CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE

Lead with courage 

Nadine Hall, Greenhills School

In vibrant communities, all people are welcomed, included, valued and nurtured. The racial disparities our communities face, though, prove that we’re not there. Champions for Change inspires and cultivates leaders as we all work toward a co-liberated future. Together, we can find new ways to disrupt the many forms of racism.

Our community of practice is a space for imagination, healing, experimentation and transformation. Here, Leaders of Color are nurtured and supported as they grow their social change work. White Leaders learn ways to wholeheartedly leverage their power and privilege for justice. Together, we’re laying the groundwork for systemic change in our communities.

 Why Champions for Change and why NEW?

Our nonprofit ecosystem doesn’t include enough mission-driven leaders of color as decision-makers. Yet representation – a seat at the table – isn’t enough. To truly shift power and foster cultures of belonging, we must value leaders of color for who they are and what they offer. NEW invests in leaders of color by cultivating communities that are supportive of their leadership, so that we can move toward justice together.

For Leaders of Color:

Explore and cultivate your power and leadership in loving community.

For White Leaders:

Unpack and find your role in an anti-racist society.

Applications for the 2021-22 Fellowship are now closed.

Interested in joining the Champions for Change community? Click the button below to sign up for updates

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are Champions for Change’s Objectives?
  • Deepen leaders’ understanding and skills for advancing social and racial justice, equity and inclusion along individual, interpersonal, institutional and societal lines.
  • Enhance the cohort participants’ emotional skills and practices of courage, resilience and compassion to sustain justice work.
  •  Honor the wisdom and experiences of the CFC community by uplifting their knowledge and expertise.
  • Strengthen relationships among leaders in Washtenaw County who are focused on racial justice.
  • Support the Champions for Change community in identifying and upending policies, practices and procedures that create barriers to justice and liberation within their institutions and spheres of influence.
  • Advocate for leaders of color to assume leadership roles on boards, committees, task forces, public office and community-led projects to better reflect the communities that they serve.
How Do I Know if Champions for Change is Right for Me?

Our Fellows are Washtenaw County leaders from diverse backgrounds, committed to advancing racial justice and social change in various ways. They are eager to partner with others across lines of difference and form deep relationships. They’re ready to grow and learn both individually and collectively.

The Leaders of Color (LOC) Fellowship is open to self-identifying People of Color. Our White Leaders (WL) Fellowship is open to self-identifying White or White-presenting people. Fellows must be 18 years or older and live or work in Washtenaw County. Fellows must also have stable access to the internet in order to engage in the 2021-22 program. We recognize that this may be a barrier for some and will do our best to make the program more accessible going forward. This fellowship is open to anyone in the Washtenaw County community, regardless of citizenship.

What Are the Application Criteria?

The most important element of your application is your personal commitment to advancing racial justice in Washtenaw County.  Here are additional criteria we’ll consider when reviewing your application:

  • We’ll consider whether you are qualified: 
    • Do you live or work in Washtenaw County (regardless of citizenship)?
    • Will you have access to the internet, in order to engage fully in this virtual program?
  • We’ll consider the diversity of the cohorts, with the following identities in mind:
    • Race/Ethnicity
    • Gender (identity or expression, beyond the binary welcome)
    • Age
    • Work – sector and industry
  • We’ll want to know that you’re open to learning, ready to engage, and willing to be vulnerable in the right moments. You need to be ready to grow individually and collectively.

  • We’ll want to feel that you’re committed to deepening relationships in our community.
How Does Champions for Change Work?

Leaders of Color (LOC) and White Leaders (WL) each commit to an eight-month-long intensive leadership development program, which meets monthly, in three-hour sessions. Each program emphasizes building relationships, sharing stories and practicing deep listening; we devote space for work within and between cohorts.

Each cohort will include 18-22 leaders of diverse identities and different communities in Washtenaw County. At this time, all sessions in the 2021-2022 program will take place virtually.

Why Two Tracks?
Leaders of Color and White Leaders have different needs in our journey to racial justice and collective healing. We need to create spaces where people can grow comfortable sharing honestly and deeply about their experiences, lowering their armor. Two tracks allow us to do that. This approach minimizes harm and allows for deeper dialogue when the cohorts come together.
How Much Does It Cost?

We are asking $1,000 per person from those who are able to pay. Please note that NEW is willing to work out a monthly payment plan, if this is requested. Payments or arrangements for a monthly payment plan should be completed by Wednesday, September 15th, 2021.

We recognize that this cost may not be realistic for some. And we do not want cost to be a barrier to your joining this community. The support of the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders also allows us to make scholarship funding available to some who need it. Even if you are concerned about the cost, we encourage you to apply. We will do our absolute best to make it work.

We also want to encourage employers to sponsor their staff. For those who are able, consider sponsoring applicants to both cohorts. If you are interested in having one of your team members attend, please review the application criteria and ask your team member to complete the application.  Prior experience has taught us that this is the best way to encourage institutional change. Your organization can do better than an anti-racism statement. Invest in your team!

Champions for Change 2021-22 Schedule
Leaders of Color White Leaders
Orientation

Saturday, September 25th

9am-12pm

Saturday, September 25th

9am-12pm

Session 1: Grounding in Our Stories

Saturday, October 23rd

9am – 12pm

Sunday, October 17th

3pm – 6pm

Session 2: Washtenaw Historical Journey

Saturday, November 13th

9am – 12pm

Saturday, November 13th

9am – 12pm

Session 3: Introduction to Dialogue

Saturday, December 4th

9am – 12pm

Sunday, December 12th

3pm – 6pm

Session 4: Courageous Conversations

Sunday, January 23rd

3pm – 6pm

Sunday, January 23rd

3pm – 6pm

Session 5: Embedded Racis and Embodied Resistance

Saturday, February 26th

9am – 12pm

Sunday, February 20th

3pm – 6pm

Session 6: Reflecting on Our Organizations

Saturday, March 12th

9am – 12pm

Sunday, March 20th

3pm – 6pm

Session 7: Visioning

Saturday, April 9th

9am – 12pm

Saturday, April 9th

9am – 12pm

Celebration

Sunday, May 8th

3pm – 6pm

Sunday, May 8th

3pm – 6pm

Idlewild Retreat (Tentative)

Friday, May 20th – Sunday, May 23rd

Depart at 9am – Return at 5pm

 

Yen Azarro

There was no moment that I didn’t feel cared for. The facilitators were so thoughtful and intentional, in every possible way.

Yen Azarro
Leader of Color 2019-2020

visual artist, creator and connector