About Change the
Game

Who we are

Change the Game (CtG) knows there is a dearth of diversity within the progressive data space, something that is detrimental not only to living our values, but to the quality of analysis of the data we need to win. For this reason, CtG aims to create accessible pathways into this field for a diverse group of learners, who hope to gain the skills and understanding of tools needed to start working as data staffers for progressive organizations around the country. To better support these learners, CtG aims to simultaneously build out a mechanism of community building and support for existing practitioners and experts. An infrastructure that we hope will also be utilized by the new members of the community as they graduate from CtG programming.
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How we're different

Change the Game is focused on breaking down technical barriers to entry in the field of Progressive Data by teaching common skills utilized across the space. Change the Game intentionally targets its recruitment towards traditionally underrepresented communities, aiming to increase diversity across the progressive data space. Change the Game focuses on building a pipeline of data staff for the progressive advocacy industry, from party organizations to independent expenditures and campaigns.

We are looking for participants from traditionally underrepresented communities who have an interest in database or list management, and/or general targeting. Our aim is to develop trainings and a virtual community, to ensure participants and the progressive data community at large, have the tools, skills and network needed to work in the progressive space this cycle.

Virtual data academies

Our online data academies provide participants the following opportunities:

  • Mentorship and small team project based learning;
  • A community speaker series to provide networking and community development opportunities;
  • Online learning courses, which will allow participants to engage in exciting, activity based learning remotely; and
  • An online communication platform for participants, and the larger progressive data community, to share resources, best practices and job opportunities.

At-your-own-pace online learning

Change the Game provides topic specific online courses for data professionals and aspiring data professionals interested in learning new skills and updating their resume to add new tools. 

We work hard to continue to update our online learning library with new courses and to update our existing courses. So keeping checking in to see what’s new. 

These online courses include video overviews, activities, knowledge checks and additional resources, to ensure learners have what they need to grasp the main takeaways for each topic and to practice using their new skills. 

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Not only were the trainings useful but being in the room with this group of people was amazing.

Jasmine Leiva

Change the game participant

Change the game

Meet the Team

Melissa Waller
Executive Director

Melissa Waller serves as Executive Director of Change the Game. She brings 20 years of experience to the position after working for several national and local nonprofit organizations, beginning her career as the Executive Director with Entrepreneur Development Network (EDN), a global business development and leadership-training institute based in Atlanta, Georgia. Before joining Change the Game, she served in various capacities as an organizational psychology consultant, campaign consultant, education consultant, Director of Fund Development for nonprofit organizations.

Melissa is from Flint, MI, and she holds degrees from Michigan State University, Gallaudet University, University of South Florida, and Mercer University.

Ebony Hillsman
Content Lead

Ebony Hillsman uses her extensive experience in media and communication as fuel for her clients to blow right past their competition.    Her knowledge-base and skills were gained as a Journalist in the CNN newsroom for over a decade, and working with a variety of highly niched to Fortune 100 companies and non-profits.   Instead of producing major stories, managing breaking news and live events; Ebony now designs the strategies for her clients to BE the major stories, breaking [good!] news, and featured on live events.     Ebony has founded, led and served on the Board of Directors of several high profile non-profit organizations in the Atlanta area.  She obtained her BS degree in Journalism from Florida A&M University, an MBA in Project Management from Jones International University.

Valerie Arum
Consultant

Valerie is a Kenyan native currently residing in Baltimore, MD. Though her academic background is in Strategic Communications (Go Morgan State!), Valerie would like to utilize her skills in issue based organizing and data analytics in order to help organizations make progressive change, while simultaneously serving her community.

As a Change the Game Data Academy Alumna, Valerie hopes to contribute to the building of a community of progressive data staffers, coming from communities which have been historically underrepresented. In her free time, you can find Valerie hiking with friends, trying to finish a book, or cheering on Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens

Hear from former participants

“I loved the people in the room. I'm so excited to have an amazing and supportive network of diverse, smart, talented people.”
Victoria O'Dell
Change the Game Participant
“I am so grateful for this opportunity and to have had the chance to grow and learn with the other wonderful people in this cohort...”
Jazmin Gonzalez
Change the Game Participant
“This training has been an incredible experience! I'm grateful for...the connections I've built, and the confidence I've grown...”
Connie Gao
Chnage the Game Participant