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Welcome to 'Change Agent'

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Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright

(Read caption) Hilton Kelley stands on a playground in front of the Motiva oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Kelley has just received a $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize for his efforts to fight pollution in the community. He left a burgeoning career in Hollywood in 2000 and moved back to his hometown after seeing its plight.

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It's National Volunteer Week. What better time to launch a new blog about helping others.

A "Change Agent" stirs things up. She or he isn't satisfied with the world the way it is. Things can be changed for the better. Problems await solutions. People are capable of finding them.

For two years the Monitor has been singling out one individual somewhere in the world each week to highlight as a person making a difference. We're about to publish our 100th profile in the "People Making a Difference" series online and in print: Hilton Kelley, a winner of this year's Goldman Environmental Prize.

Internally we call these stories PMADs. The idea was conceived by former Monitor editor Richard Bergenheim. Our current editor, John Yemma, did a great job of explaining the role of PMADs at the Monitor last fall in his Editor's Blog.

This Change Agent blog hopes to build on and supplement these PMAD stories with more dialogue on how nonprofit groups, social entrepreneurs, and other motivated individuals are helping others. We'll be pointing out good stories about PMAD-like doers both in the Monitor and elsewhere on the Web. We hope to post occasional exclusive interviews with PMADs here, too.

And Change Agent will be a venue for guest bloggers, for top social entrepreneurs, web journalists, and people working on projects to help others. Among the contributors will be the writers at Dowser.org, founded by David Bornstein, and Pamela Hawley, the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving.org.

Who are the Change Agents in your community and what makes them successful? What can we learn from each other? What are the best ways to get started in making a difference? Do you have an inspiring story to share?

Let's have a discussion.

-- Greg Lamb, editor of the Monitor's "People Making a Difference" feature


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