Our Program

Change Network Flyer

The Minnesota leadership cohort will be led by a collaboration between Cultural Wellness Center and Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. This program will run from Fall 2017 to Summer 2018. This cohort is designed for leaders rooted in community, organizations, or larger systems and are positioned to be change makers. For those who have been fighting for change but have come up against obstacles are ones who will find a good fit in this program.


The application is open to people of all cultural communities. The cohort is best suited for people who express mutual pursuit of a harmonious future through transformative, inclusive and equitable leadership. The network is seeking individuals who are about the business of doing work life/career path in a different way. Leaders in this cohort will bring the best of themselves to the Change Network.


Individuals who enter the Change Network will go through a rigorous process that will push them past a curiosity for change into an active pursuit of becoming an agent of self-transformation. These will be leaders who are dedicated to making a change in their capacity to bring into existence a society where all members can reach their fullest potential. Leaders in the network will get clarity to better understand themselves, know where they need to be, and whether to stay or to leave the work they do in order to lead inclusively and equitably. These are leaders with desire to change and leaders who have within their power a desire to make change.


The program includes a cultural self-study component that encourages self-reflection, cultivating relationships with your community elder and organizational champion, learning organizational and institutional analysis skills, the opportunity to scope out a project and be provided funding (of $5,000) to support it. The program meets monthly for the year.


For more information, go to www.changenetworkminnesota.com


champions should 1) have the ability to make concrete change in the participant’s organization or system, and 2) provide support, access, and influence with the expectation that there will be regular interaction.

Champions are not mentors. Champions do more than help leaders expand their networks or provide perspective or advice based on their own experience. Champions actively and vocally support the participants and seek to remove obstacles that might stand in their way. While many mentors exist outside of the participant’s organization, champions should be someone within the institution or system, like an executive director, board member, founder, or someone one or two steps above the participant, who has a keen understanding of the participant as a leader. For the champions, the participant’s success is their goal. We will clearly articulate this definition of champion in the application materials so that the participants will be able to identify an appropriate champion for the program.


Prior to the cohort starting, we will invite the champions to a networking gathering. At that gathering, we will explain further what it means for them to be chosen as champions by the participants. We will facilitate a conversation amongst the champions to illuminate the ways in which they can be successful as champions. We will provide them with a set of guiding questions to use with the participants, based on the conversation. We will gather the champions together again once during the middle of the program and again at the end of the program.

During the leadership program, the champions will come for lunch on the first day of the program where they will walk through the guiding questions that we will prepare for them. The participants will also be tasked to meet with their champions at least once per month as they are developing their plan to get feedback about the opportunities and challenges that exist in the plan. They will push the participants to develop ambitious plans while also helping to prepare the institutions to have the plans implemented. Champions and elders will be invited to attend group gatherings. They will also come for the last day of the program to celebrate the participants’ completion of the cohort.


For the coaching component of the program, we will model this from CWC’s Elder Coaching program. This is the CWC’s cultural practice of the elders making themselves available to regularly check-in with anyone who finds themselves in need of guidance, advice, permission, assurance, understanding, wisdom, or anything else of a similar nature. Elders see this as a high priority obligation because it is how their cultural knowledge and wisdom is carried into the future. All that is shared by elders or staff is based in, and done because of, cultural knowledge. This approach reinforces the concept that leadership development is not just an individual change, but a mirroring back to the community. Elder coaching can address a behavior change or skill development, as well as developing a vision in order to work with the system.

Each of the 15 cohort participants will be matched one-on-one with a coach. They can identify an Elder from their own community or the PNLC and CWC will assist them in finding a coach based on the participants’ goals and what they hope to accomplish through their time in the program that they express in their applications. Coaches may help refine and focus the participants’ action plans, and could also help with a specific skill or area that the participant wants to work on that has come up in the cohort.


What is a community elder and organization champion?

  • When and where do we meet?
  • Is it once a month after work or do I need to take the day off?
  • Does it cost anything for me to attend? And what if I don’t live in the Twin Cities?
  • Wat kind of project am I doing?
  • How do I apply and what does that process look like? When do I find out if I’m accepted?



Throughout the course, participants will work with their champions to develop an action plan to embed their learnings in their own organization. The Steering Team will develop a rubric to evaluate the quality of these action plans and on whether they meet the criteria of applying the concepts to their work. For every satisfactory plan, $5,000 will be awarded to support their implementation.

Throughout the implementation phase, participants will have to check in with their champions and coaches to work out roadblocks, re-strategize, and evaluate their progress. There will be a set timeline for the implementation of the action plan. At the end of the timeline, participants will be brought back together to share out on their successes and challenges of implementing what they learned. We can capture these learnings into multi-media e-cases (via the Hubert Project), thus providing a way for the cohort to learn from each other beyond the program, and for the subsequent cohorts the opportunity to learn from the previous ones