BROOKINGS, S.D. — SDSU Extension is pleased to announce the 20 South Dakotans selected to join the second South Dakota Change Network cohort.

“From welcoming new populations in Aberdeen to emphasizing inclusivity in the arts in Vermillion, these participants are driven to improve the places they live and work,” said Kari O’Neill, SDSU Extension community vitality field specialist.

The Change Network, sponsored by the Bush Foundation, provides South Dakotans, North Dakotans, Minnesotans, and the region’s 12 Native nations with a supportive learning environment to lead change within their organizations and communities in a more equitable and inclusive manner.

The cohort will spend the next year working one-on-one with mentors and jointly in group discussions while attending online learning sessions and three participant seminars.

The following South Dakotans make up the 2018 Change Network Corhort: Golnesa Asheghali, Rapid City; Caitlin Bordeaux, Saint Francis; Keith Braveheart, Vermillion; Casey Burrus, Herrick; Naomi Even-Aberle, Rapid City; Bea Fischer, Aberdeen; Amber Hansen, Vermillion; Heidi Hepola, Aberdeen; Betta Jay, Flandreau; Julie Johnson, Mina; Pam Lange, Belle Fourche; Leslie Larson-Cutshaw, Clear Lake; Sandra Kern Mollman, Vermillion; Tamie Nickelson, Frederick; Emily Firman Pieper, Flandreau; Jay Pond, Rapid City; Paul Schipper, Sioux Falls; Julie Stevenson, Watertown; Cary Thrall, Lead and Erica Weston, Oglala.

“We are excited to engage a diverse group of South Dakotans who span multiple backgrounds, professions, ways of thinking, points of view, and ages,” O’Neill said. “One of Change Network’s greatest strengths is the cohort’s ability to learn from and assist each other thanks to their breadth of expertise.”

Launched in 2017, Change Network is made possible through the collaboration of 3E Productions, Bush Foundation, CommonSense Consulting@Work, MillerHale Associates, National Arts Strategies, SDSU Extension and Strengthen ND.

Participation in the Change Network is generously funded by the Bush Foundation and includes access to a $5,000 grant to implement a pilot project or support a related ongoing community project.

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