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Change Makers

Change Makers

“I have been more attuned to racism or other forms of exclusion Northwestern students may face in their daily lives. I have much more often opened dialogue with students by asking them about their daily lives. I have much more often opened dialogue with students by asking them about their experiences. I have been more proactive about encouraging white students to engage with coursework about race as something that is definitely relevant to them, and have heard positive results when students have responded and joined those courses."

– 2014-2015 Change Maker

Want to join Change Makers?

Learn more about the positive effects the program has had on participants through our short Change Makers video.  And apply today!


Change Makers is a growing Northwestern community of committed individuals dedicated to building a more inclusive campus environment.  Using the University of Michigan’s evidence-based Intergroup Dialogue Model, Change Makers explore social identities and apply that understanding and cultural competency to create more inclusive classrooms, departments and centers.



Change Makers allows professional staff and faculty members to engage in a personal journey to create a more inclusive environment at Northwestern University.  The program begins with a two-day intensive self-reflection and dialoguing workshop led by experts in the research based Intergroup Relations (IGR) model from the University of Michigan. The initial training and overall program content is led and guided by IGR experts, Dr. Kristie Ford of Skidmore College and Dr. Charles Behling of the University of Michigan. This is followed by structured time and activity to work on creating change through applying change management principles combined with best practices in diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education.

Change Makers is designed to supplement and allow information sharing around the diversity of work that is being done around Northwestern regarding inclusion.  It differs from other advisory boards, committees or task forces in that Change Makers are largely focused on bringing inclusion to the center and understanding how it is a substantive part of each of our jobs to create a more inclusive environment.  It is our belief that it is the multitude of small actions that can shift an environment. 

"We all have biases and stereotypes about other people. By educating oursevles and committing to change from within, we can then implement change University-wide."

- 2014-2015 Change Maker

Why is the Women's Center presenting this program?

The Women’s Center has always prioritized its work around creating a more inclusive campus environment. Between 2012 and 2014 the Women’s Center hosted a series on Power and Privilege that included keynote speakers, workshops and the kickoff of the Change Makers program. The program aims to increase the skill and understanding of staff and faculty around diversity and inclusion so that they will be able to significantly impact the campus’s culture, making students feel more welcome and giving them a voice. 

Read the Women Center's Former Director of Programs, Alecia Wartowski's HuffingtonPost Blog article about Change Makers.


If you would like to learn more about the Change Makers program, email Alecia Wartowski, Director of Programs at the Women's Center. Also, be sure to join the Women's Center listserv to be the first to hear about this program and other related programs.

“I feel that I am empowered to speak more in public because of the encouragement that I have received from others in the program. I have noticed a heightened awareness for the struggles and challenges of many of the minority students here at the university.

- 2014-2015 Change Maker