Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue


The Theory of Empowerment for Social Change is the outgrowth of more than 20 years of experience in international sports programming and action-based, qualitative research. Through work with nearly 10,000 women, men, and children from more than 60 countries, leaders of the Center developed its own pedagogical philosophy of empowerment for social change. We apply this theory in a culturally-grounded manner where international exchange participants learn to view themselves as experts who are equipped and empowered to solve local challenges in their communities.

An animated graphic of four arrows forming a circle. In each arrow there is one word. "Expose, Equip, Engage, Entrust"

The theory is based around the following principles:

  • Expose people to new ideas, resources, and networks
  • Equip people to tackle issues in their communities
  • Engage people in new experiences and exchanges
  • Entrust people to carry out their own vision for change