Recruitment is now closed for this cohort. 

This tuition-free experience is looking to engage a diverse cross-section of 8 community members who bring different lived experiences to co-create equitable outcomes for Grand Rapids. The cohort will meet for seven day-long sessions beginning on October 8, 2020.

Why Become a Community Catalyst?

Grand Rapids was the fastest growing economy in the U.S. in 2016, yet in 2015, Grand Rapids was ranked as the second-worst city in the nation economically for Black Americans. The Community Catalysts program was created as an innovative response to these and other community inequities.

“The [Community Catalysts] program equips individuals with tools and knowledge to innovate on a systems-level while working with organizations and businesses that are committed to co-creating equity-centered policies and programs that impact our city,” explained Brandy Arnold, program manager at Public Agency at WMCAT.This type of collaboration is critical if we want equitable outcomes prioritized when solving complex issues in our communities.”

If you are as passionate about this as we are, you should apply to become a Community Catalyst!

Program Details

Program participants learn through a curriculum built around equity-centered design, leadership and collaboration, and systems awareness. By the end of the program participants will:

  • Understand the basic processes and tools of Equity-Centered Design
  • Develop their capacity to lead across difference 
  • Better understand the impact of interlocking systems that shape our region and their situatedness within those systems
  • Apply their learnings in real-time through a community challenge with a local partner

The program will begin on October 8, 2020, and include seven program days from 8:00am – 5:00pm with the final day on November 20, 2020.

October 8, 9, 16, 30
November 6, 13, 20

All program days will be in-person at WMCAT which follows strict health and safety guidelines for COVID-19. The program will be moved online if a shut-down is ordered. All applicants must be over the age of 18. 

Following the program, Catalysts will have access to contracted, paid work opportunities, such as community listening facilitation and project coaching, through Public Agency at WMCAT.


Application Process

If applicants move on to the next round, they will be asked to interview with the staff. From there, finalists will be chosen and notified by the end of September.

Who is Public Agency at WMCAT?

Public Agency at WMCAT is embedded in the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) and facilitates professional, tailored workshops, training, coaching sessions and leadership development with clients locally and globally. Using equity-centered design, Public Agency at WMCAT helps clients foster a culture of equity, action and innovation.  

Most recently, WMCAT acquired rights to a highly-regarded anti-racism assessment and Public Agency will use the tenets of this assessment for a newly re-designed application that will work in conjunction with their current services. This service will be offered beginning in 2021. More information on the new anti-racism process can be found here