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2024 Internship Academy – General Sessions

This year, the SHECP Internship Academy will run from May 30th to June 1st. On May 30th, SHECP will host two general speaker sessions that everyone is welcome to join. We encourage you to share the event with anyone who may be interested in attending.

At 1pm ET, Dr. Randall Akee, associate professor in the Department of Public Policy and American Indian Studies at UCLA, will provide an overview of his work on issues impacting Native and Indigenous peoples and discuss his experiences working with various organizations.

At 2:15pm ET, in this interactive dialogue, Sarah Robertson (SHECP ’03) and Dr. Curtis L. Webb III from Design Impact will introduce co-design as a framework for addressing complex social issues, with a focus on fostering community leadership and driving equitable change. Participants will reflect, apply principles to real-life scenarios, and gain tools for equitable community engagement.

The talks on May 30th are part of the week-long Internship Academy. The full SHECP Internship Academy (May 28–31) serves to provide additional preparations for interns to responsibly engage with host communities and frame the upcoming internship within the larger academic context.

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024

Time: 1:00 – 3:15 PM ET

Who Should Attend: This event is open to the entire SHECP community.

Registration Link:


Keynote Address – Dr. Randall Akee

"Poverty, Family Income, & Children's Long Run Outcomes"

Randall Akee is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Public Policy and American Indian Studies. He is also Chair of the America Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in June 2006. Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Akee earned a Master’s degree in International and Development Economics at Yale University. His current research focuses on income inequality and immobility by race and ethnicity in the US. Dr. Akee has worked on several American Indian reservations, Canadian First Nations, and Pacific Island nations in addition to working in various Native Hawaiian communities. Full bioWebsite


Workshop – Design Impact

"Beyond Us vs. Them: Using Co-Design for Inclusive Social Change"

About Design Impact: "Design Impact is a 501(c)3 social innovation consultancy. We use co-design to help partners solve problems and drive social change more inclusively and effectively. We work with nonprofits, grantmakers, government agencies, educational, cultural, and arts institutions, hospitals, and community groups across the country. Co-design is an approach to problem-solving that strives to actively and equally involve all impacted communities in the design process. This collaborative design process ensures our results reflect what impacted groups want and need." For more information about, visit:

Sarah Strassel Robertson is a strategist, culture coach, and dot connector. As a change consultant at Design Impact, she facilitates collaborative and inclusive processes that weave social and racial justice with organizational design and creative problem-solving. Her work is built on the belief that those most impacted must be at the center of driving change forward and that creativity is an essential tool for our collective liberation. She’s used co-design to improve job quality with frontline workers and coached organizations to build inclusive cultures and capacity for equitable community engagement.

Prior to Design Impact, Sarah consulted Fortune 10 companies, nonprofits, and community organizations on organizational and creative change. Sarah holds a BA in Literature, Sociology, and the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability from Washington & Lee University. She is a co-author of Co-Designing Equity from the Ground Up: How Organizations Can Build Power with the Communities They Aim to Serve, Pathways to the Future and You Can Get There from Here: Design as a Map and Model for Better Organizations. Outside work, you can find her cooking, digging in the garden with her kids, or reading one of the eleven books currently on her nightstand.

Dr. Curtis L Webb III is a sociologist whose journey marries rigorous research with impassioned advocacy, echoing the timeless wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois's scholar-practitioner model. Dr. Curtis, an HBCU graduate from Morehouse College, proud son of the Southside of Chicago, and a sociology PhD graduate from the University of Cincinnati, honors his background through his commitment to community-centered approaches to his social impact work. He often asks, “What does this mean to his grandma?” as a grounding technique and encourages his collaborators to consider the most vulnerable in their decision-making processes as well. Over the last four years, he has brought his profound acumen in social change, racial analysis, and advocating for vulnerable populations to Design Impact as their Director of Systems Redesign and Community-Centered Research. When he is not talking systems, you can find him enjoying music, participating in dance battles, kicking it with loved ones, and indulging in all the good eats. 


The full, virtual SHECP Internship Academy will run from May 28th – 31st. During that time, interns will study conflict transformation, complete online asynchronous training modules, and meet with members of their living cohort.

Contact if you have any questions or would like further information.


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