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19 South Dakotans Selected To Change Network Learning Experience

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension Community Vitality team is proud to announce 19 South Dakotans have been selected to the 2021-2022 South Dakota Change Network. Representing communities and Native nations across the state, these change makers have identified opportunities to create more equitable, accessible and welcoming environments where they live and work.

South Dakota Change Network is a year-long learning experience in support of individuals leading projects to drive positive change in their organizations and communities. Through a curriculum of online and in-person convenings, self-directed lessons, interactive exercises and discussion groups, participants gain proven leadership techniques and explore collaborative opportunities critical to their project’s long-term success.

Projects among the 2021-2022 cohort include a cooperative at the Cheyenne River Reservation supporting youth involvement in Lakota culture through agriculture and horsemanship; performance art that looks at history from a woman’s point of view and sparks discussions on how we can decrease racism, increase understanding and celebrate diversity; and more. For a full list of the projects in the South Dakota and North Dakota cohorts, visit the Meet the Cohorts page.

“South Dakota is full of people with good ideas on how their communities can be more welcoming and accessible to the diverse populations who call our state home,” says Kari O’Neill SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Manager. “We are thrilled for the opportunity these leaders have to learn from both our program faculty and each other over the next year, as they strive to make an even greater difference in their communities, which is critical now more than ever.”

South Dakota Change Network is led via a partnership of 3E Productions, CommonSense Consulting@Work, NAS, SDSU Extension and filmmaker Charles Kennedye. Funding for the program is made possible through the generous support of the Bush Foundation. Upon graduation, participants will join a network of nearly 100 leaders from the South Dakota Change Network and North Dakota Change Network who continue to collaborate in their work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive world.

2021-2022 South Dakota Change Network Cohorts are:

Amy Rambow, Watertown
Anna Robinson, Belle Fourche
Anne Funderburg, Brookings
Britney Leinen, Sioux Falls
Carl Petersen, Parade
Carol Grode-Hanks, Mitchell
Fenecia Foster, Crooks
Jennifer Ball, Sioux Falls
Jessi Whetsel, Watertown
Joyce Jefferson, Rapid City
Justin Summers, Sioux Falls
Justin Bauer, Rapid City
Kati Seymour, Sioux Falls
Lindsey Kimber, Britton
Lisa Martin, Madison
Merlyn Sell, Rapid City
Nick Eilts, Aberdeen
Nik Aberle, Rapid City
Patty Bordeaux Nelson, Madison

To learn more visit the South Dakota Change Network site and follow the cohort’s journey online using the hashtag #NDSDchangenetwork.