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The Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being

Cooperative Extension’s Collective for Health Equity and Well-Being is a community of Extension personnel and their partners united by their shared commitment to advancing health equity and well-being. Members work together to support the implementation of Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being (2021) to ensure that all people can be as healthy as they can be.

Game On: Equitable Development Leadership Academy


Hello there!

We are delighted to extend a special invitation to Game On: Equitable Development Leadership Academy across our networks. We are seeking young leaders and promoting equity in their communities and the Extension professionals supporting their team. This groundbreaking project is sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and facilitated by Sophia Rodriguez and members of the Solvable team.

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 have the tools and network to foster nationwide progress over the course of the next five years. The Equitable Development Leadership Academy offers a unique space for a cohort of 8-10 youth leadership teams across the 4-H network to design and scale methods of equitable development in their communities. In this three-month Academy, participants will:

  • Expand Leadership: The Academy places a strong emphasis on cultivating essential leadership capacities, dispositions, resilience, and stamina among participants through interactive exercises and experiential learning practices. Focused on instilling hope and building equity through development, the exercises will build on the relationship between inner and external change.

  • Learn New Tools & Concepts: Participants will have access to cutting edge research, knowledge, and diverse perspectives related to equitable development within a gamified journey. This engagement will broaden their understanding of equity and provide insights from multiple disciplines informed by 4-H dialogues with dozens of equitable development field leaders.

  • Prototype Community Interventions: Together, teams will apply the tools and concepts into equitable development prototypes for their communities. Teams will design, refine, and share community interventions with each other.

  • Build Connections and Foster Community: The objective is to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where participants feel comfortable and empowered to engage with one another. By fostering a sense of community, the Action Academy aims to provide a space for participants to exchange ideas, share experiences, offer support, and celebrate successes together. This community-building process will enable participants to tap into a diverse range of perspectives, knowledges, and resources, enhancing the effectiveness of their equitable development work during the Academy and beyond.

Teams should be composed of one adult and 2-3 young people who are able to commit to this highly participatory leadership journey. Sessions will take place on Zoom and be 1.5 hours in length. Alongside cohort-wide sessions, each team will have one-on-one sessions with an Academy Coach to support the design, prototyping, and sharing of their respective project. Please check over these dates to ensure that your entire team can be available for all the sessions:

  • Session one: Thursday, July 20th at 1-2:30pm ET

  • Session two: Monday, July 31st from 1-2:30 ET

  • Session three: Thursday, August 17th from 12:30-2pm ET

  • Coaching Session to be scheduled with team during the week of August 21st

  • Session four: Monday, August 28th from 7-8:30pm ET

  • Coaching Session to be scheduled with team during the week of September 4th

  • Session five: Thursday, September 14th from 7-8:30pm ET

We are excited about the work youth-adult partnerships accomplish across the nation and hope to partner with teams seeking to deepen their efforts. Acknowledging the crucial role young people play in driving societal change, we hope to center their inherent wisdom and spirited passions as we work to inspire connectivity, promote equity, and drive regeneration.

If this program resonates with you and your team and you believe you all could actively participate in the online sessions, please express your interest here. If you wish to preview the interest form, you can find it here. Your response by 8 am ET on June 15th would be appreciated.

Thank you for your consideration! We hope to hear from you soon!

Warm Regards,

Sophia Rodriguez, Well-Being & Equity Project Manager, National 4-H Council

(Together with the Solvable facilitation team of Adam Lerner, Anna Denardin, May Bartlett)

Sophia Rodriguez

Well-Being & Equity Project Manager

M: 912-977-2772 |

Based in St. Simons Island, GA



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The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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