Barack Obama is launching a new leadership network focused on engaging emerging leaders around civic engagement, reports Washington Post. The former president’s vision for the Change Collective is to “develop, connect and elevate changemakers across the country."
According to the report, the initiative intends to develop a network of local leaders across the country who share resources and political strategies to make a difference in their various locales. Additionally, participants will receive leadership development training that will center on community organizing with public officials and institutions before creating a civic action project in their local neighborhoods.
The inaugural class of the Change Collective will include 25 participants from Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, and Jackson, MS. The cities were selected based on Civic Nation’s current partnerships in the areas and the “tangible issues that participants will be able to work on.”
“Our country is changing. But I still believe there is more that unites us than divides us. And that’s because I believe in the power of community. Our physical communities—from neighborhoods and schools to offices and churches—bring us together,” Obama said in a video announcement.
Kalisha Dessources Figures, who will lead the program and previously served as an Obama aide, spoke about the vast potential of the participants and their communities.
“We are looking for emerging leaders eager to address a real issue in their community, whether they are college students delivering clean water to seniors in Jackson, a parent running an after-school program at their kid’s school in Detroit or an urban farmer addressing food insecurity issues in Chicago,” Figures said.
The Change Collective will be housed at Civic Nation, a nonpartisan nonprofit in Washington, D.C. The inaugural class will receive leadership development training that will center on community organizing with public officials and institutions before creating a civic action project in their local neighborhoods.
Applications are now open for interested candidates to apply.