18 Change Makers Selected to South Dakota Change Network

By NAS     Sep 9, 2020

Martin, SD – SDSU Extension is excited to announce the 2020-2021 cohort of South Dakota Change Network, a yearlong fellowship for individuals to gain experience driving equitable and inclusive change in their organizations and communities. These 18 change makers were selected from throughout South Dakota and the Native nations it shares geography with for their passion to make a difference in the places they live and work.

“Strong communities are critical during times of uncertainty and emphasize thoughtful leaders who can facilitate inclusive change,” said Kari O’Neill, Community Vitality Field Specialist with SDSU Extension. “South Dakota Change Network’s cohort model promotes connections among leaders with diverse backgrounds and ideas, sparking meaningful conversations on how to see change through.”

Begun in 2017, South Dakota Change Network is a partnership between 3E ProductionsCommonSense Consulting@WorkNAS and SDSU Extension. The supportive learning environment participants join includes online convenings to learn and build strong connections among each other, one-on-one coaching and mentorship, an online curriculum, collaboration with participants of the South Dakota Change Network program, and access to a small grant.

These change makers bring projects focused on gaining support for Native American students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to learn and strengthen the Lakota language, educating the community of Aberdeen on antiracism and celebrating the town’s diverse cultures, and more. Together, these change makers will embrace their authentic leadership capacities, examine opportunities to advance their projects, and become stronger leaders in their organizations and communities. Learn more about the incredible leaders of both Change Network cohorts.

South Dakota Change Network is funded through the generous support of the Bush Foundation. At the program’s conclusion, change makers will join a network of nearly 100 leaders from South Dakota Change Network and North Dakota Change Network who continue to work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive world.

2020-2021 South Dakota Change Network Cohort:

Sydney Bartunek | Sioux Falls

Amy Fill | Volin

Anthony Firman | Flandreau

Annicka Gunderson | Vermillion

Kayla Herman | Aberdeen

Laura Hoiten | Watertown

Kenton James | Flandreau

Kaitlyn Johnson | Spearfish

Sarah Larson | Sioux Falls

Jessica Lewis | Rapid City

Elizabeth Lone Eagle | Howes

Emily Meier | Aberdeen

Jessica Meyers | Sioux Falls

Tamera Miyasato | Rapid City

Patrick Pope | Sioux Falls

Peggy Schlechter | Rapid City

Anita Shrestha | Vermillion

Marla Thunder Bull | Wounded Knee