Change Collective, Initiatives, Press Release

Seventy-Four Local Changemakers Selected to Join Change Collective and Drive Action on Issues Impacting Communities Across the Country

The Change Collective announced its inaugural cohort of 74 emerging leaders uniting to bridge divides and solve community problems in Chicago, Detroit and Jackson

Washington, DC: Today, the Change Collective announced its inaugural cohort of 74 changemakers on a mission to make a difference in Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, and Jackson, MS. The cohort members will be the first to join a national network of local changemakers that will be scaled in coming years and will spend the next six months in an onboarding training program focused on building the skills and tools they will need to drive local change. Members of the Change Collective will have ongoing access to training opportunities, leadership development and a wide network of mentors. On June 7th, the full cohort will gather in Detroit for the inaugural National Change Lab that will kick off the program. 

The Change Collective is a new leadership initiative created to connect, elevate and train local changemakers across the country. The initiative, housed at Civic Nation, launched earlier this year with a video from former President Barack Obama. The cohort will create civic action plans to tackle issues impacting their communities, including education, food and health access, economic development, civic engagement and community building. 

“Our mission at the Change Collective is to invest in the local genius, innovation and expertise of community leaders who are committed to making enduring and transformative changes in the places they call home,” said Kalisha Dessources Figures, Senior Fellow at Civic Nation, who will lead the new initiative’s work. “We firmly believe that lasting change starts at the local level, and our program is designed to support and uplift these dedicated individuals who are determined to create that impact.”

In Chicago, incoming cohort member and Chicago native Amber Anderson will work with the Change Collective to build her mentorship program for middle and high school girls and partner with the school system to improve college and career readiness for young women. Lee Scott, a Jackson, MS, native who has spent years working in the service and financial sectors, will work to provide workforce development training and connect his community with the skills they need to thrive in one of the fastest-growing industries — technology. 

And in Detroit, Byron Brooks is using his skills, lived experience and support from the Change Collective to combat youth homelessness. Brooks’s mother was incarcerated when he was born and throughout his life, and he experienced homelessness many times as a child and college student. Since then, he founded his own nonprofit organization, From The Hood For The Hood, and will use his cohort experience to continue to support young people experiencing homelessness through a holistic and intentional approach.  

Of the group of 74 community leaders, 76% identify as a person of color and 58% identify as women. The age range of the group ranges from 22 to 60 years old, with 27% of members being younger than 30 and 66% older than 36. This diverse group of changemakers includes: 

  • Educators across age groups seeking to give back outside of the classroom
  • Up-and-coming community organizers looking to get started  
  • Political advocates redirecting their impact on their own communities
  • Leaders of organizations working to maximize and expand their community impact
  • Advocates focused on increasing access to resources in finance, education, healthcare, climate change, housing, food, technology and sports 
  • Corporate leaders creating local opportunities for the next generation
  • Lawyers shifting to use their expertise to support their local community

Learn more about the stories and work of all 74 inaugural cohort members here. Members of the media interested in speaking with the leadership of the Change Collective or a cohort member should email