Changemaker Challenge

The Changemaker Challenge invites students, faculty, and staff to employ imagination, hard work, and passion to generate ideas for addressing a current social challenge proposed to us by leaders from the San Diego/Tijuana region.

The 2017-2018 Changemaker Challenge theme is Equity and Access: Education, Housing, and Healthcare. While equality encourages us to treat the same, equity asks us to treat everyone fairly and justly by acknowledging that not everyone starts from the same place, and therefore not everyone has access to the same opportunities. The Changemaker Challenge provides an opportunity for engaging in idea-generation, thus increasing awareness and knowledge about current social and environmental problems and mobilizing people towards problem-solving.

This year our community is invited to submit a two-minute video to showcase their idea. You can submit your idea between September 20 and November 13, 2017. Check the entry form. The top video entries will compete for a $6,000 more in awards. People are invited to vote online for their favorite idea, and the number of votes each idea receives will determine its share of the pool. Download the Rules and Eligibility for the Challenge.

For more information, resources and to watch some of last year's winners visit our competition page.


TED Talk logo

Learn from the Best

This playlist explores the issues related to this year's theme, Equity and Access: Education, Housing, and Healthcare. Watching these TED Talks is a great place to begin to learn about how experts in the field are already addressing these issues in their own communities.

Just Read Events

Book Cover-BetweenWorldandMe

This year's Just Read! selection, Between the World and Me, discusses the real world consequences of systematic inequities in our society. Film screenings, discussions, and other events have been planned to explore the themes of this book and how the USD community can take action. Learn more and see this year's programming.


The first step to addressing global and local challenges is awareness. Take a look at some infographics to learn more about the disparities in access to healthcare, education, and housing.

Changemaker Challenge Council 2017

A selected group of leaders in deep social engagement from non-profit and for profit sectors proposed this year’s social issues for our community.

Adina Batnizky, PhD, USD Associate Professor of Sociology
Daniel Roderick, 
MA student, USD School of Nursing
Elisa Sabatini, Via International
Haney Hong, HDH & Associates, LLC
Janine Schooley, Project Concern International
Joon Han, Better San Diego
Josephine Bennet ’81, U.S. Bank
Rasto Ivanic, President & CEO at GroupSolver, Inc.
Sonny Thadani, USD Parent Corps
Stephanie Brown, Principal, Montgomery Middle School

Changemaker Challenge Judges

We are excited to have new judges join us this year!

Eileen K. Fry-Bowers
Abigail Racelis
Bridget Gramme
Dayanne Izmirian
Karolina Rzadkowolska
Pamela Gray
Peter Marlow
Rachel Christensen
Andrea Flynn
Sarah Lyon
Christopher Newman
Joel Alejandro Mejia
Maybe Josephine Bennet
Stephanie Brown