1. Education

Why Do Change Agents Need a Community?​

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Many people in our country experience unfair outcomes as a result of systemic setbacks and discrimination. Race, ethnicity, immigration status, disabilities, gender identity, sexual orientation, and poverty all contribute to shaping the environment we live in and people's preconceived notions of us.  Because of this, many of us who have faced or survived these disparities seek to change them – by giving back to our community. 

 

Change Agents actively work to alter their own lives and those around them in their local communities, with the goal of building a better, more prosperous, just, and sustainable future for all (Wallin, 2009). While the weight of change should not only be the responsibility of individuals. It is the ordinary members of our community, who see a problem and seek to change it, that has contributed the most to making a more fair and equitable society. 

 

These are people like you and me, must not only connect with our community to give but also to understand. We must know when it is time for us to take off our hat and be human.

 

Connection is the catalyst for change. 

 

To build deeper connections, we must honor our needs and interests by attending events or planning meet-ups with people who we would not usually hang out with. Seeking connections provides the opportunity for others to pour back into us. This can boost our immune systems, reduce anxiety and sadness, improve mood control, and raise self-esteem and empathy (Roberts & Mizrahi, 2005). We jeopardize our health by ignoring our urge to connect and not just serve (Roberts & Mizrahi, 2005).

Establishing a network of people with diverse skill sets who are committed to the same causes is imperative to being a Change Agent (Roberts & Mizrahi, 2005). Engaging with different viewpoints encourages empathy and inclusivity, two qualities essential for social justice. Creating connections enables group action to fight for change and confront injustices. Through collaboration with diverse stakeholders, people become more aware of society's problems and lessen the prejudice associated with being poor or a person of color (Roberts & Mizrahi, 2005). In return, this causes a culture shift that broadens one's perspective and challenges one's assumptions.

Thriving communities are built on strong social networks, which are crucial for addressing systemic disparities. People who are more connected frequently have stronger emotional resiliency, which benefits both their own well-being and the advancement of society.

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