Rhonda Calderon

COURAGEOUS. COMPELLING. INTUITIVE. Collaborator and Coach at Next Step Adventure

Rhonda Chittendon Calderon of Next Step Adventure and The Stories We Tell social justice coach

Honoring her favorite teacher and writer Alice Walker, Rhonda describes her work as bringing her own “small imperfect stone” of activism to the ongoing creation of an edifice of hope.

A Master’s prepared educator, Rhonda brings her rich professional and life experience to Next Step Adventure. Using everyday storytelling and transformational coaching, Rhonda leads committed white people in the urgent work of transforming our understanding of what it means to be white. Through small group work, she helps us to include racial responsibility and justice in our lives.

Rhonda and her children

Rhonda served as primary researcher and author of a recent critical report on the financial well-being of Africans and African Americans in Polk County. With six years of non-profit leadership experience with EyesOpenIowa, and twenty years in the non-profit sector, Rhonda pioneered professional development efforts on emerging social themes.

Addressing girls’ anger, female sexual subjectivity, and culturally-competent health care for LGBT populations prepared her well for tackling the sensitive issue of race in the United States. Rhonda received the Courageous Advocacy Award for advocacy on the sexual health needs of girls in the juvenile justice system. She also serves on the board of Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity.

Rhonda lives in Des Moines in an interracial, interfaith family. She became mother to her children through domestic newborn adoption. She enjoys the company of several four-legged companions and dreams of more yoga, hiking, vegetarian cooking and art in her days!


Rhonda Calderon in snow

Fun in the snow!