The AARP Central Region Walking College is a 6-month, distance-learning fellowship program for walkable/livable community advocates, sponsored by AARP South Dakota and America Walks.
Fellows will complete a series of modules covering leadership development, coalition-building, walkable community design, local public policy, and strategic planning. The instructional content includes online study materials, video-conferenced discussion forums with other Fellows, and community assignments. Each Fellow will receive one-on-one coaching from a Personal Mentor to assist them in developing a Walking Action Plan for their community.
The overall goal of the Walking College curriculum is to build the capacity of local advocates to advance policy, systems, and environment change to create healthy, walkable communities throughout the region.
Training modules focus on the following areas:
- How We Got Here – transportation policy, systemic injustice, accessible communities
- Developing Leadership - inspiring others, story-telling, starting a movement, cultivating champions
- Organizing for Change - strategic communications, campaigns and organizing, events and programs
- Designing for People - walk audits, pedestrian infrastructure, traffic calming, place-making
- Shifting Public Policy - local government, public policy, complete streets, vision zero, resisting gentrification
- Planning a Strategy - strategic planning, bringing it all together, your Walking Action Plan
Residents of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska who are interested in the program and able to commit about 5 hours per week (May – September) are invited to complete this online application form by Friday, April 15th. Fellowships are limited and the application process is competitive.
Contact AARP South Dakota’s Lindsey Holmquest or America Walks’ Ian Thomas with any questions.