Read Winter Edition and Contribute to National Civic Review!

With Presidents’ Day this coming Monday, we have some great reading for our network to dig into over this holiday weekend! The National Civic League, an NCDD member organization, released the 2020 Winter Edition of the National Civic Review (NCR) and  NCDD members receive a digital copy of NCR for free! (Find the access code below.). This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples of civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country.

Friendly reminder that the League is always seeking articles for NCR on community-based examples of civic engagement, public deliberation, co-production, and democratic innovation – more info here! Submissions for the Spring 2021 edition of NCR are due March 15th, and Summer edition submissions are due by July 15th. You can read about NCR in the post below and find it on NCL’s site here.


National Civic Review Winter Edition — Access Code: NCDD21

With a deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, events highlighting racial inequity and a political crisis, 2020 was a year of hardship and turmoil for America’s communities. As we begin a new year, the National Civic Review offers these unique perspectives on how the public, private, and nonprofit sectors can work together on innovative strategies to promote civic renewal, community resilience, and individual well-being.

You can access this edition by going directly to the table of contents and entering your access code (NCDD21) when prompted.

One of the Nation’s Oldest and Most Respected Journals of Civic Affairs

Its cases studies, reports, interviews and essays help communities learn about the latest developments in collaborative problem-solving, civic engagement, local government innovation and democratic governance. Some of the country’s leading doers and thinkers have contributed articles to this invaluable resource for elected officials, public managers, nonprofit leaders, grassroots activists, and public administration scholars seeking to make America’s communities more inclusive, participatory, innovative and successful.

Join the Premiere of The Reunited States Film on Feb 11th!

Happening this Thursday, February 11th is the launch event for the film, The Reunited States. This film is inspired by its’ namesake book, The Reunited States, authored by Mark Gerzon, president of Mediators Foundation, an NCDD member org. The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows the unsung heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides. The film, like the book, urges us to consider that everyone has a role to play in reuniting the country. To attend the Red and Blue Carpet premiere event of the The Reunited States film sign up here!

The premier will feature special guests, Van Jones and Megan McCain, the cast of the film, as well as remarkable activists (and actors) from around the country participating through the evening. It will be a powerful and timely conversation about political dialogue in our highly polarized country. Admission to this event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event, read below and find the original announcement here.


The Reunited States: The Red and Blue Carpet Premiere

Click on the link to watch a trailer of this anticipated film or here to sign up for the premiere. The stream begins February 11, 2021 5:00 PM PST. Please note that you may enter the livestream and chat at anytime once you register on the Eventive site.

After the February 11th premier livestream, the content can be viewed anytime until July 5th at 7:00 pm. The Reunited States is available for pre-order on iTunes and releases nationwide February 9th on Amazon, iTunes, and On Demand.

You can find the original version of this invitation on the Reunited States tv site at www.reunitedstates.tv.

Winner of the Leadership in Democracy Award Revealed!

Everyday Democracy is delighted to present the winners and runner ups of the prestigious Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. This award honors the work that creates opportunity for meaningful participation for all people, by bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how community operates.

The recipient of the award this year is Point Diversity for creating a more diverse community for the past seven years in Roanoke VA. The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. The second runner up was awarded to Jenny Spencer for her remarkable involvement in Cleveland politics, where her efforts have been dedicated on increasing voter registration.

To get better acquainted with the recipients keep reading below and find the original announcement here.


Everyday Democracy is Excited to Announce the Winner and Runners-up of the 2020 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award

This year’s winner is Points of Diversity in Roanoke, VA. Points of Diversity has worked in Roanoke for almost seven years to create a more diverse community by “connecting, engaging and [educating] in cross-cultural discussions and experiences.”

“We have to learn to understand each other,” Katie Zawacki, Executive Director of Points of Diversity, explains. “We don’t have to agree, but we still have to have respect for each other. It’s about respecting human dignity.”

While Points of Diversity was the clearest example of the principles Paul Aicher founded Everyday Democracy with in action, there were other deserving candidates as well.

The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. Mr. Amado is passionate about working with young adults and empowering them to make positive change in their lives. His grassroots efforts

exemplify the approach that Everyday Democracy believes will lead to change.

Our second runner up is Jenny Spencer. She has been deeply involved in the local politics of her Cleveland home, and has dedicated herself to increasing voter registration and participation around her. Ms. Spencer’s dedication to democracy in action are at the heart of Everyday Democracy’s mission.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award provides recognition and a $10,000 award to an individual or organization in the U.S. whose achievements inspire us and can be lifted up for many others to aspire to. This year, in addition to the main award, two runner ups will each receive $2,500.

Paul J. Aicher and his wife Joyce were known for their generosity and creative genius. A discussion course at Penn State helped Paul find his own voice in civic life early on, and sparked his lifelong interest in helping others find theirs.

Paul founded the Topsfield Foundation and the Study Circles Resource Center, now called Everyday Democracy, in 1989. The organization has now worked with more than 600 communities throughout the country, helping bring together diverse people to understand and make progress on difficult issues, incorporating lessons learned into discussion guides and other resources, and offering training and resources to help develop the field and practice of deliberative democracy.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award honors work that creates opportunities for meaningful civic participation for all people, addresses racial inequities through dialogue and collective action, and shows the power of bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how a community works.

You can find the original version of this post on the Everyday Democracy site at www.everydaydemocracy.org/news/everyday-democracy-excited-announce-winner-and-runners-2020-paul-and-joyce-aicher-leadership.

JAMS and NACFM Offer Grants to Community Mediators!

The JAMS Foundation and NCDD’s partner the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) are accepting submissions for their 2021-2023 Community Mediation Mini- Grant Program. This opportunity is extended to those interested in offering a new or enhanced process to how their organization currently serves their communities, with a focus on healing an ongoing or long standing community divide towards a path of re-connection.

The Program is designed to encourage creativity and variation based on research. Service strategies will be developed through the implementation of the “Listening for Action” Leadership Process and strengthened by at least one policy or procedure change developed and locally implemented over a two-year period. Program recipients will work together throughout the grant period anchored in the Learning Community. The Learning Community is a structured and collaborative peer working group facilitated by NAFCM.  Written materials developed through these grants will be shared with community mediation centers and mediators across the continent and even internationally to support the mediation community.

Five organizations will be awarded yearly $12,000 grants for the 2021-2023 cycle. Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m., local time of applicant on March 15, 2021 to admin@nafcm.org.Read more information on this exciting program below or find the original posting here.


NAFCM/JAMS Foundation Mini-Grant Bidders Conference

The JAMS Foundation and National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) are pleased to announce the 2021-2023 funding track of the Community Mediation Mini-Grant Program (“Program”).

Strengthening Community Connections: This is an opportunity to assist one or more of the communities you serve by helping this community to develop a long-term process focused on healing their current or long-standing community divide. The proposed project should expand how your organization currently serves your communities (through mediation, restorative justice practices, conflict coaching, conflict management training or dialogue processes), by offering a new or enhanced process to help people, institutions, and the community as a whole on their path toward re-connection.

Systemic changes developed as part of this process should be able to be replicated by community mediation centers as a path for sustainability and growth for the field of community mediation, as well as to inform the development of training, evidence-based strategies, policy, and research at the national level as well.

The Program is designed to encourage creativity and variation based on research. Service strategies will be developed through the implementation of the “Listening for Action” Leadership Process and strengthened by at least one policy or procedure change developed and locally implemented over a two-year period. Program recipients will work together throughout the grant period anchored in the Learning Community. The Learning Community is a structured and collaborative peer working group facilitated by NAFCM. This structure serves as an incubator for innovation by aiding in the development of “good practices.” Written materials developed through these grants will be shared with community mediation centers and mediators across the continent. By distributing these materials, sharing programmatic resources, providing training, and developing national partnerships, NAFCM supports the replication of these service models and ensures the Program’s impact on an international level.

The Learning Community will meet twice a month for the first five months, and monthly thereafter using a specified on-line meeting platform. This community will follow the “Listening for Action” structured guidance offered by NAFCM that is intended to strengthen the unique work of each project as well as create an executive learning environment that allows the members to grow both individually and professionally.

2021 Solicitation of Interest (SI) Overview

The 2021 Program selection process has two distinct phases.

Phase 1 begins with the release of this 2021 Solicitation of Interest (SI) protocol. This phase is open to any organization which works to incorporate the 9 NAFCM Hallmarks of Community Mediation and believes that this funding and technical assistance support opportunity is a good fit for the needs of their work and those with whom they work.

A community mediation center is an entity that works to achieve the following nine hallmarks of a community mediation center:

  1. A private non-profit or public agency or program thereof, with mediators, staff and governing/advisory board representative of the diversity of the community served.
  2. The use of trained community volunteers as providers of mediation services; the practice of mediation is open to all persons.
  3. Providing direct access to the public through self-referral and striving to reduce barriers to service including physical, linguistic, cultural, programmatic and economic.
  4. Providing service to clients regardless of their ability to pay.
  5. Providing service and hiring without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disabilities, national origin, marital status, personal appearance, gender orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income.
    Providing a forum for dispute resolution at the earliest stage of conflict.
    Providing an alternative to the judicial system at any stage of a conflict.
  6. Initiating, facilitating and educating for collaborative community relationships to effect positive systemic change.
  7. Engaging in public awareness and educational activities about the values and practices of mediation.

Phase 2 begins in April 2021 and is open only to those who submitted a response to the SI during the prior phase and have been invited to submit a full proposal.

This 2021 Program is for those Community Mediation Centers wishing to embed the core values identified by community mediators and recorded in the 2019 State of Community Mediation Report: Fairness, Peacemaking and Violence Prevention.

Funding Project Process Step 1 – Open to all now until March 15th, 2021

  • Interested organizations are required to submit a 1-3-page response to the Solicitation of Interest (SI) (using the guidelines on the following page) to NAFCM no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location, March 15, 2021 to siminigrant2020@gmail.com
  • An informational conference call will be held on Monday February 8, 2021- 4:30 PM Eastern Time. There is a limited number of spaces for this teleconference and you must be registered no later Friday February 5, 2021. To obtain the link for the conference please send a notice of interest to NAFCM at siminigrant2020@gmail.com

Funding Project Process Step 2 – By invitation only

  • The NAFCM Grant review committee will notify applicants if they have been selected to develop a full proposal by April 1st, 2021. For selected applicants a review webinar will be offered on Tuesday April 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. The link for attendance will be sent to those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal.
  • Full proposals (with a required application protocol provided upon notification) will be due to the NAFCM Grant review committee no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location on Monday, June 15th, 2021.
  • Notifications of the final decision will be made by August 31st, 2021.

Please address questions about grant program to D.G. Mawn, President, NAFCM, at siminigrant2020@gmail.com.

You can find the original version on the National Association for Community Mediation at www.nafcm.org/news/546106/NAFCMJAMS-Foundation-Mini-Grant-Bidders-Conference.htm.

A Message from NCDD Board Chair Martín Carcasson

For the past seven years, I have had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, the last four as the chair. My term is officially over at the end of the year. NCDD serves as an umbrella organization for academics, practitioners, artists, and volunteers committed to improving how we all talk to each other and address our shared problems. They are a network of networks, a bridging organization dedicated to helping individuals, organizations, and communities build capacity for quality democratic engagement.

I still vividly remember my first NCDD conference in San Francisco in 2006. I remember because it was the first time I ever got that wonderful, overwhelming feeling of finding my people. I was passionate about community, democracy, and improving the world, but the world of politics was incredibly frustrating to me, and seemed mostly counterproductive. I had strong views about how things needed to change, but politics did not seem to be a useful route. People seemed to just talk past each other, assume horrible motives for those that disagreed, and while they sometimes won elections and sometimes lost, not much seemed to really change about the issues I cared about. It was a game people loved playing that to me seemed at best a distraction and at worst something that undermined everything democracy requires to function well (trust, mutual respect, the ability to have tough conversations, etc.).

NCDD was a whole other world. People that shared my passions for community and democracy, but recognized that what we were doing wasn’t working. They realized we needed to work together, to bridge differences, and get past simple narratives, but also knew that was not going to be easy. We needed a lot of new ideas, tools, and organizations. They also recognized that we didn’t just need a simple “both sides” or an abstract balance, but deeper explorations of what it would mean to work together across perspectives.

I greatly looked forward to NCDD’s conferences every other year, to learn new tools, meet new people, and engage deeper with others that shared my concerns. I started doing everything I could to get more of my students to attend, and with a lot of help from a lot of people, managed to take groups of 10-25 to conferences in Seattle, Washington DC, and Boston. In 2014, I accepted the call to join the board of directors of NCDD, and in 2016, became the board chair.

I’ll be honest, it has been tougher than I thought. NCDD does incredible work on a very tight and tiny budget. The board is all volunteer, and we survive with essentially three part time employees (sometimes just 2). We spend too much time thinking about money and not enough time thinking about the actual work. It is difficult to fund organizations like NCDD that serve more as a connector and a resource to other individuals and organizations rather than as a direct service provider. We literally spend billions on election campaigns, but struggle to raise hundreds for an organization truly dedicated to make democracy work.

As I exit my role — but still plan to be heavily involved with NCDD moving forward, I very much plan to serve again once I retire from my day job so I can really focus on elevating the organization — I ask you all to consider a NCDD membership (either for yourself or as a gift to a friend you think may be interested in what I’ve described) or consider NCDD in your end of year giving. I know you have a lot of options, and with the pandemic, an incredible amount of immediate needs. NCDD is much more of a long term investment. I truly believe the most pressing issue we have in our communities is the inability to talk with each other and work together on our shared problems. I think it will be difficult to move forward on any issue unless we first make some progress on that. In many ways, the pandemic has shown us that even a global crisis caused more polarization and distrust, rather than sparking the collaborative efforts that we know we are capable of as humans. Even a $10 or $20 donation can make a big difference to NCDD having the resources to help communities across the country build capacity for the kind of engagement democracies need to thrive.
More information about membership is here (https://ncdd.org/community/join), gifting memberships here (https://act.myngp.com/Forms/1424112249932744704), and donations here (https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-8754304382901286912).

Lastly, as I leave the board, I want to thank all the exceptional people I have had the pleasure to work with these past seven years (too many to mention), and I am particularly excited about the incoming chair, Lori Britt, and the strength of the board moving forward. I’ve known Professor Britt since her Ph.D. days at CU-Boulder, when she assisted with CPD events, and have been incredibly impressed with what she has built up at James Madison University. NCDD is in wonderful hands with her, the board, and Courtney Breese’s exceptional leadership as our executive director (who very very much deserves a higher salary and full time job!). We aren’t quite sure when we will all be able to gather together again — and may end up with more of a virtual conference this year — but I do know I can’t wait to gather with my people once again.

Martín Carcasson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Communication Studies department of Colorado State University, and the founder and director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD, www.cpd.colostate.edu). We thank him for his service to the NCDD network and all he does to help advance efforts for dialogue and deliberation in communities and higher education!

Post Election Community Conversation Reveals Concerns

Days following the election, an online community conversation hosted and facilitated by NCDD member org The Interactivity Foundation, together with IONA Senior Services took place. During this convening,  exploratory questions about our society and the prospect for forming a more perfect union were asked. The outcome is compiled in this article as a list of concerns in various sectors: the elections and health of our democracy, polarization and the role of the media.We look forward to Interactivity Foundations’ decision to further follow this topic in 2021 as part of their #WeavingCommunity Initiative.

Below you  will find the entire resume of key points and for the original post here.


Toward a More Perfect Union? A Community Conversation about the 2020 Election

Toward a More Perfect Union? Exploring the 2020 US Elections
What did the 2020 US elections mean to you? What did they say to you about our prospects for forming a more perfect union? What lessons might we draw for reweaving our society after the elections, revitalizing our democracy, and moving toward a more perfect union?
These were the key questions we explored in a November 5, 2020 online community conversation, convened and facilitated by the Interactivity Foundation in partnership with IONA Senior Services. This was an exploratory discussion, one where participants were asked not only to bring forward their own perspectives, but also to help each other delve into divergent perspectives in a spirit of generosity. You’ll find a summary of some of the key points below. In light of the rich material we discussed, the Interactivity Foundation may move forward with this topic as a new online community conversation series in the new year (watch this space). This Community Conversation was part of the #WeavingCommunity initiativeWhat concerns rose to the surface surrounding the election and about our prospects for forming a more perfect union?

Concerns about elections and the health of our democracy

  • Voter suppression is going on in our country
  • Our electoral process is dysfunctional
  • The election process revealed how weak and fragile our democratic system is
  • The election mechanics actually worked
  • It’s a victory that there was no violence at the polls
  • Locally lots of apparent voter engagement—with lots of participation via early voting
  • It’s an illusion that our democracy is working
  • We have structural problems in our system that weaken our representative democracy
  • We always say, “it’s the most important election” or “democracy hangs in the balance,” but are those just exaggerations?
  • We have governmental leadership with no moral compass—as long as they win, they can do whatever they want—and our democracy can’t survive more of that
  • Another real threat to democracy: politicizing the federal civil service, turning government agencies to partisan purposes
  • People in government should be public servants, not pursuing their own gain

Concerns about polarization

  • We are divided more than ever, with high degrees of polarization and antipathy toward one another
  • The division has become more extreme in the last few years
  • We live in bubbles and don’t understand people outside of our bubble
  • This high degree of polarization threatens our ability to self-govern
  • We have always been polarized, so it’s not worse than before
  • We have powerful myths of a national unity that never existed and we use this to cover up our history of exploitation
  • We mostly ignore divisions because they often only impacted others (if we’re protected by our race or class, we can ignore the history of oppression of targeted groups within our country)
  • We have to remember that America was built on exploiting others
  • If you don’t live in middle class white America, you are more at risk and don’t want to reach out to those who want to keep you down, especially if you’ve been a victim of a hate crime
  • If a major political party has become a party of white nationalism, how can you ask people to come together with them or split the difference by compromise?
  • We have divisions, but most people are reasonable and just trying to get on with their lives
  • Lately it has become riskier to have political discussions across partisan divides—it used to be fun, but now you risk losing relationships if you discuss politics
  • Our divisions are so strong, it is hard to believe we can come together as one nation
  • Our divisions are so fraught, they can’t even have discussions about the election in school
  • We are a country divided on values
  • Our divisions have religious roots, part of the evangelical right taking over the Republican party
  • Religion can also be a source of values that can unite us and help us to bridge divides
  • There’s a strong political movement to disregard facts, evidence, or science, which makes governance lose touch with reality
  • You can’t come together with people who are being dishonest or hateful
  • We have urban-rural divides
  • In urban areas, people often have more experience with diversity and are more accepting of differences
  • Trump and Trumpism seem like both cause and effect—a symptom of a widespread illness in our body politic
  • Some people are behaving like spoiled children

Concerns about the role of media

  • We live in different media bubbles, so we don’t know how others see the world
  • Media shapes reality—we can’t understand the reality perceived by those in the other camp
  • One branch of media presents an “alternate reality” that is not clearly connected to ascertainable facts, which makes it difficult, or nearly impossible, to reason with its devotees
  • One political party regularly attacks the news media and other evidence-based approaches, like science
  • We need to be wary of the outsized role that social media plays in our public discourse
  • Popular media are driven by controversy and sensationalism rather than focusing on what’s essential
  • The news media focuses more on entertainment than on genuinely informing the public
  • We live in a celebrity culture, where everybody wants a chance to be a celebrity, to be popular

How might we move toward a more perfect union?

  • We need democratic reform to make policy responsive and accountable to the broad public will
  • If government responds to the public will and does good things to improve people’s lives, then polarization will lessen and people will have greater trust in government
  • The election of a new government is a start—but we need to update our constitution to bolster our democracy and make it more representative of the popular will
  • We need leadership from the top to advocate unity with our political opponents
  • We should celebrate genuine public servants—those truly acting in the public interest (not their private interests)
  • We need to restore or embody greater civility at all levels of governance and society
  • We need to find opportunities for conversation with people from the other side (it’s not important to agree, but to talk with people with whom we disagree)
  • We need to teach the value of having discussions across our divides
  • We need to learn how to listen first to each other—not to talk first, but to listen first to others
  • We need to get past labels and attend to the substance of what people are saying
  • We need to strive to find the good in what opponents say or do
  • We need to recognize the universal needs that we share: we are all equally human
  • We need to find shared values to connect across differences
  • It’s not a matter of having the right facts, it’s about finding shared values to connect better with others
  • It’s best to avoid direct confrontation on hot issues—seek conversations about values
  • We need to be honest with one another and truthful in our words and actions—we can’t just rely on happy talk and fake politeness
  • We need to recognize that people on the other side are not all the same and are not all so hostile
  • We should educate our children for a civic spirit that is bigger than our divisions, whether this starts in our families, in community organizations, or within schools
  • We should raise the next generation to be more open to diversity—including diversity of viewpoints
  • We need education to help make us antiracist
  • We need to flip the media from entertainment to education
  • We need education for media literacy
  • We should change our media diet—to expose ourselves to different sides
  • We need to reform or disband social media, because it just aggravates divisions and spreads disinformation
  • What if we come together as one—to fight fascism?
  • Time can heal us

You can find the original version on The Interactivity Foundation site at www.interactivityfoundation.org/toward-a-more-perfect-union-a-community-conversation-about-the-2020-election/.

Join Virtual Book Club Discussion with Author of Engaged

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, an NCDD member org invites you to an exciting discussion with the author of Engaged: A Citizen’s Perspective on the Future of Civic Life. The event will take place via Zoom on Monday, December 7,  at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific. Register for the call here!

On the call, author and Penn State alumnus Andrew Sommers, will be available for a group Q&A session, and then participants will have the option to break out into smaller groups for further discussion. You don’t need to read the book to join the event – check out the additional resources provided in the post below to get an understanding of the book’s contents and be able to better participate in the conversation. Read more below and find the original announcement for this here.


Virtual Book Club
Engaged: A Citizen’s Perspective on the Future of Civic Life

By Andrew D. Sommers

Discussion with the author
Monday, December 7th, 4:00 pm ET

Purchase the book from Bookshop

Written by Penn State alumnus Andrew Sommers, Engaged provides a unique perspective on the state of our civic life today and why it matters to democracy. It explores key aspects of engagement through personal stories, vignette’s from the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, DC, and inspiring examples of those who are trying to make a difference. The book speaks to all Americans — veterans, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, community organizers, educators, parents, and everyday citizens — who want to make a difference in the country we all love.

Andrew has a B.A. from Penn State and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has over a decade of experience, primarily as a management consultant working with federal agencies, bringing innovation to their business and technology programs. Andrew has been an active member of numerous Washington, D.C. non-profit and civic organizations — most notably, as a board member of DC Social Innovation Project (DCSIP) and member of the Sons of the American Revolution. When he’s not playing with his son, he’s an avid soccer and chess player.

Andrew will join us for a virtual book club discussion on Monday, December 7.  The first half of the event will be a large group Q&A session, followed by optional smaller group discussions in Zoom breakout rooms.

Register for the discussion

Additional Resources

As with any book club, reading the book is not required to attend the book club discussion. Here are some additional resources to help you understand its main ideas:

You can find the original version on this on the McCourtney Institute for Democracy site at www.democracy.psu.edu/virtual-book-club/.

Civvys Nominations Accepted Until Friday December 4th

ICYMI The 2020 American Civic Collaboration Awards (The Civvys) are accepting nominations until Friday, December 4th. The Civvys, celebrate best practices in civic collaboration that put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests. These annual awards are organized by NCDD member org, The Bridge Alliance Education, Big Tent Nation, and the National Conference on Citizenship. Read the details in the post below and find more information on the main website; and most importantly, make sure you nominate those outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in local, national and youth communities!


THE CIVVYS: The American Civic Collaboration Awards

Celebrating Partnerships that Strengthen America

The 2020 Civvys are here – submit nominations here!

In its fourth year (and what a year!) the American Civic Collaboration Awards will continue to highlight outstanding initiatives working to collaborate across divides at the national, local and youth levels. In light of the events of this year that have gripped our nation – from the spread of a deadly virus to the murder of George Floyd to a highly polarized election season – the 2020 Civvys Awards will focus more pointedly on those efforts at the national, local and youth levels that work toward greater equity, diversity and inclusion.

An esteemed panel of civic leaders will review the submissions to designate finalists and winners. The 2020 Civvys Winners will be announced in a livestreamed, virtual ceremony in March 2021.

Sign up for our email list so you don’t miss any updates!

The Civvys celebrate best practices in civic collaboration that put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests.

Since its inaugural year, the Civvys have highlighted outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in National, Local and Youth communities.

Award Categories

National: These projects are nationwide in scope and audience.

Local: These projects are designed to serve a local, state or regional community.

Youth: These projects have a focus on children, teenagers or young adults.

Criteria

We are looking for a range of projects, programs and people that use civic collaboration best practices to achieve real results in facilitating dialogue, enabling cross-partisan action, or putting civility and community above ideology. Here are our core criteria:

Collaborative practices. To what extent does this work use civic collaboration best practices to achieve results? What groups, expertise or areas are they bringing together afresh?

Impact. Who has this work had an impact on, and in what ways?

Scalability. Is this work something that can easily be expanded to have a greater impact? Is it something that can appeal across geographic regions, or be used to effect change in other civics topics or challenges?

Equity and Inclusion: Does this initiative make strides toward creating a more just, equitable and inclusive America?

In addition, the Civvys celebrates programs and people that:

  • Engages a representative and diverse set of stakeholders
  • Cultivates civility and mutual respect
  • Creates meaningful shared goals for those involved, using the process of co-creation
  • Provides effective facilitation and supports dialogue throughout the process
  • Develops or utilizes metrics to measure outcomes

You can read the original version of this information on the Civvy’s site at www.civvys.org/.

Creative Strategies for Change Seeking Executive Director

Denver-based organization, Creative Strategies for Change, is currently seeking a new Executive Director! We encourage folks in our network to learn more about the position in the announcement below and find the original information on the CSC site here.


Creative Strategies for Change is expanding our team! We are currently hiring for an Executive Director to start in February of 2021, could it be you or someone you know?

Background: Creative Strategies for Change (CSC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2013, in Denver, Colorado, with a mission to mobilize arts and education for social justice, and a racial equity imperative. Our offerings include: community and youth programs, interactive performances and workshops, consultation, leadership and professional development.

Position Description: The Executive Director (ED) is a member of the team that stewards CSC mission, vision, and values. This dynamic team and community member will be responsible for the efficient administration of day to day organizational operations, budgetary and fiscal matters, organizational development and fundraising, board development and relations, as well as hiring, training, guiding, and evaluating administrative staff.

The ED is a member of CSC’s collaborative leadership team, the Executive Committee consisting of two Co-Directors of Arts and Education and the Board of Directors. The ED’s priorities are maintaining a sustainable organization with a focus on administrative, board, and financial capacity building. The ED will galvanize our internal and external commitment to equity, excellence, and wellness.

Schedule: 40 hours/week between 8am – 6pm (some evenings and weekends will be required)

Start Date: Preferred start date February 8th (Participation in CSC Workshop is Required)

Compensation: $60,000-$80,000 annually (depending on experience)

After 60 days of employment (or the equivalent hours) employee will be eligible for health care contributions and paid time off as follows:

Health Care Contributions: $400/month (FTE)
Accrual of PTO – 2 days per month: current max total of 2 weeks per year
Minimum Skills and Qualifications

-Commitment to the CSC mission, vision, values, and racial equity imperative.
-Ability to align the organizational operational scope with the goals, mission and vision of CSC, clear understanding of the CSC 3 Model and ability to integrate it in all operations.
-Experience and expertise with managing nonprofit budget and operations or equivalent.
-Strong background in racial equity, critical race theory, intersectionality and social justice frameworks.
-Knowledge regarding community organizing, arts and arts education, youth leadership development, restorative /transformative justice.
-Expertise with board relations & development, fundraising, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating personnel.
-Confident with organizational systems, financial, and database management
-Experience and expertise with managing nonprofit budget and operations or equivalent.
-Strong background in racial equity, critical race theory, intersectionality and social justice frameworks.
-Knowledge regarding community organizing, arts and arts education, youth leadership development, restorative /transformative justice.
-Expertise with board relations & development, fundraising, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating personnel.
-Confident with organizational systems, financial, and database management.
-Excellent, culturally responsive interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
-Proactive, self-motivated and able to work independently and interdependently.
-Experience with working with diverse teams and communities.
-Critical, strategic thinking and the capacity to manage a variety of projects, priorities, and deadlines.
-Knowledge and experience with grant writing and management.
-Experience with fundraising, and client and donor engagement and development.
-Willing to engage in conflict resolution, give and receive critical feedback.
-3 years of managerial/leadership experience.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

-3-5 years consecutive experience as an executive director or similar administrative leadership role with a nonprofit organization.
-Expertise with organizational change and growth, and experience guiding an organization through the start up to sustainable experience.
-Understanding the value of art as an expression and foundation to the work at CSC.

Duties and Responsibilities

-Collaborative stewardship of the organizational mission, vision, and values.
-Provide leadership in coordinating, executing, and evaluating CSC administrative operations.
-Work with the administrative team to design, implement, and evaluate the performance of short and long-term plans for organizational growth and development toward a thriving, sustainable, and fiscally solvent organization.
-Build organizational administrative capacity for efficient and effective management.
-Improve CSC financial capacity and fiscal solvency to increase organizational capacity.
-Organizational capacity building through Financial Development & Administration, Fundraising, -Administrative operations, board development/relations are high priorities for this position.
-Work with CSC accountant to assure compliance with all IRS, national, state and local regulations and requirements for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, including up to date files, filing systems, necessary certificates, licenses, etc.
-Work with CSC accountant to manage all organizational bookkeeping and finances as required by law and in alignment with CSC mission, vision, and values.
-Work with the CSC board, executive committee, and administrative team to develop, review, refine, and implement annual operating budget and strategic plan.
-Work with the Program Manager to operationalize CSC fundraising plan, including grants, donors, sponsors, and special events. Increase individual and corporate donors to meet fundraising goals.
-Contributes to activating and sustaining board participation in organizational fiduciary responsibilities and fundraising plans including grant research and writing, online crowdfunding, donor relations, sponsorship, and event planning, coordination, and execution.
-Attend regular staff, board, and team meetings.
Cultivate a culture of integrity with internal and external relationships, developing and maintaining open lines of communication.
-Develop, update, and maintain organizational operations manual, and policies and procedures handbook.
-Provide administrative support staff leadership including hiring, training, orientation, schedules, contracts, evaluation, and paperwork.
-Work with the administrative support staff to develop, refine, and maintain efficient organizational systems and procedures including but not limited to: calendars, documentation, assessment, administrative work plans, handbooks, manuals, database, etc.
-Work with the Executive Committee and staff to develop and implement public relations and communications strategies to support organizational goals and community engagement.
-Support Program Manager in sustain communications: blog, newsletter, social media, website updates and maintenance, print and web based marketing and promotion, etc.
-Represent CSC for panels, community meetings, conferences, funder discussions and field-wide convenings. Nurture new and existing partnerships with cultural, artistic and social justice organizations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
-Staying connected to developments and grant funding opportunities, significant events, and conferences.
-Fielding information requests from current and prospective donors, sponsors, foundations, and board members.
-Additional duties and responsibilities as necessary.

CSC strongly encourages applications from diverse women and leaders of color for all positions. Creative Strategies for Change is committed to a policy of equitable representation across the organization and will not discriminate on the basis of race, ability status, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, socioeconomic status, or other social identities.

Please send cover letter, resume, and 3 references (1 personal and 2 professional) to: board[at]creativestrategiesforchange[dot]com. Please include “Executive Director Position” in email subject field

Find the original announcement at www.creativestrategiesforchange.com/2020/11/23/team-csc-is-growing-we-are-hiring-an-executive-director/.

Submit 2021 All-America City Award Letter of Intent by 12/1

ICYMI NCDD member org, The National Civic League, is now accepting Letters of Intent for the 2021 All-America City Award (AAC2021). For over 70 years, the All-America City Award has recognized communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. Every year communities from across the country compete for the All-America City Award, telling the story of their community and their work. This coming year, AAC2021 will be a robust virtual event, lifting up communities’ work related to the theme “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities”. Submit Letter of Intent by December 1st and save $100 on your 2021 application fee. Join the free informational webinar this coming Monday, November 23rd from 12-1pm Pacific, 3-4 Eastern, to learn more about the AAC award program – register here!

Read more about the 2021 All-America City Awards in post below and find more information on NCL’s site here.


Since 1949, the National Civic League has designated over 500 communities as All-America Cities for their outstanding civic accomplishments. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities, recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders.

The 2021 All-America City theme is “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities.” The 2021 All-America City Awards will recognize communities that have worked to improve equity and resilience. Equity is the fabric that allows communities to achieve broad-based economic prosperity and other goals. Resilience enables communities to face challenging times by not only preserving what makes their community great but adapting and growing stronger. Both qualities depend on inclusive civic engagement.

The need for equity and resilience has become more obvious in 2020, as communities have dealt with a global pandemic and racial bias incidents in law enforcement. Those communities with more equity and resilience have been more successful in combatting the pandemic and making the needed changes to improve the racial equity of law enforcement and other city services.

All-America City applicants for 2021 will be asked to discuss the strength of their civic capital—the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities they use to make decisions and solve problems—and to provide examples of community-driven projects that have adapted and transformed the community to be more equitable and resilient.

Finalists are announced in March and invited to assemble a community team to present at the All-America City Event in June. Teams of residents; nonprofit, business, and government leaders; and young people from communities across the country will share insights with peers, learn from national thought-leaders, and present the story of their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. The transformational experience equips, inspires and supports leaders and communities to achieve more than they ever believed possible.

The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards remind us of the potential within every community to tackle tough issues and create real change.

We encourage you to learn more about the All-America City Award event on the National Civic League site at: www.nationalcivicleague.org/america-city-award/how-to-apply/.