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Recruiting Agents of Change Venture Teams with up to $30k Award

Do you have ideas for addressing injustice for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in areas such as housing, employment, education, community engagement, advocacy, voting rights or policy, marriage equality, or other critical issues?

We are recruiting early-stage Agents of Change (AOC) Venture Teams who are ready to take an idea from conception to a business or social movement action plan. Candidates must have personal experience with a chronic illness, mental health condition, developmental, physical or sensory disability, AND be passionate about equity and justice for our community.

This 8-month experiential program involves a blend of personal reflection and leadership skills. AOCs will

  • develop a team (if applying as an individual or bring your own team)
  • explore high-impact practices that move communities from consumers of a movement to activism
  • cultivate a deep understanding of systemic issues
  • engage stakeholders to identify opportunities for long-term sustainable community change.
  • use social entrepreneurship tools to develop a venture plan
    present their social change and venture pitch that will be eligible for seed funding determined by committee of peer reviewers in the disability community.

Applicants must be committed to developing their leadership and social entrepreneurship skills to change perceptions, access, pride, and action for people with disabilities. Agents of Change must display creativity, empathy, and critical thinking skills to identify a problem and propose a solution.

The AOC Curriculum includes some of the following key themes:

  • Change Agent Capacity – cultivating presence, attachment and avoidance, balance and self-care, mindful engagement, ethics, limiting beliefs and power dynamics
  • Diagnosing social issues – issue maps, and problem trees
  • Solutions design – asset analysis

Additional requirements:

Attend two 2-day in-person retreats in Arlington Virginia
Weekly 1-hour coaching sessions via Zoom or web-conference software
Weekly research and program development within team
Maintain a personal journal
Daily and weekly mindful and contemplative practices
Able/willing to gather in Northern Virginia

Applications are due by December 16, 2022
Apply Online

Program Timeline:

  • November 29, 2022 – Announcement
  • December 16, 2022 – Application Deadline
  • December 19-22, 2022 – Interviews and Selection Process
  • December 23, 2022 – Selection Announcement
  • January 20-22, 2023 – Kickoff Gathering – Solutions Design
  • January 31-May 16 – Weekly Tuesday Meetings and Team Assignments
  • May 19-22, 2023 (tentative) – Mid-Program Workshop – Operations Design
  • June-July 2023 – Weekly Tuesday Meetings and Team Assignments continue
  • August 2023 – Social Venture Capital Pitches ($30,000 will be awarded by a committee of peers)

This initiative is a part of the Ford Foundation-funded Disability Justice Interdependent Learning Lab (DJILL). The Lab’s goal is to mobilize people with disabilities by engaging our allies, assets, and synergies to transform perceptions, systems, services, and possibilities for our community. Changemakers should expect to build an intentional community of support with like-minded individuals and communities. We envision emerging leaders with BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, immigrant, and other marginalized identities that intersect with disability.

For more information, reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, please contact Cherie Takemoto, Director of Disability Justice and Strategic Innovation at cheriet@ecnv.org.