Change Agents Developed by Judith McCray and Maurice Bisaillon of Juneteenth Productions, Change Agents is a collaboration between community organizers and emerging journalists of color who are provided the tools to produce professionally crafted episodes that highlight issues, challenges and ground level efforts for change.
Change Agents

Change Agents

From Tri States Public Radio

Developed by Judith McCray and Maurice Bisaillon of Juneteenth Productions, Change Agents is a collaboration between community organizers and emerging journalists of color who are provided the tools to produce professionally crafted episodes that highlight issues, challenges and ground level efforts for change.

Most Recent Episodes

Say Her Name: Women Survivors of Chicago Police Torture

Michelle Clopton was in her twenties when Chicago police attempted to force her to confess to a crime she didn't commit. For 72 hours, she was brutally questioned, deprived of food, and tortured. Today, she is one of the few women to publicly share her experience of abuse. But she's not alone. Under the leadership of CPD Commander Jon Burge, more than 100 Black people were tortured by Chicago police in the '70s and '80s to elicit false confessions. A group of survivors have created the Chicago Torture Justice Center to begin rebuilding lives, healing, and finding joy. Michelle's story reveals the unique impact of police abuse on women — and what it takes to survive and thrive. Produced by Jewél Jackson @JewlJackson1 for Reparations Media | Editorial support from Juneteenth Productions @juneteenthprod2 | Collaboration with Chicago Torture Justice Center @chitorture | Sound design by Will Jarvis @willyfrederick | Music: Sarah Abdullah, Blue Dot Sessions Follow us: changeagentsthepodcast.com | Donate: donate.stripe.com/4gw2980yG7Ez9bO3cf Key words: Chicago, police, Chicago Police Department, CPD, John Burge, torture, corruption, brutality, survivor, false confession, prison, incarceration, jail, trauma, mental health, healing, solutions, Say Her Name, plea, accountability rule

Roots and Roofs: Building Wealth Through Chicago's Two-Flats

When Mercedes Pickett set out to buy her first home, she wanted to do it in the same way her mom had — by living in a two-flat, renting out the bottom apartment, and making the building into an investment property. For over a century, owning and living in a rental property has been one of the most effective ways to build wealth for Black and Latino communities. Yet these quintessential Chicago homes are in danger of extinction. This is the story of how a new generation of Black and brown homeowners are pushing back — and improving their neighborhoods in the process. Produced by Reema Saleh for Reparations Media | Editorial support from Juneteenth Productions @juneteenthprod2 | Collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services @NHSChicago | Sound design by Will Jarvis @willyfrederick | Music: Sarah Abdullah, Blue Dot Sessions Follow us: changeagentsthepodcast.com | Support our work: donate.stripe.com/4gw2980yG7Ez9bO3cf Key words: housing, home, homeownership, homeowner, landlord, mortgage, apartment, two-flat, rent, income, redlining, Black, Latino, solutions, Chi-Flats Initiative, Neighborhood Housing Services

A Place Called Home

When Matthew Cage's father died, Matthew knew it fell on him to financially support his mom. But there was a problem. Matthew had just been released from prison — and many don't want to rent or employ someone with a criminal record. Experts say a good indication of whether someone will return to prison is how quickly they find housing. A group of nonprofits across Chicago's South and West sides are trying to break that cycle. Their solution: provide clean, affordable and dignified housing for people leaving prison — PLUS the social, health and spiritual support they need to change their life. This is the story of two men who have broken that cycle, and how housing allowed them to show up for themselves, their families — and eventually — their communities. Produced by Joshua Eferighe @Eferighe for Reparations Media | Editorial support from Juneteenth Productions @juneteenthprod2 | Collaboration with Precious Blood Ministries | Sound design by Will Jarvis @willyfrederick | Music: Sarah Abdullah, Blue Dot Sessions Follow us: changeagentsthepodcast.com | Donate: donate.stripe.com/4gw2980yG7Ez9bO3cf Key words: housing, homeless, unhoused, halfway house, prison, incarceration, landlord, rent, jail, felony, job, employment, mental health, Precious Blood Ministries, Green Re-Entry, solutions

Giving Others Dreams

Produced by Citlali Perez | Women are being imprisoned at higher rates than ever. As they return home they face a unique set of challenges, because they are often their families primary caretakers they face harsher parole oversight, making it all the more difficult to reckon unresolved trauma. G.O.D. helps these women meet their immediate needs (such as clothing or housing), and then works with them to find a path back to a productive and happy life.

Reclaiming their Time

Produced by Daphne Watson | They gather a few times a month in prisons, inmates, educators, lawyers, activists, and legislators for the Behind the Walls Law and Policy Think Tank. Dr. Christina Rivers moderates a peer-led civics program helping members craft laws combating long-standing felony disenfranchisement and clearing a path to full citizenship for returning citizens.

My Time

Produced by Dilpreet Raju | Criminal records can sometimes create seemingly insurmountable hurdles to employment, a key factor toward reducing recidivism rates. Defy Ventures teaches the incarcerated, and returning citizens how to build their own business. Their program is a game-changer, not just for the system impacted, but for business leaders who are given a chance to shed biases, and discover an invaluable stream of worker talent.

Ending Permanent Punishments

Produced by Jane Carlson | Marlon Chamberlain couldn't chaperone his son's field trip or be the executor of his father's estate because of a decades-old drug conviction. He's now leading a group of all formerly incarcerated members working to overturn or amend nearly 1,200 Illinois laws that restrict people with records from being full citizens, from being fully free.

Sanctuary

Produced by Justin Agrelo | In 2010, a group of men incarcerated at Danville Correctional Center had a thought: how could they help stem community violence plaguing Chicago from the inside of a prison roughly three hours away? The men formed an academic study group they later named Community Anti-Violence Education (CAVE). They began examining the multiple layers of trauma and violence, both internally and externally hoping they could find a way to stem the damage done to their communities. What they didn't realize at the time was that this study group would blossom into something much deeper.

Navigating Homeownership

Produced by Corli Jay | Chicago's Choose To Own program gives low-income residents the educational and financial support to buy their first home, helping them navigate a confusing and discriminatory mortgage and appraisal system. Still, some participants worry their newfound financial stability may push them out of the program — jeopardizing the wealth the program was designed to build.

Season 4 Trailer

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