A lot of people across the region are working to make their communities better for everyone. Change Network connects you to a group of leaders working across differences, preparing you to lead and support your organization and community to be more inclusive and equitable.

Downloads & Information

This year-long program will support you as you advance both the skills and networks you need as you make the places you live and work more inclusive. You will participate in two in-person convenings and online learning and exchange activities. You will have access to tailored advising and a small project grant. This challenging and supportive environment will build your self-awareness, leadership and systems change skills sets.

If you see opportunities to make equitable change in your South Dakota community, this program is for you.

Up to 20 South Dakotans will be selected for the Change Network. Will you be one of them?

As a member of this network, you will:

Identify objectives related to your desire to engage across difference


Develop a personal action plan, including concrete steps to achieve your stated goals



Share your experiences with colleagues in this program, your organization, broader networks and the region



Receive support and learn from industry experts located both locally and nationally



Support a project to embed your learning and implement change in your organization or community, aided by a small Change Network grant




Who Should Apply

The cohort will consist of up to 20 members selected from multiple sectors including nonprofits, corporations, academia, small business, government, and community volunteers. We are not looking for individuals who are professional diversity and inclusion practitioners.

We’re looking for participants that represent many dimensions of diversity such as thinking style, gender, expertise, sexual orientation, and race. You may or may not be a well known leader but are ready to learn and apply the ideas and skills from the program to help your organization and/or community strengthen its ability to be diverse and inclusive. Ideal applicants are hungry to learn and see the opportunities to make change.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on your response to application questions, including your identified community need, and with an eye toward selecting a diverse group throughout the state. You must be a resident of South Dakota.

The application requests that you share the diversity and inclusion concerns you would most like to impact in your organization and/or community as well as what ideas you have for addressing these concerns. Your participation in the Change Network program can be in collaboration with your place of work or not, though you must work in partnership with an organization.

As part of the program, you are required to have the support from at least one individual (Champion) in your current network. Ideally, this person should be able to offer wisdom, support and have expertise in the arena you are hoping to impact as well as the ability to help you influence and implement changes in your organization or community. This person can be a board member, supervisor, elder, or expert in your organization or a partner organization. The Champion will not be expected to attend in-person meetings but will be asked to participate in occasional calls with you and your designated Confidant (program facilitator assigned to you). We ask that you please name this person in your application.


The Change Network program runs for a year and consists of two learning cycles. Each cycle begins with a three-day in-person convening. Each convening brings content experts and leading faculty from U.S. universities.

Between convenings you will have monthly remote meetings, online exchange activities, and project design coaching with designated confidants.

April 1 – May 31, 2018: Applications accepted

August, 2018: Change Network Cohort Announced

September 25 - 28, 2018: First in-person convening

October 2018 – May 2019: Remote monthly intersession meetings and online exchange activities

June 2019: Second in-person convening

July 2019 – September 2019: Change Network grant check-in and next steps.


The program is free to participants. All expenses including meals, private hotel room and program materials are completely underwritten. Mileage driven to and from each in-person convening will be reimbursed. Participation in the two in-person convenings is mandatory.

If needed, participants must have approval of their workplace to take paid time off to participate in-person convenings and occasional day-time phone calls.

If participant needs additional support for accessibility or transportation, options may be available.

Our Partnership

Our diverse team of leaders hale from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia. Our approach gives the cohort cross-sector insights, expertise and resources. We seek to infuse our cohort with empathy, understanding, and tools to create lasting and meaningful change within your organizations and ecosystems.