Change Collective

Seventy-Two Local Leaders Selected to Join the Change Collective and Drive Impact at the Community Level

The Change Collective’s second cohort will unite local leaders in Chicago, Detroit and Jackson to create action plans that address issues like health care access, environmental justice and economic development

Washington, DC: Today, the Change Collective announced a new cohort of 72 changemakers dedicated to making a difference in their communities of Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, and Jackson, MS. They will join the second cohort of the Change Collective, a leadership initiative housed at Civic Nation and launched in 2023 to connect, elevate and train local changemakers across the country. These changemakers will have access to the Change Collective’s alumni community, a wide network of mentors, intentional programming and leadership development opportunities.

“Real change happens at the local level, and we need to empower real people to drive that change in the ways they know will best serve their communities,” said Kalisha Dessources Figures, Senior Fellow at Civic Nation. “We’ve been inspired by the potential and dedication of local changemakers in the first Change Collective cohort, and we are so excited to continue to support and develop future leaders on their paths driving effective change and innovation in their communities.” 

From education, climate change and mental health, to economic development, civic engagement and community building, this Change Collective cohort will create civic action plans to address issues like health access and environmental justice in their communities. 

  • Pharlone Toussaint in Chicago will help communities impacted by systemic oppression use movement and physical activity to work through trauma, particularly in the South and West sides of the city.
  • Jennifer Giroux in Detroit will tie together environmental justice activism and education by establishing a land trust and engaging the community to transform public landscaped areas with native plantings and rain gardens.
  • Azia Wiggins, a Jackson native, will work with historically overlooked communities in her city to give them the tools to build power and take action to improve the infrastructure and programs they need, including expanding Medicaid and tackling the water crisis.


Learn more about Pharlone, Jennifer, Azia and all 72 of the incoming cohort members here. Both the 2023 and 2024 cohorts will gather together in Chicago for the National Change Lab at the end of the month. Members of the media interested in speaking with the leadership of the Change Collective or a cohort member should email