What is CHANGE?
CHANGE develops capable leaders, who are informed voices for positive social change, and who inspire greater global awareness in others. CHANGE Leaders are introduced to the social justice issues directly related to Oxfam America's mission; and are supported by Oxfam staff as they undertake Oxfam campaigns on their campuses and in their communities.
Each year, Oxfam’s CHANGE Initiative uses leadership and advocacy training to teach a select group of US college students about the global fight against poverty, hunger, and injustice. Students then transform this knowledge into action on campus and in their communities.
CHANGE Leaders’ commitment to making a difference often goes far beyond the one-year program. They’ve attended meetings of the WTO and the G8 leaders, spoken at the UN Youth Assembly, and founded two independent national student organizations—to name just a few accomplishments.
“After CHANGE, I can’t imagine having a life that did not involve working for social justice,” says 2006 CHANGE Leader Jennifer Wallin.
If you have any questions about CHANGE or the application process, please contact us.
If you are a CHANGE Leader or Alumni, visit the CHANGE Alumni Network.
“After the CHANGE program, I had a deeper appreciation of what I already had—and how much I had to give to someone else.” – Alicia Wilson, 2001 CHANGE Leader
Every year, Oxfam brings 50 CHANGE Leaders to Boston for a rigorous week-long training that combines group activities, expert panels, and workshops with a multimedia teaching curriculum. The leadership training program builds students’ leadership skills, advocacy skills, and familiarity with Oxfam’s mission—and introduces them to sophisticated and powerful models for social change. Founded in 2000, CHANGE has trained more than 680 student leaders from more than 300 colleges and universities.
After the training, CHANGE Leaders return to campus energized and ready to work on social justice issues. Oxfam staffers and a CHANGE campus advisor provide guidance to the student activists throughout the year.
Each CHANGE leader implements at least one Oxfam-specific public advocacy campaign on campus, covering issues like food justice; oil, gas, and mining; or disasters and poverty. Activities include building networks, organizing their peers to take political action, and hosting campus awareness events like teach-ins, panel discussions, art exhibits, and speakers’ tours.
If you are a CHANGE Leader or Alumni, log in to the CHANGE Network. You'll find updates about Oxfam’s work, the latest job postings, and opportunities to connect with CHANGE alumni in your area.
Hear CHANGE Leaders from across the years share their insights about the program, its impact on their lives, their memories as student activists, and the rich and deep connections they have made with their fellow CHANGE Leaders: