The Brenda Jones Change Agent award recognizes an NCORE-ISCORE alumni who continue
to contribute to the understanding and awareness of topics related to race and ethnicity and have
created change in their community.
The 2019 NCORE-ISCORE Brenda Jones Change Agent Award recipient is Caleb Short.
Caleb graduated from Iowa State in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education before moving to Chicago to teach. Working at schools in impoverished and majority immigrant communities taught him more than ever imagined and for him reaffirmed the reasons he had a passion for education in the first place–to close the education gap. In 2011, He packed up everything and moved to Haiti to assist in a micro-finance organization that was helping to rebuild the small business sector after the devastating earthquake that had hit the country a year before. While living in Haiti, he experienced first-hand the effects of American and European imperialist policies that had systematically been undermining the hard work and determination of the first Black republic in the Western Hemisphere. Soon after returning to Iowa, Caleb wanted to channel his frustrations and passion into an organization that would work to make the world a more equitable place for all people, no matter where they were born or to whom. In 2014, with the help of a great team of fellow change agents, Education Freedom Equality was born. EFE’s purpose is to partner with organizations and individuals to support programs that promote progress, self-awareness and opportunity for all. In 2015, Caleb had the honor of representing Des Moines Public Schools in the Japanese sister city of Kofu as an English teacher for the academic year. There he learned the differences, as well as similarities, between Western and Eastern philosophies in regards to education and life in general. Now, Caleb can be found working with Education Freedom Equality and teaching middle school math at Goodrell Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa.
Caleb says, “Before becoming involved with NCORE/ISCORE I was completely ignorant of issues related to race, ethnicity, inequality and oppression. It truly was a life changing experience and I hope I have made the world a better place because of the things I learned from the great people involved in this program. The fight for justice continues and I am eternally grateful that my eyes were opened and I strive to be a part of that change in others.”
In 2012, the NCORE-ISCORE Brenda Jones Change Agent Award was created, honoring Brenda Jones. Jones created the fourteen original paintings for ISCORE. In her own paintings
she explores figurative compositions that express her love of color and her concerns about
human relationships. They have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and are included
in many private and public art collections.