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Opportunity for Teens: Equitable Development Academy

This is a highly interactive journey for community changemakers (youth and adults!) to network with equity advocates, drive dominant culture shifts, develop team building skills, and learn tools for systems change. This exciting project is sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and facilitated by Sophia Rodriguez and members of the Solvable team.

The content to be featured in the Academy was, in part, cultivated from a dialogue series featuring multidisciplinary field leaders discussing anti-racism, ecological thriving, inner work for societal transformation, and community stewardship. Based on these dialogues, we’ve created two groups of goals for the program that are centered on personal development and community development, respectively:

Personal Development Goals

  • Self-Reflection and Growth: Achieve self-awareness and personal growth by exploring values and understanding one's role in building equitable communities.

  • Skill Development: Level up and acquire a diverse range of skills, including communication, critical thinking, empathy, leadership, and conflict resolution.

  • Personal Empowerment: Unlock expanded potential and discover the inner strength to create positive change within communities, increasing personal efficacy.

  • Expanded Awareness: Overcome biases, challenge prejudices, and identify core values.

  • Emotional Fortitude: Develop resilience and self-care strategies, effectively managing challenges, setbacks, and conflicts that may arise during community projects.

Community Development Goals

  • Equitable Community Builder: Encourage the development of equitable communities by identifying and seeking to shift structural and interpersonal challenges

  • Collaborative Champion: Forge partnerships and alliances with diverse stakeholders, leveraging collective strengths to achieve impactful and sustainable outcomes.

  • Sustainable Steward: Implement and promote sustainable practices, cultivating positive and reciprocal environmental relationships in communities.

  • Healing Catalyst: Foster healing, inclusivity, and restorative practices within communities, creating safe spaces and bringing about transformative change.

  • Empowerment Advocate: Empower individuals and groups, helping build capacity in others to actively participate in decision-making processes and shape community.

This three-month leadership adventure will launch at the end of August. We’re looking for youth and adult teams that are composed of at least one adult and 2-4 young people who are able to commit to this highly participatory journey. Sessions will take place on Zoom and be 1.5 hours in length. Each session falls on a Thursday and is scheduled to be from 7:30 to 9 pm ET. Alongside cohort-wide sessions, each team will have the option for one-on-one sessions with an Academy Coach to support the integration of Academy content into their personal practice and community projects:

  • Session one: Thursday, August 31st from 7:30-9 pm ET

  • Session two: Thursday, September 7th from 7:30-9 pm ET

  • Session three: Thursday, September 21st from 7:30-9 pm ET

  • Session four: Thursday, October 5th from 7:30-9 pm ET

  • Session five: Thursday, October 19th from 7:30-9 pm ET

In this time of unprecedented health, social, economic and environmental crises, the Well Connected Communities team is deeply questioning the ways we promote and discourage equity. We are excited about the work you do and hope to partner with you in this work to cultivate well-being for all life.

Please contact Sophia Rodriguez, Well-Being & Equity Project Manager; email:; M: 912-977-2772 | (Based in St. Simons Island, GA) for further information and to register your youth-adult team’s intention to participate.

Registration should be completed by Thursday, August 24, 2023.
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