Apply for Technology and Democracy Fellowship by 4/15

As NCDD reflects on the ways in which technology can support face to face D&D in today’s Tech Tuesday, we wanted to share this fellowship opportunity which supports the technological work that enhances democratic governance. [By the way, you can still join the free Tech Tuesday here!] Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, an NCDD member, recently announced they are offering an unpaid, non-resident Technology and Democracy Fellowship; to create space for participants to build relationships, develop their work or research, and have a unique opportunity to dig into the bigger questions behind their practice. The fellowship deadline is April 15th, so apply now if you are interested! Learn more about the details of the fellowship in the post below or find the original here.

Technology and Democracy Fellowship

Applications are now open for 2018 Fellowships. Applications can be found here

The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is part of an Ash Center initiative to explore technology’s role in improving democratic governance—with a focus on connecting to practice and on helping Harvard Kennedy School students develop crucial technology skills.

Over the course of the fellowship, participants design, develop, or refine a substantive project that is salient to their field. This project could entail research, writing, and developing strategy relating to each fellow’s work, or could take the form of a new platform, service, app, or idea.

Technology and Democracy Fellows form a virtual community through which they share ideas and resources, pose questions, offer feedback, and help one another with solving challenges in their projects or other work. The Kennedy School serves as a unique space for these technologists to take a step back from the day-to-day minutia working in the world of practice to discuss, research, and write about the bigger questions their work addresses.

Fellows also help students, staff, faculty, and other members of the HKS community to develop their understanding of major concepts and to build skills related to technology and governance. This knowledge sharing is primarily delivered through a hands-on, skill-building workshop that each fellow designs and leads once during the year on a topic of interest to the fellow (see past workshops here).  Fellows can also develop personal relationships with faculty, staff, and fellows at HKS in the form of consultation and mentoring, event/speaking opportunities, and more.

The Technology and Democracy Fellowship is an unpaid, non-resident fellowship, so Fellows are not expected to reside or work locally. We invite Technology and Democracy Fellows to Cambridge at least twice during the course of the fellowship year (at the Ash Center’s expense) to give workshops, present their work, and meet with members of the HKS community.

The Fellowship welcomes mid-career practitioners with an interest in leveraging technology to improve democratic governance. Each cohort of fellows includes technologists with an interest or background in democratic politics and governance or public and civic leaders with technology expertise.

How to Apply
Applications are now open. Please apply here.  The deadline for completed applications to be submitted is April 15, 2018. For questions, please contact Teresa Acuña at

Current Technology and Democracy Fellows
The 2017-18 Technology and Democracy Fellows are below.

Fatima Alam, Researcher on Trust and Safety at Google

Tiffani Ashley Bell, Founder and Executive Director of The Human Utility

Jeff Maher, Software Engineer for CivicActions

Marina Martin, Public Interest Technology Fellow at the New America Foundation

Aaron Ogle, Director of Product for the OpenGov Foundation

Mjumbe Poe, Co-founder and CTO of FixList

You can find the original version of this article on the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation’s site at

New Job & Internship Opportunities in the D&D Field

NCDD sponsoring organization, Essential Partners, recently shared with us an exciting job opportunity they have on their team and we wanted to lift it up for our fantastic network. Check out some of the details of the job below, as well as, some additional offers we’ve found recently. You may want to follow up with the orgs that we shared in an earlier post that were hiring, in case any of those positions are still open.

If you’re looking to hear about the jobs we find ASAP, make sure you sign up here for our Making-A-Living listserv where we post opportunities as we find them. To note, access to the Making-A-Living listserv is part of being an NCDD member, so make sure you join/renew your NCDD membership here to receive this great benefit! Finally, if your organization is hiring, send the details directly to the Making-A-Living listserv or to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org.

Essential Partners seeking a Director of Strategic Communications: Essential Partners (EP), a non-profit whose mission is to equip anyone facing divisive difference with skills for connection through conversation and curiosity, seeks someone smart, creative, and dynamic to help us share our mission far and wide. The DSC will report directly to the Executive Director and work closely with the Director of Development. We’re located in Cambridge, MA, and are looking for someone who can begin as soon as possible. Learn more about the qualifications and benefits of this position here.

NCDD member org Everyday Democracy is seeking an Executive Assistant (part-time). The Executive Assistant will provide high-level support for the efficient and effective operation of the Executive Offices. Learn more about the position and requirement here.

Public Agenda, an NCDD member org, is hiring a Development Director. To learn more about the position, click here.

The Aspen Institute has many job opportunities to check out here.

The Democracy Fund has several job and internship opportunities – learn more here.

Convergence is looking to hire an Executive Assistant, learn more here.

SAM (The Serve America Movement) is looking for a highly motivated Digital Content & Engagement Director to join their team. Please note they are seeking candidates in the Denver area only. Learn more here.

Unite America seeks a full-time Outreach & Fundraising Manager, Operations & Finance Manager, National Political Director, and Colorado Field Manager. Learn more here.

Democracy Works is hiring a Software Developer. They build technology for both voters and election administrators that simplifies the process and ensures that no voter should ever have to miss an election. Learn more here.

JLA Public Involvement is seeking a Public Involvement Coordinator/Communications Specialist. Learn more here.

EnvironIssues is hiring for three positions all for the Seattle region:

  • Public Involvement/Communications Associate – more here.
  • Project Coordinator – more here.
  • Associate – more here.

WSP USA Inc. has an opening for a Communication and Public Involvement Coordinator. This position supports Communications and Public Involvement efforts in the Austin, Texas and Southwest Texas region. Learn more here.

Please share with this announcement with your networks and best of luck to all applicants!

Taylor Willingham Award Winner Announced for 2018

The National Issues Forums Institute – an NCDD member organization – recently awarded their annual Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Award given in loving memory of our friend Taylor and her work in the field. We’d like to invite you to join us in congratulating Matt Miller, the recently re-elected mayor of Ashland Ohio. The award is given to those who are working to advance deliberative democracy in their communities, and you can read more about Matt’s work in the NIFI announcement below or find the original here.

Matt Miller is the 2018 Recipient of the Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Award

Matt Miller, of Ashland, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Award. The award, which is administered by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), is intended to help people who are interested in promoting deliberative forums in their communities as a way to help people talk about difficult public issues.

Miller, the recently-elected mayor of Ashland, Ohio, is especially interested in helping the community talk about the opioid epidemic, among other issues.

The following is more information about Miller’s interest in deliberative forums and his plans for using the Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Award:

Matt is a new member of the Advisory Committee for the Center for Civic Life at Ashland University. In November, he was elected as Mayor of Ashland, Ohio, and he is enthusiastic to learn more about the deliberative process and to use it to gain a public voice on major issues in the city. Additionally, people in the community will have a chance to learn about the power of democratic deliberation to engage them as citizens.

Matt’s plan for becoming involved in democratic deliberation is to host a moderator training for himself and other city officials to learn how to moderate forums, followed by forums on city issues. Grant money will be spent on the moderator training, as well as the first deliberative forum.

Click here for more information, or to contact Miller about his work.

You can find the original version of this NIFI blog post at

Winter Updates from AASCU’s American Democracy Project

For those working with civic engagement and higher ed, we wanted to share these recent updates from AASCU’s the American Democracy Project about several exciting opportunities! Coming up this Wednesday, February 28th from 1-2pm Eastern, is a free webinar on assessing civic competency and engagement, and how these efforts translate to student learning. Second, there are three different national ADP awards nominations that are now open and are due by March 30. Finally, check out the upcoming 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (#CLDE18) on June 6-9, hosted by the American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and the NASPA Lead Initiative. You can read the announcement below or find the original on ADP’s site here.

ADP Winter 2018 Updates & Announcements

With our recent effort to significantly increase our ADP programming, you might be interested in some of the upcoming ADP activities, including opportunities to get national recognition for deserving folks on your campuses.  Please pass along to those who might be interested as well.  Thank you in advance for your support

Free Webinar Featuring Assessment of Civic Competency and Engagement
Wednesday, February 28 | 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST
Register now

Walking our Talk: Converting Civic-Focused Mission Statements to Student Learning
Many higher education institutions include complex civic concepts as part of their missions, but how do we know if we are translating these lofty goals into student learning? Assessment is often viewed as a secondary or even bureaucratic institutional practice but done well it supports learning improvement processes that prioritize student development, organize institutional efforts, and direct change. This session will discuss recent ETS research initiatives focused on national trends in the assessment of civic competency and engagement as well as an institutional perspective on assessing and addressing these skills in students.

Presenters: Ross Markle, Senior Assessment Strategist for Higher Education, ETS; and Kara Owens, Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment, Salisbury University (Md.)

Nominations for Three ADP National Civic Engagement Awards Due March 30, 2018

  • The William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement is given each year to an AASCU chief academic officer in recognition of his or her leadership in advancing the civic mission of the campus. Chief academic officers may be nominated by anyone. The president or chancellor must endorse the nomination. Nomination materials for the 2018 Plater Award must be submitted electronically by March 30, 2018. For information and cover sheet:
  • The John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement is presented annually to an emerging leader (e.g., early career faculty/staff) in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution. Emerging Leaders may be nominated by anyone. Nomination materials for the 2018 Saltmarsh Award must be submitted electronically by March 30, 2018. For information and cover sheet:
  • The Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement is presented annually to a senior faculty member in the civic engagement field from an AASCU institution. Senior ADP faculty members may be nominated by anyone. The provost or chief academic officer must endorse the nomination. Nomination materials for the 2018 Burch Award must be submitted electronically by March 30, 2018. For information and cover sheet:

Participate in ADP’s National Conference: The 2018 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 to Saturday, June 9, 2018
Hyatt Regency Orange County • Anaheim, California

The American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and NASPA are committed to advancing the civic engagement movement in higher education. Join us in Anaheim, California for our annual conference which brings together faculty, student affairs professionals, senior campus administrators, students and community partners. Together we will ensure that students graduate from our colleges and universities–both public and private–prepared to be the informed, engaged citizens that our communities and our democracy need.

Learn more about ADP and how to be engaged during our ADP Organizing Meeting on Thursday, June 7 from 9 a.m. – Noon. Annual awards will be presented during this meeting.

For more information:
Register now for the best rates.

You can find the original version of this ADP blog post at:

NCDD Orgs Team up for Utah Civic Engagement Fellowship

For Utah folks in our network, there is an exciting endeavor underway that we wanted to share with you! Several NCDD member orgs – Essential Partners, Village Square, and Living Room Conversations – in partnership with Salt Lake Civil Network and Utah Humanities, have teamed for a year-long Civic Engagement Fellowship, with a focus on further building Utah as a hub for civil discourse. The fellowship will kick off with two-day training in dialogue facilitation by Essential Partners on March 2 & 3, then the following year will be dedicated to designing and implementing a civic engagement plan and facilitating civil dialogues. The deadline to apply is February 23rd, so make sure you apply ASAP! We encourage you to read the announcement below or find the original on EP’s site here.

Announcing the Utah Civic Engagement Fellowship

In partnership with Village SquareLiving Room ConversationsSalt Lake Civil Network, and Utah Humanities, we are building a statewide network in Utah for citizens seeking to become skilled leaders in designing and facilitating civil dialogues in their communities.

The year-long Civic Engagement Fellowship for Utah begins with a comprehensive two-day training in dialogue facilitation, provided by Essential Partners, from March 2-3 in Salt Lake City (venue TBD). Over the following year, Fellows will be connected to a larger collective impact initiative focused specifically on Utah as an ideal hub for shifting the culture of civic discourse. With support from skilled practitioners and a network of other trainees, Fellows will develop and implement community engagement plans centered on civil, connective dialogues.

To apply, please complete and submit the form at this link by no later than February 23, 2018.

About the 2-day Fellowship Training:

The Fellowship builds on a foundational two-day comprehensive training, Facilitating Dialogue Across Divides, provided by Essential Partners.

Are you witnessing an increase in divisiveness in your community? Do you see the need for us to talk across our divides? Do you want to be able to help your community have the difficult conversations it needs to have to move forward together? Facilitating Dialogue Across Divides is designed to help you build skills to facilitate tough conversations, whether in your daily life or in formal dialogues. This workshop is intended to be an introductory workshop for those new to facilitation, or to Essential Partners’ model.

Community is an act of courage. We believe that behind every belief is a person with a story. 27 years ago, Essential Partners created a unique approach to dialogue that promotes connection and curiosity between those who see one another as enemies. Our approach, Reflective Structure Dialogue (RSD), has transformed conflicts across the country and the world, and is widely applicable to the vital conversations that communities need to have to do the work they need to do. An intentional communication process can help individuals, groups, and communities rebuild trust, enhance resilience, address challenging issues, and have constructive conversations with people from different perspectives or those they otherwise would avoid or fight with.

Beginning with this training, Fellows will embark on a rigorous program to cultivate facilitation skills through practice and direct engagement of their communities in Utah.

Benefits of Fellowship:

  • Two-day training in facilitating civic dialogues
  • Monthly webinars and support gatherings
  • Updates about opportunities to facilitate
  • One-on-one coaching for community projects
  • Training for facilitating Village Square forums and smaller Living Room Conversations

Fellowship requirements:

We encourage candidates to come with a connection to a community, institution, or group in which they could use these skills. Because this work involves collaboration, we strongly encourage candidates to apply with partners, working together to help facilitate conversations. We can help pair people who do not have partners. Teams may be as large as 4. Call with questions.

This Fellowship requires:

  • Training completion and monthly webinars
  • Design/execution of a plan for using this work in each team’s home community or group
  • Facilitating at least one civic dialogue
  • Participating in a Village Square event
  • Hosting a Living Room Conversation
  • Supporting other Fellows in their work
  • A refundable $100/person deposit

Skills taught in the training:

  • Designing & structuring conversations for civic engagement: focusing on curiosity, community, and connection across difference
  • Achieving clarity of purpose & expectations
  • Utilizing agreements, structures, preparation, and inquiry
  • Practicing competence and confidence in facilitating through challenging moments

As a result of training, Fellows will be able to:

  • Create a context for people to communicate with self-confidence about difficult or divisive topics
  • Break destructive communication habits (e.g., avoidance, silence, or reactive responses, enabling people to feel heard
  • Design conversations, dialogues, or meetings with clear purpose, full participation, and a structure for moving forward together
  • Introduce a dialogue circle
  • Intervene to support a group through rough spots

Who might be a Fellow?

  • Community or nonprofit leaders, clergy
  • Gov’t officials seeking to drive collaboration
  • School administrators, professors, teachers
  • Directors of community engagement, diversity, and inclusion

To learn more about the Fellowship (application, requirements, program elements and expectations), please download the program description here.

You can find the original announcement on Essential Partner’s site at

PBP Opening for PhDs as Participation Design Strategist

There is an exciting opportunity for recent PhDs to work with NCDD member org, Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and help strengthen participatory democracy! PBP recently announced they have an opening as a Participation Design Strategist, part of the Mellow/ACLS Public Fellows program, for those who are new PhDs. The deadline to apply is March 14th, 2018 for the position, and we hope some NCDDers will apply (by clicking here)! You can read more information on the fellowship opening in the post below or find the original here. Good luck to all applicants!

Mellon/ACLS Fellowship Opening – Participation Design Strategist

At the Participatory Budgeting Project, we’re pleased to announce that we have been selected by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) as a host organization for the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, a career-building fellowship initiative designed to expand the reach of doctoral education in the humanities. In 2018, the Public Fellows program will place up to 25 recent PhDs from the humanities and humanistic social sciences in two-year staff positions at partnering organizations in government and the nonprofit sector. Fellows will participate in the substantive work of these organizations and will receive professional mentoring, an annual stipend of $67,500, and health insurance.

The application deadline is March 14, 2018 (9pm EDT). For more information, please visit

Fellowship Details
Position Title:
Participation Design Strategist

Position Description:
We are seeking a Participation Design Strategist to work in PBP’s Participation Lab, one of our three program areas. The Lab evaluates, researches, and develops tools and practices to make participatory budgeting and democracy work better. The strategist will work closely with other staff and partners to develop and test strategies that improve PBP’s services and PB processes. Through this work the strategist will identify and help implement design solutions that enable participatory democracy to grow and scale, and that advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in civic participation. This will include close collaboration with government and nonprofit staff, community leaders, and user design experts.

This position is great preparation for those interested in a career in the nonprofit or public sectors, including in user experience design, human centered design, public participation, civic engagement, program evaluation, service delivery, or public administration. This is a new position that expands PBP’s capacity to make data-informed design decisions as well as to keep pace with the increasing volume and diversity of communities excited about deepening local democracy. See the full job posting here.

  • Stipend: $67,500 per year, with health insurance coverage for the fellow, a relocation allowance, and up to $3,000 in professional development funds over the course of the fellowship
  • Tenure: Two years; start date on August 1 or September 1, 2018, depending on the fellowship position
  • Applications will be accepted only through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system ( The system will open on January 4, 2018.
  • Application deadline: March 14, 2018, 9pm EDT
  • Notification of application status will occur by email starting late-May 2018.

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows is a fellowship program offered by the American Council of Learned Societies and is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Please direct all inquiries about the fellowship program to ACLS.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Participatory Budgeting Project’s site at

New D&D Job Openings

Looking to switch things up in your job life? There have been a lot of fantastic job and internship opportunities this month that we’d love to see filled with folks from our talented network! If you’re looking to hear about the jobs we find ASAP, make sure you sign up here for our Making-A-Living listserv where we post opportunities as we find them. To note, access to the Making-A-Living listserv is part of being an NCDD member, so make sure you join/renew your NCDD membership here to receive this great benefit! Finally, if your organization is hiring, send the details directly to the Making-A-Living listserv or to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org.

The list of the openings and links we’ve seen lately:

Everyday Democracy, an NCDD member org, is seeking a Training and Resource Officer. The position will remain open until filled and applications will start being considered by February 15th. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

The Participatory Budgeting Project, an NCDD member org, is hiring a Finance and Operations Manager, who would be based out of their Oakland or Brooklyn office. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Public Agenda, an NCDD member org, is hiring for a Graphic Designer and Data Visualization Specialist. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

University of Michigan‘s Program on Intergroup Relations, an NCDD member org, just announced they are looking for an LSA Associate Director and Lecturer. There are two interrelated postings for the position and interested candidates must be qualified and apply for both. Learn more and apply for both postings here and here.

The 106 Group has an opening for a Community Engagement Specialist in the St. Paul, MN office. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance (AORTA) is looking to hire three worker-owner candidates for full time positions. Deadline to apply is February 11th. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

The Democracy Fund has several full time job offerings, including: Communications Director. IT Senior Administrator, Executive Assistant to VP & President, Associate Director – Elections Policy, Director of Grants Management, Associate Director – Public Square; as well as a contract position, Project Manager – Voter Study Group. They also have several paid internships available, including: Governance Program Internship, Elections Program Internship, Public Square Internship, as well as, Strategy, Impact and Learning Internship. Learn more about the positions and how to apply here.

Democracy Works is hiring an Administrative Associate in their Brooklyn headquarters and looking to have this person start March 1st. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Generation Citizen is looking for a Program Associate for their Teacher-Led model. Deadline to apply is January 22nd but applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until the appropriate candidate is secured. Make sure you move fast on this one if you’re interested. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Not in Our Town is hiring for a Community Organizer based in Oakland, CA. Learn more about the position and how to apply here.

Please share with this announcement with your networks and best of luck to all applicants!

Submit Your Nominations for 2018 Brown Democracy Medal

It’s that time again! The McCourtney Institute for Democracy – an NCDD member org, is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal. For the fifth year running, this medal celebrates those working to advance democracy. The winner will be awarded $5,000, have their work published, and will present at Penn State in the fall of 2018. Nominations must be submitted by January 8th, 2018! We encourage those in the NCDD network to apply, and check out the details in the post below or you can find the original here.

Call for Nominations for the 2018 Brown Democracy Medal

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State is accepting nominations for the 2018 Brown Democracy Medal. The Medal and $5,000 are awarded annually to individuals or organizations doing the best new work to advance democracy in the United States and around the globe. The Brown Medal recognizes recent work that is significant but under-appreciated. The medal helps bring new ideas and innovations the public recognition they deserve.

Award Review Process

The award is open to any significant contribution in democratic research, reform, practice, or theory. All nominations will be considered according to the review criteria set out below.

Nominations for the 2018 medal will be accepted through January 8, 2018.

The winner will give a talk at Penn State in fall of 2018, when they will receive their award. Between the spring announcement of the winner and the on-campus event in the fall, the Institute will provide the recipient with professional editorial assistance toward completing a short (20-25 page) essay describing the innovation for a general audience. In the fall, Cornell University Press will publish the essay, which will be available at a very low price to aid the diffusion of the winning innovation. Essays from the previous winners are available through Cornell University Press and other online outlets.

To assure full consideration, please send all nomination letters before January 8, 2018 to Initial nomination letters are simply that, a one-to-two page letter that describes how the nominee’s work meets the criteria for this award and what distinguishes it from other work on democracy. Both self-nominations and nominations of others are welcomed. In either case, email, phone, and postal contact information for the nominee must be included.

A distinguished review panel will screen initial nominations and select a subset of nominees for the second round. Those nominees will be required to provide further documentation, including: a brief biographical sketch of the individual or organization nominated; two letters of support; and a basic description of the innovation and its efficacy. The review panel will scrutinize the more detailed applications and select an awardee in the spring of 2018.

Review Criteria

The democratic innovation selected will score highest on these features:

  1. Novelty. The innovation is precisely that—a genuinely new way of thinking about democracy or practicing it. The award is thus intended to recognize recent accomplishments, which have occurred during the previous five years. The innovation will likely build on or draw on past ideas and practices, but its novelty must be obvious.
  2. Systemic Change. The idea, theory, or practical reform should represent significant change in how we think about and practice democracy. Ideas should be of the highest clarity and quality, empirical studies should be rigorous and grounded in evidence, and practical reforms must have proof of their effectiveness. The change the innovation brings about should be able to alter the larger functioning of a democratic system over a long time frame.
  3. Potential for Diffusion. The idea or reform should have general applicability across many different scales and cultural contexts. In other words, it should be relevant to people who aspire to democracy in many parts of the world and/or in many different social or political settings.
  4. Democratic Quality. In practical terms, while the nominees themselves may well be partisan, the spirit of this innovation must be nonpartisan and advance the most essential qualities of democracy, such as broad social inclusion, deliberativeness, political equality, and effective self-governance.

Individuals or organizations who are Penn State alumni or employees, or who have worked closely with the Institute, are not eligible. Returning applicants may notice that our process has changed from previous years, when awards alternated between democratic theory and practical innovation.

Questions and Further Information

Any questions or requests for more information should be sent to .
The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State ( promotes rigorous scholarship and practical innovations to advance the democratic process in the United States and abroad.

Winner Announced for Leadership in Democracy Award

NCDD member org, Everyday Democracy recently announced the winner of the first ever Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. Please join us in congratulating Generation Justice of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s premier youth media project focused on uplifting underrepresented voices through social justice and media. In addition to the other honorees, we’d like to congratulate the West Virginia Center for Civic Life led by NCDD board member, Betty Knighton, for being among the top finalists. We encourage you to read the announcement below or on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.

Generation Justice is Announced the Winner of the First Annual Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award

EvDem LogoFor more than 25 years, Everyday Democracy has worked with communities across the country to foster a healthy and vibrant democracy – characterized by strong relationships across divides, leadership development, including the voices of all people, and understanding and addressing structural racism.

This year, Everyday Democracy launched the Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award, and out of 80 nominations, Generation Justice, of Albuquerque, New Mexico was selected as the winner, and recipient of the $10,000 award to help further its mission and vision.

Generation Justice’s vision is to raise underrepresented voices, to heal from internalized wounds, to lift up narratives of hope and inspiration, and to build pathways to equity and leadership. Noted as New Mexico’s premiere, award-winning youth media project, Generation Justice was founded on social justice, decolonization, and media justice principles.  Generation Justice has a track record engaging with communities state-wide via KUNM radio broadcasts and the use of the internet to connect with individuals, schools and organizations. In addition to the high quality media that is produced, benefits of the broadband access work that Generation Justice does extends statewide, including to rural youth and families in New Mexico who pay the highest price for their lack of access.

“Generation Justice really understands how to engage young people,” said Everyday Democracy’s Executive Director Martha McCoy. “There is so much potential for the future of New Mexico because of their work.  This model should exist everywhere.”

“Generation Justice is what democracy looks, feels, and sounds like!” said Jaelyn deMaria of the University of New Mexico who nominated Generation Justice for this award.  She continues, “At their core is the sincere desire to present and give rise to a different type of narrative, one produced by those in the communities we come from.  Journalism schools teach a dominant culture lens and Generation Justice offers an alternative. Media influences beliefs, resulting in communities of color continuing to be represented in sensationalized and deceptive ways to a public that accepts those narratives as truth. This is the moment that youth of color and allies trained from a media justice lens are revolutionizing media to foster equity.”

In accepting the award, Roberta Rael, Founder and Director of Generation Justice said, “I’m so delighted that Generation Justice is receiving this recognition from Everyday Democracy, which has an amazing reputation and national reach.  The financial award is important, of course, but even beyond that, it is a deep honor to be seen and recognized for our work and approach to media justice.

“Our work looks at how media creates long term change – how structural racism has played a role in this issue – how the mainstream media is covering this issue – and, whose voices are not being heard.  We go out and get those voices and include them.

“This is one way dialogue and a racial equity lens is connected to everything we do,” she continued. “This award will assist in sustaining our mission, of empowering young people to harness the power of media, through a combination of developing their internal assets, and love for oneself and the community, using media as a powerful tool to both tell stories, capture stories, create dialogue and change the narrative.”

Families United for Education, of Albuquerque also attained honors as one of the four finalists for this award. Families United is a community/parent group noted for addressing discrimination and alienation of minorities and marginalized sectors of student population in the region. These two New Mexico organizations were honored along with Rapid City Community Conversations, Rapid City, South Dakota; Racial and Social Justice Program of the Delaware YWCA, Wilmington, Delaware.  Each of these organizations, is exemplary in the democracy-building work they are doing in their communities.  Additional Honorees were:  S. Nadia Hussain, of Bloomingdale, New Jersey; and the West Virginia Center for Civic Life. Two organizations were honored as Promising Practices: Speaking Down Barriers of Spartansburg South Carolina, and WOKE of Greyslake Illinois.
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.

You can read the original version of this announcement on Everyday Democracy’s blog at

Opportunity to Win 100K with the Engaged Cities Award

Has your city worked through a local issue by engaging its community? Then check out the incredible opportunity to win $100,000 with the Engaged Cities Award from Cities of Service! There is a webinar on Nov. 29th to learn more about the award and its application process. Make sure you register by clicking here in order to join the webinar. You can read more about the award below or find the original on the Engaged Cities Award site here.

Introducing the Engaged Cities Award

Cities, more than ever, are facing an array of public challenges. Many cities are tapping into the expertise and talent of citizens to tackle these challenges head on.

That’s why Cities of Service is launching the Engaged Cities Award. We aim to find and elevate the growing number of diverse and creative ways city leaders are harnessing the power of people to solve problems.

Is your city solving problems together with citizens? Perhaps you are tapping the power of citizen science initiatives to map neighborhood issues. Or using new methods to measure satisfaction with public services. Or crowdsourcing resident ideas to find new fixes for old problems.

The Engaged Cities Award will celebrate the best and most creative strategies we find – ultimately enabling peer cities from around the world to learn from, adopt, and improve upon these strategies back home.

Join us for a webinar on November 29 to learn more about the award and the application process.

You can read the original announcement on Engaged Cities Award site at