The Liber Institute and Cambiar
Wayútȟokeča -
Change Agents 2020

Applications are open until July 15th, 2020.

The Liber Institute and Cambiar Change Agents Program will include a youth corps of 25 Indigenous change agents—leaders, creators, and problem solvers—who are 15 to 19 years old and prepared to lead transformational change.


Seemingly overnight, the world as we’ve known it has transformed. As COVID-19 spread across the country, schools and educators scrambled to ensure our young people were safe, cared for, and learning in meaningful ways. Amidst the immense hardships of the moment, we saw stark evidence of the inequities in our nation’s approach to education… and then the video of George Floyd hit social media.

We are at a critical moment in America. Inequality is growing, and today’s students will face new challenges as our world becomes more interconnected, and technology continues to develop at a fast rate. “Students who are best prepared for the future are change agents.” The pandemic and protests have put a spotlight on these inequities and what they are doing to communities. We created the Change Agents Program so that our students might address those challenges.


Participating students will bring their unique perspectives to solving the complex problems facing communities across South Dakota as they prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. They will learn to develop the mindsets and practice critical skills, such as researching, setting goals, and directing their own learning, which will help them to thrive in school and become lifelong change agents. 

Change Agents will connect virtually for two weeks of learning in their communities. The program includes * three * core components: 


  1. WORKSHOPS focused on studying community and youth change agents. The workshops offer a unique opportunity for students to engage in deep dialogue and debate with each other. Students learn to examine their own beliefs, consider alternative perspectives, and develop empathy for others. Through this close examination of leadership, students reflect on their own purpose, passion, and journey as change agents.
  2. SKILL-BUILDING ACTIVITIES that build the foundation for academic and life success, including:
    • Curiosity and Belief: develop the courage, confidence, and resiliency to lead change
    • Research: be curious, question, and observe
    • Engage: communicate, collaborate and network effectively
    • Act: learn from a fast iterative process and not be afraid to fail forward
    • Analyze: think strategically, think critically, and recognize both patterns and connections
  1. STUDENT-LED PROJECTS to explore community needs, then address critical challenges in education. Students learn the innovation cycle by solving a series of challenges. Students start small using a human-centered design process used by innovators around the world; then team up and collaborate to create recommendations for local school districts and Tribal Education Departments.

The Liber Institute and Cambiar Change Agents Program seeks to light a spark for students to become change agents within their own communities. 

Participants in similar programs have: 

  1. Designed initiatives that promote lifelong health and wellness habits students need to thrive in school
  2. Tackled issues of mental health that focused on access to care, removing the stigma of discussing it and creating supportive school environments
  3. Addressed issues of equity in schools to support students through the college application process and ensure they are prepared to succeed once in college
  4. Created spaces that reflect the community through student and community art installations
  5. Elevated student voice to create spaces that feel connected and promote unity across disparate communities 


Program details: 

  • Monday through Saturday, July 20th, 2020 - August 1st, 2020 (10 days) 
  • 10am-3pm Mountain / 11am-4pm Central (includes breaks, icebreakers, and team building) 
  • Participants will have self-study reading (no more than 1 hour per week) and access to coaching on their projects outside of workshops 
  • Workshops and activities will be hosted on Zoom; students may participate via computer, tablet, or phone. Participants without regular access to internet will have the option to call in. 


How You Can Help!

We need your help to recruit 25 Indigenous youth change agents who are: 

  • Eager contributors 
  • Thirsty for knowledge 
  • Critical thinkers 
  • Optimistic leaders 
  • Comfortable with vulnerability, feedback, and difficult conversations 
  • Able to see challenges as opportunities 
  • Students (15-19 years old) 

To learn more about the program, contact us.