We are pleased to introduce Chiedza Rodriguez, who will be working with PFF as a Field Building Fellow over the next year. Chiedza has been a long-time partner of and consultant to the Perrin Family Foundation, playing an integral role in the design and facilitation of PFF’s Building Leadership and Organizing Capacity (BLOC) initiative which launched in 2013. Now, as a Field Building Fellow, Chiedza is anchoring a co-design team of BLOC alumni to develop and implement the next iteration of BLOC and helping to build bridges with other efforts that aim to strengthen the youth-led change and organizing infrastructure across CT.

Chiedza has worked in the youth field for more than seventeen years. In her early career, she trained Hartford youth to conduct participatory action research. Later, during her tenure as the Training and Capacity Building Coordinator for the City of Hartford Office for Youth Services, Chiedza facilitated the city’s youth commission, creating spaces and opportunities for the youth leadership that ultimately evolved into the young people designing and implementing a regional Youth 4 Change conference. Following that, she served as the Director of Talent Development at Our Piece of the Pie, where she was charged with the ongoing training of more than 65 staff members. The heart of her work, Chiedza explains, has always centered on “supporting youth development professionals to create spaces where we work in collaboration with young people – to work collaboratively in a way that youth have legitimate decision making positions and where they can recognize and exercise their collective power.”

Chiedza also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Capital Community College where she teaches a psychology course on group dynamics and group practice, and where she contributed to the design of curriculum for the Community Change Studies degree program. Chiedza is the founder and CEO of GARO Consulting, a technical assistance and training company. Chiedza holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Human Services, specializing in Organizational Management and Leadership, and is currently a law student at Western New England Law School with a primary focus on public interest law and employment law.