.

Issue 20, March 2005 – Transitions

In this issue, we highlight those internal changes that move people from one way of living to another and look at the societal barriers that can prevent us from changing our lives.

Issue 19, September 2004 – Women and Literacy

Read about the challenges women face and the strengths they bring to the literacy classroom from student and teacher writing. Find lessons you can use in class to explore these issues further.

Issues 1 through 18

The first 18 issues of The Change Agent were published in tabloid format. Issues 3-18 can be viewed as PDFs, but to print you will need to use 11 x 17 sized paper. Issues include: Voting in the 2004 Elections, Housing and Home, Language and Power, Creativity and Change, Food, Economic Security and Justice, Media and You, Immigration, Connections to Our Environment: Taking Action, Looking In, Looking Out: Reflections on Adult Basic Education, Working Together Across Differences, The Changing World of Work, Civic Participation, Crime and Violence, Health and Literacy, and Can We Really Make A Difference? Issues 1 and 2 are not available.