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Changemaker RLC

quote: "The innovation and excitement for social change on Tulane’s campus has pushed me to further embrace the ways of living as a Changemaker. Being in the Changemaker RLC has led to many opportunities encouraging discussion on current and future issues and plans on campus and around the world to create impactful change." John Alexander, Class of 2020, Changemaker Institute Participant, Design For America Student Leader

Residents of the Changemaker RLC cultivate an open atmosphere and foster a culture of positive social change throughout campus and the community. Together, residents have the opportunity to explore entrenched and complex challenges such as overcoming inequality, sustaining coastal cities, and understanding New Orleans’s high incarceration rate. 

Changemaker residents learn from solutions-oriented faculty spanning the natural sciences, humanities, engineering, and social sciences and meet with community leaders addressing social issues in New Orleans and around the world. Residents can work to create change on campus, volunteer in the community, and take leadership roles that allow them to create change from within. Residents will learn from and collaborate with Taylor Center staff and faculty—as well as other campus and community partners—to determine the type of experience they want to create together.

As residents of the RLC, you have the unique opportunity to take part in a pre-orientation program called IGNITE. We encourage Changemaker Residents to consider registering for IGNITE, which runs August 20-24, 2017. IGNITE provides students with an introduction to some of the social issues they will see in New Orleans during their college experience, such as gender and race inequity, gentrification, educational access, and food deserts. At the same time, students will be asked to reflect, individually and in small groups, on their own identities, their assumptions, and their role in community engaged action. By the end of the week, students are empowered to access campus resources and create community-informed social change in solidarity with local community organizations, leaders, and activists. Registration will open May 22, 2017 at 12 PM Central Time, spaces are limited and it often fills quickly. Learn more about IGNITE and other EXPLORE options here.

changemaker students march down Broadway in high heels during the 'walk a mile in her shoes' march. title reads 'find the solution'


The Changemaker RLC is a collaboration between Housing and Residence Life and the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design.


All first-year students at Tulane Universities are required to take a TIDES course. Members of Residential Learning Communities have the opportunity to enroll in a TIDES course that explores the concepts and values of their community in depth. In 2017, the affiliated courses for Changemaker are:

  • "Leadership, Politics, Power and Change" (TIDE-1010-07). Wednesday 5:00-6:15pm. Are leaders born or bred? How do leaders and their leadership styles impact change? How does one develop the courage and wisdom to lead and promote change effectively? This TIDE provides an opportunity to examine the nature of leadership, its impact on the change process, and the underlying dynamics of power, politics, and conflict. Over the course of the academic year, this TIDE focuses on developing an interdisciplinary understanding of the theories and practices of organizational and community leadership. As a TIDE member, you will actively study the theories that emerge from a variety of fields and reflect on their practical, political, and ethical assumptions as well as on their implications in a variety of settings. Through readings, classroom discussions, interviews with local leaders, and a group initiative, you will gain a greater appreciation for the issues that affect leaders and the components of successful leadership.
  • "Changemakers In NOLA Education" (TIDE-1017-01). Tuesdays 3:30-4:15pm. This course is designed for those interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. In addition to exploring design thinking, social and emotional learning, and health and wellness, students will explore the socially innovative initiatives currently shaping the landscape of education in New Orleans. The course provides opportunities to explore many avenues of work with K-12 students and to meet with local education experts and social entrepreneurs. The course includes field trips to local schools, including a visit to McDonogh 15 Knowledge is Power Program Charter School in the French Quarter and to local socially innovative organizations, such as Big Class, whose mission is to cultivate and support the voices of New Orleans' young writers through creative collaborations with schools and communities.
  • "Design Thinking & Place Making" (TIDE-1021-01). Tuesdays 11:00am-12:15pm. This TIDES class gives students the opportunity to learn about and see examples of architecture and design that create space to encourage public good. Co-taught by instructors from the architecture school and the Taylor Center for Social Innovation & Design Thinking, the class will take students on site visits and encourage hands-on learning in the field of design thinking and prototyping. People in many fields are learning how design can be used to bring about positive change.
  • "Cultivate your Inner Changemaker" (TIDE-1015-01). Tuesdays 2:00-3:15pm. Changemakers see the world as it is while also envisioning the world as it should be. We make choices in life that reflect the kind of human beings we want to be and the kind of change in the global human condition in which we want to take part. Changemakers have many different perspectives, bring many different strengths, and are passionate about many different social and environmental issues. This course will help you develop and practice skills necessary to pursue your own unique Changemaker path.


The Changemaker Community is in Paterson Hall.


You may apply for the Changemaker RLC through the student housing application process. Your answers to some supplemental, RLC-specific questions will be evaluated by a committee. If you are accepted, you will be notified and be sent more information on the room selection and roommate process.