Makers Residency

Drawing inspiration from both early-stage incubators and artist residencies, Makers Residency is a design lab focused on the earliest stages of social entrepreneurship.

The Challenge

The causes of health inequities are complex, diverse, and intertwined. Those who have directly experienced these challenges have a profound understanding of their intricacies, and are best equipped to envision potential solutions within the framework of their community’s unique histories, strengths, and creativity. But so few local organizations have the time and resources to innovate and try something new in how they provide critical support to their communities.

The Opportunity

We received 68 applicants from majority BIPOC leaders of small, local CBOs serving under-resourced communities across 25 U.S. states. While we had so many inspiring and eligible candidates, we narrowed in on five leaders who deeply understand the problems facing their communities, but haven’t had the time, space or resources to explore opportunities to address these inequities and design potential solutions. The Health Leads team provides essential thought partnership, technical assistance, and resources to guide Makers through the innovation process.

Our goal is to ensure Makers have the necessary support and space to define their own priority issues arising from their communities, allowing them to focus on crafting meaningful solutions rather than feeling compelled to solve externally-defined problems. By fostering a nurturing environment that encourages creativity, agency, and autonomy, we aim to speak meaningful change at the grassroots level and contribute to the overarching goal of achieving health equity through community-driven innovation.

As part of the Makers Residency, five leaders receive:

$20,000 in unrestricted funding

to support them and their organization in the development of their solution

4-6 hours a week of support over 10 weeks

to develop solutions, which will include 1:1 opportunities to connect with coaches and peers

A dedicated coach who serves as thought partner

assisting and guiding them through the process, and mentorship previous Makers

Travel for two in person meetings with coaches

and to build community with other Makers throughout the duration of the residency

Meet the 2024 Makers Cohort

“I work with GBDF to empower rural underserved communities in the Roanoke Valley area to address health access and equity needs. I’m excited to join the Health Leads Makers Residency to develop community-informed solutions and collaborate with the inaugural cohort. With their support, I am to help GBDF amplify our impact and drive meaningful change locally to advance health equity.”



Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director & Founder, Financial Health Pathways

Niasha Fray

Board Member
Gregory B. Davis Foundation
Roanoke Valley Area, North Carolina

“I am on a mission to empower Milwaukee’s Black and Latino communities with real-time, hyper-local air quality information, enabling smarter, safer choices for themselves and their loved ones in the face of air pollution and climate change. With this opportunity, I am thrilled to join forces with Health Leads, our coaches, and my fellow public health Makers to boost the health and well-being of my community.”


Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director & Founder, Financial Health Pathways

Langston Verdin

Founder & Executive Director
MKE FreshAir Collective
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“I am a public health practitioner serving refugees, immigrants, and migrant communities in Colorado, I’m dedicated to addressing their unique health needs. I’m eager to participate in the Makers Residency to gain innovative leadership training and collaborate with a diverse cohort, fostering new approaches to community health and empowerment. Together, I’m excited to harness creativity to drive positive change and advocate for the well-being of those we serve.”



Teguo Daniel Djoyum

Director of Public Health
African Chamber of Commerce Colorado USA
Denver, Colorado

“As a native-born son of the rural Ko’olau district of Hāmākua my foundation is deeply rooted in this landscape. A once forested land, now plagued and blessed with agriculture and ranching, small tight communities, and high-priced real estate. My work has been to revitalize the wisdom of Hawai’i, its ancient history and living practices to protect and ensure perpetual health for all life here. I look forward to gathering and uplifting my mission of inspiring healthy life by rekindling the Pono relationship with humanity and the natural world.”



Lanakila Mangauil

Founder & Executive Director
Honoka’a , Hawai’i

“I am a passionate advocate for economic, health,
and environmental justice. I co-founded Marked By COVID, my activism stemming from personal pain after losing my father, Mark, to COVID-19 and misinformation. I am dedicated to my Latine community and focused on addressing Long COVID’s impact while honoring every life lost to COVID, striving to prevent such devastation from recurring. I’m looking forward to collaborating with my colleagues at the Makers Residency to bring greater awareness and support to people suffering from long Covid, in particular my Latine community.”



Lourdes Zuniga, Executive Director & Founder, Financial Health Pathways

Kristin Urquiza

Chair & Co-Founder
Marked By COVID
San Francisco, California

Makers Residency Supporters

The 2023 Makers Residency is made possible thanks to generous support from the Deloitte Health Equity Institute, which enabled Health Leads to test and launch this new effort aimed at identifying earliest-stage social entrepreneurs.

Deloitte Health Equity Institute

Recognizing the imperative for immediate and sustained effort and grounded in Deloitte’s acknowledgment of racism as a public health crisis, Deloitte established the Deloitte Health Equity Institute (DHEI) in the spring of 2021. DHEI is dedicated to creating public good through community collaboration and investment, data and analytics, and knowledge development. DHEI builds on Deloitte’s commitment to advance health equity, informed by work with clients, a decade of impact made by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and our perspective on how life sciences and health care organizations can activate health equity.

The DHEI reinforces our purpose of making a positive, enduring impact that matters. By collaborating with local and national organizations, DHEI is a catalyst, helping advance health equity at scale. Our initiatives aim to help everyone achieve their full potential in all aspects of health and well-being, building a more equitable society for all.

Eileen Lin

For partnership and investment opportunities, contact

Eileen Lin, Director of Business Partnerships and Investor Relations

Our Work

We are driving meaningful change to achieve racial health equity. Learn more about our work.

Research & Development