Apply for a Nevins Fellow through October 15th!

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2021 application is open now through Thursday, October 15th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

Read below for all the details and watch their video for more info on this great program.


Nevins Fellowship Applications due Oct 15th

We are ready to start receiving applications for sponsoring organizations for our 2021 Nevins Fellows program.  

For those of you unfamiliar, here are some key points:

Nevins Fellows are Penn State students who are selected for a summer internship program with organizations doing innovative work in democracy. Students complete a course in democratic leadership and then apply for fellowships. Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so there are no costs for the organizations. This video provides a good overview of the program and its benefits: https://youtu.be/kTzBz8S0K1s

To make things easier for you this year, we have placed the application for organizations on the McCourtney Institute website: http://democracy.psu.edu/nevins2020

As you may know, this past summer all of our fellows worked virtually at  their placements. Students and organizations worked hard to make this experience as useful and productive as possible, but of course, it was not ideal.  Our hope is that by the summer of 2021, we will be able to return to a normal fellowship experience. But of course, that might not happen.  We would suggest that you plan for both contingencies.

One more thing: Students select their fellowship organizations. Please keep that in mind as you write up your application. 

Applications are due Thursday, October 15. 

If you have any questions about the program or the application, please email Chris Beem at cxb518@psu.edu.

The 2020 All-America City Award Event is Now Virtual!

Let the 2020 All-America City Award Competition begin! This beloved annual community event hosted by NCDD partner organization, the National Civic League, kicks off today and continues until the Weds. August 19th. This inspirational event recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. This year has gone virtual but you can still join by heading on over to the NCL site linked here. If you are looking for a great boost of spirit, then we strongly encourage you to join the live stream via the AAC Facebook page and cheer on these #AAC2020 finalist communities! Learn more about the event below and on the NCL website here.


The 2020 All-America City Award Event Kicks Off!

This event recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. 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.

The 2020 All-America City theme is “Enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement.” The 2020 All-America City Award is focused on celebrating examples of civic engagement practices that advance health and well-being in local communities. We are looking for projects that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to enhance health and well-being for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.

Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all) 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.

You can learn more about the All-America City Award and this year’s happenings on the National Civic League site at: www.nationalcivicleague.org/america-city-award/.

Your Voice Ohio is Hiring – Apply by July 9th!

Our partners at the Jefferson Center, an NCDD sponsor organization, have an exciting position available for a part-time Communications and Program Coordinator at their media collaborative, Your Voice Ohio. Applications are due by Thursday, July 9th. Learn more about this position in the blog post below and find the original version on the Jefferson Center site here.

Did you know that NCDD has a Making-A-Living jobs listserv? In the upcoming days, you can find this and many more job announcements on this listserv – sign up for it here! This feature used to be available to NCDD members only and we have recently expanded this feature to all, to reach as many readers as possible. We would love for you to share this resource with all of those seeking employment and best of luck to all applicants!


Seeking a Communications & Program Coordinator

We are currently hiring for a Communications and Program Coordinator to support our Your Voice Ohio media collaborative.

Your Voice Ohio is the largest, sustained statewide media collaborative in the United States – with over 50 participating media partners across Ohio. Their team is currently seeking a part-time, temporary team member who will provide communications, program coordination, and logistical support to news organizations whose shared mission is to build trust with Ohioans through audience engagement and collaborative reporting.

Your Voice Ohio partners are currently engaging with Ohioans to produce 2020 presidential election coverage that reflects the information needs and priorities of residents across the state. Your Voice Ohio will also be working with media partners to focus on the Race & Representation in Reporting initiative through ongoing engagement and collaborative activities.

Summary of Responsibilities

This remote position involves:

  • Maintaining regular contact with media partners and supporting their collaborative reporting efforts
  • Maintaining and updating the YVO website and blog
  • Developing graphics and coordinating content for social media platforms used by YVO
  • Recruiting and communicating with community members who are selected to participate in engagement activities (currently online)
  • Managing logistics and administrative tasks for project events and meetings
  • Performing supplemental research for reporting packages; and assisting in the production of YVO digital assets and publications
  • Base salary range of $22.50-$27.50/hour depending on qualifications and experience plus benefits package (taxable health insurance allowance and optional SIMPLE IRA matching). 

To learn more about this position, check out the full position description here!

Your Voice Ohio is managed and operated by the Jefferson Center, a St. Paul, MN-based nonprofit organization who is a global leader in deliberative democracy and innovative civic engagement.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Jefferson Center’s site at www.jefferson-center.org/join-our-team/.

Civic Saturday Fellowship Deadline Extended Until July 3rd

Citizen University announced they are extending the deadline for their Civic Saturday Fellowship application for one more week until Friday, July 3rd.

“The Civic Saturday Fellowship prepares motivated, local leaders (or, as we like to say, civic catalysts!) to start their own Civic Saturday gatherings in their home communities. In this nine-month fellowship, civic catalysts will attend the Civic Seminary, a three-day training in Seattle with Citizen University staff, and return home ready to create lasting impact in the civic life of their communities.” You can read more in the announcement below and find the original information on the CU site here.


Civic Saturday Fellowship Program

All around the country, we are facing a crisis in civic life – people are becoming more socially isolated, disconnected from a sense of common purpose, and cynical about their own ability to affect change. Enter Civic Saturday: a gathering that brings communities together to cultivate a sense of shared civic purpose and moral clarity. At Civic Saturday share a meaningful communal experience, and leave inspired to become more powerful, responsible citizens.

The Civic Saturday Fellowship prepares motivated, local leaders (or, as we like to say, civic catalysts!) to start their own Civic Saturday gatherings in their home communities. In this nine-month fellowship, civic catalysts will attend the Civic Seminary, a three-day training in Seattle with Citizen University staff, and return home ready to create lasting impact in the civic life of their communities.

Applications Open Now!

Applications are now open for the Civic Saturday Fellowship Fall sessions! The Fellowship begins with the Civic Seminary, a three-day training, then continues as you organize your own Civic Saturday gatherings in the following months. Apply now for Fall sessions: September 15-18 or October 20-23, 2020.

2020 Fellowship Informational Packet
Application Submission Form

Deadline extended!

Priority Deadline: June 19, 2020
Regular Deadline: June 26, 2020 – extended to July 3, 2020

Informational Webinar

Watch the pre-recorded Informational Webinar from June 3, 2020.

You can find the original version of this announcement on Citizen University’s site at www.citizenuniversity.us/civicsaturdayfellowship/.

Convergence Names David Eisner New President & CEO

Our friends at the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution recently announced the appointment of their new President & CEO. Please join us in congratulating Convergence and David Eisner on the new position! The full announcement is below and also accessible at this link.


Convergence Center for Policy Resolution is excited to share that we have a new President & CEO, David Eisner! Convergence is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to convene people and groups with divergent views to build trust, identify solutions, and form alliances for action on critical issues. David is a national leader in public, private, and nonprofit sectors and will team with Convergence Founder Rob Fersh to expand Convergence’s scale and impact.

“Bridging divides of ideology, identity and partisanship to address America’s core challenges has never been more urgent,” says Eisner.

The following statement was released by Jean Molino, Chair of the Board, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution:

First, let me express to all in the Convergence community our heartfelt hopes that you are well and taking good care in this challenging time. We are eager to stay in touch with you and want to hear from you as we continue to do our work, now more important than ever, to create community and collaboration to deal effectively with issues of great concern to us all.

To further that end, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce that David Eisner will become Convergence’s new President and CEO, effective April 1, 2020. David is a national leader who brings broad experience as a senior executive across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. His demonstrated excellence at scaling organizational impact and results through effective programming, partnership, fundraising, and staff development, combined with his longstanding passion for coalition-building and cross-partisan problem-solving make David the right leader for Convergence at the right time.

Highlights of David’s career include his appointment by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he grew AmeriCorps from 50,000 to 75,000 members, built bi-partisan support and oversaw the iconic AmeriCorps response to Hurricane Katrina. Additionally, David served as CEO of the National Constitution Center, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, where he facilitated leading scholars and influentials in dialogue across deep differences over pressing Constitutional issues. David chaired the nonprofit All for Good, which built the system supporting President Obama’s signature service initiative, Serve.gov, and most recently served for six years as CEO of Repair the World, the nonprofit Jewish service organization. David has also held senior leadership roles at America Online (& AOL Time Warner) and Fleishman-Hillard, and has served on many national nonprofit boards, including Independent Sector, Public Allies, National 4-H Council, Network for Good and Points of Light.

We are also especially pleased that David and Rob Fersh, Convergence’s founder and current CEO, have agreed to build an active partnership as Rob segues to the role of Founder/Senior Advisor, maintaining deep involvement in Convergence’s planning, programming and fundraising. Convergence just celebrated its first decade, during which Rob developed Convergence’s unique methodology – our “secret sauce” –which has proven remarkably effective at bringing people together across differences to address some of society’s most intractable problems. We look forward to David building on that solid legacy, bringing innovation, scale and expanded impact to Convergence’s work in its second decade.

As Chair of Convergence’s CEO Search Committee, I can share that identifying the person to lead Convergence in the large footprints of our exceptional founder was both challenging and invigorating. We were delighted to engage with a great many exceptional and influential leaders of nonprofits and policy, which underscored the strong reputation of Convergence as well as the importance of the work.

Rob noted: “I am truly delighted to welcome David as the new CEO of Convergence. He brings a wealth of talent and experience along with great passion for our mission. I look forward to working closely with him to further the success of his leadership and Convergence. I am grateful to our terrific Board of Directors for concluding this search with such a great result.”

David shared his excitement about taking on this new challenge: “I am thrilled to be joining the Convergence team at a time when bridging divides of ideology, identity and partisanship to address America’s core challenges has never been more urgent. Convergence meets this need in a way that is uniquely powerful. I am particularly delighted that Rob will continue to bring his leadership and experience so that the uniqueness and power of our work remains true even as we scale our reach and impact.”

David looks forward to connecting with the Convergence network, and we will create opportunities in the coming months for our colleagues to get to know him. While we are currently living and working in highly unusual circumstances, these will not prevent David from coming fully and wholly on board. We look forward to his leadership for many years to come.

Jean Molino, Chair
Convergence Board of Directors

NCDD Donations Matched Tomorrow on Giving Tuesday!

This week is Giving Tuesday, a day of giving back to the organizations that give to our communities year-round. We at the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) ask you to consider supporting our coalition’s work to bring more valuable conversations to communities across the country and the world. We work to increase access to resources for dialogue, deliberation, participatory democracy, and more. Our purpose is to foster connections between individuals and organizations passionate about having more informed and productive conversations; strengthening relationships in order to reduce information and skills from being siloed.

NCDD envisions a future in which all people–regardless of income, position, background or education–are able to engage regularly in lively, thoughtful, and challenging discussions about what really matters to them, in ways that have a positive impact on their lives and their world. We envision a society in which systems and structures support and advance inclusive, constructive, dialogue and deliberation. 

NCDD is a small outfit, with just three part-time staff, and we rely on the support of our network and friends to help us continue to educate people on dialogue and deliberation, and to build this national coalition. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.

On Giving Tuesday (tomorrow, December 3rd), Facebook will match a total of $7 million in donations. Starting at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific, donations made through our Facebook page, will be matched – so please give what you can and help NCDD continue to support this network of innovators!  Important to note: Facebook will be covering processing fees, so 100% of your donation will go towards NCDD (!!). If you don’t use Facebook, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

For seventeen years, NCDD has worked hard to gather visionaries and practitioners dedicated to raising the quality of discourse across many key issues and questions. Many of you have been a part of that – and we’re immensely grateful for you!

As you reflect back on your years of association, we’re curious: how much has this network meant to you? Has it made a difference for good in some way? In what ways can we continue to drive NCDD together to support each other doing this work?

Please consider a #GivingTuesday donation to help us continue this work into the new year. More than ever before, we could use the help and support – and would be so grateful for your assistance!

We recognize there are a lot of fantastic organizations out there to donate to on Giving Tuesday, but we hope you consider donating to NCDD, which plays such a critical role in building capacity for improved democracy, conversation, and connection (which, we argue, is actually the most important issue we face right now as a country). It is really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field. 

If you don’t know very much about us, we encourage you to check out some of the great benefits of NCDD and become a member. If you are already connected, please consider donating, even just a little bit, especially since it can be matched this morning.

Thank you for your support this Giving Tuesday and every day!

MANY New Job & Internship Opportunities in the D&D Field

There are LOTS of new jobs and internships related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, and public engagement work! Including two special opportunities to work with NCDD Co-Founder Sandy Heierbacher who is now working with Everyday Democracy, and they looking for a Director of Communications and Community Organizer – check it out!

We work to stay up on the most recent opportunities and send them out via the NCDD Making-A-Living listserv. While the Making-A-Living listserv is a benefit of being an NCDD member, we have been finding such a robust line-up of jobs and internships that we wanted to lift these up here on the blog. If you’d like to receive these regular updates and are an NCDD member, sign up for the Making-A-Living listserv here. If you are not a member of NCDD, then we strongly encourage you to join so you can receive the most up-to-date positions we find! Learn more about the additional benefits of being an NCDD member by clicking here.

Remember if your org is hiring, let us know by sending the postings to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]orgGood luck to all applicants!


New Job & Internship Opportunities in D&D Field – November 11, 2019

Everyday Democracy is hiring for two positions in their Hartford, CT. Read more: www.everyday-democracy.org/about/jobs-internships

  • Director of Communications
  • Community Organizer

The Conflict Transformation Fund is hiring a full-time Initiative Director. Read more: www.conflicttransformationfund.org/about/work-with-us/.

Duke University is hiring for an Executive Director of the North Carolina Leadership Forum. Read more: www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/director-nclf-at-duke-university-1545474311/

Living Room Conversations is seeking volunteers for several positions. Read more: www.livingroomconversations.org/about-us/volunteer-opportunities/

  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Social Media Moderator
  • Lead and Local Organizers
  • Communications
  • Research

[POSITION NOW FILLED] Civic Dinners is looking for a Social Media Manager for their Atlanta office. Read more: https://about.civicdinners.com/social-media-role

Citizen University is hiring for a Communications Intern. Read more: www.citizenuniversity.us/job-openings-3/

Convergence Center for Policy Resolution is seeking a President & CEO. Read more: www.convergencepolicy.org/employment/

Generation Citizen is hiring for several positions – read more: www.generationcitizen.org/join-us/careers-internships/

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Communications Manager
  • Senior Director of Program & Impact
  • Executive Director (California)

Center for Tech and Civic Life is hiring for an Executive Assistant in their Chicago office. Read more: www.techandciviclife.org/news/

MOVE Texas is hiring for two positions. Read more: www.movetexas.org/jobs/

  • Regional Organizing Manager
  • San Antonio Field Organizer

Cities of Service is currently seeking AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve in cities across the US. Read more: www.citiesofservice.org/about/careers/

  • Experience Matters Program  – St. Paul, MN and Tulsa, OK
  • Guiding Opportunities Program – Oakland, CA and St. Louis, MO
  • Love Your Block Program – Hartford, CT and South Bend, IN

Democracy Fund is hiring for several positions below (in DC) – read more: www.democracyfund.org/page/jobs

  • Accounting Manager
  • IT Administrator
  • Just and Inclusive Society Fellow
  • Partnerships Associate
  • Program Associate, Public Square Program
  • Senior Advisor Government Accountability
  • Senior Associate, Strategy and Learning
  • Communications and Network Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Elections Program Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Governance Program Internship (Spring 2019)
  • Public Square Program Internship (Spring 2019)

Democracy Works has several positions and internships available (various locations). Read more: www.democracy.works/current-openings

  • Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Government Affairs Director
  • Voting Information Project Data Fellow

RepresentUS is hiring for several positions – read more: www.represent.us/careers/

  • Campaign Director (remote)
  • Senior Campaign Director (remote)
  • Digital Campaign Associate (Northampton, MA or San Francisco, CA)
  • Social Media Campaign Strategist (East Coast)
  • Digital Director (multiple locations)
  • Marketing Analyst (multiple locations)
  • National Media Strategist (multiple locations)
  • Social Media Strategist (multiple locations)
  • Regional Director of Development – West Coast
  • Communications Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Organizing Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Political Intern (Spring 2020)

IssueOne is looking for several positions. Read more: www.issueone.org/jobs/

  • Development Associate
  • Policy & Programs Intern (Spring 2020)
  • Development Intern (Spring 2020)

Young Invincibles has several positions open. Read more: www.younginvincibles.org/who-we-are/work-with-us/job-opportunities/

  • Development Coordinator
  • Content Strategy Manager
  • Digital Communications Coordinator

Knight Foundation looking to hire for several positions. Read more: https://knightfoundation.org/about/employment/

  • Junior Data Analyst – Miami

Fairvote is hiring for several positions. Read more: www.fairvote.org/employment_internships_fellowships#employment_opportunities

  • Director of Communications
  • Director of Advocacy
  • Digital Organizer
  • Software Developer
  • Voter Education Specialist
  • Regional Field Organizer
  • Data Analyst

EnviroIssues is hiring for multiple positions. Read more: www.enviroissues.com/jobs

  • Multi-Media Designer – Portland
  • Facilitation/Outreach Project Manager – Portland
  • Construction Outreach Associate – Seattle

Community Water Center hiring for two positions. Read more: www.communitywatercenter.org/careers

  • Communications Manager – Sacramento office
  • Community Organizer – Visalia office

Net Impact runs a jobs-internship board at www.netimpact.org/jobs.

Democracy Fund’s electiononline has LOTS of positions in various cities across the country. Read more: www.electionline.org/jobs-marketplace/

Careers in Government has several engagement & communication-related opportunities. Use the keyword search at www.careersingovernment.com/.

2019 Engaged Cities Awards Finalists Announced!

The 2019 Engaged Cities Awards winners and finalists have been selected! The award celebrates those cities from the Americas and Europe who most successfully engaged their communities to create and implement solutions to address local challenges. From the Cities of Service site, “Their incredible work demonstrates what cities can accomplish when they are open to the ideas and talents of citizens. Over the summer, Cities of Service will visit all 10 finalist cities to learn more about their solutions and share what we find so other cities can learn from and replicate the solutions in their own cities.” Read more in the post below and learn more about each of the finalists on the Cities of Services site here.


2019 Winner and Finalists

Cities of Service received more than one hundred applications for the 2019 Engaged Cities Award from cities across the Americas and Europe. With help from an esteemed group of experts, Cities of Service chose 10 finalists, whose solutions achieved impact by engaging citizens in a variety of ways, including: impact volunteering, participatory design, crowdsourcing, and citizen-sourced data. Finalists tackled challenges related to the environment and sustainability, health and safety, neighborhood revitalization, and more.

We visited each finalist city to learn more about their collaborations with communities.

All ten finalists combined bold mayoral leadership and the reach of city hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to address serious problems. Their incredible work demonstrates what cities can accomplish when they are open to the ideas and talents of citizens.

Over the summer, Cities of Service will visit all 10 finalist cities to learn more about their solutions and share what we find so other cities can learn from and replicate the solutions in their own cities.

Learn more about the 10 finalist solutions here.

About the Award

Each year, the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems.

Cities of Service knows that many cities are involving citizens in creative and effective ways, including civic tech, data analysis, impact volunteering, and more. These cities are combining the reach of City Hall with the on-the-ground knowledge of citizens to solve public problems.

The Engaged Cities Award is open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe. Cities of Service, along with an esteemed group of experts, will choose three winning cities. Each winner will receive a minimum of $50,000 and be announced as part of the Engaged Cities Award Summit in fall 2019.

Last year, Cities of Service selected winners of the inaugural Engaged Cities Award and officially announced them at a dinner hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg. We celebrated the work of the finalists at the first ever Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award Summit.

To stay informed about the Engaged Cities Award, including finalists, winners, and future opportunities to apply, please sign up for our mailing list.

You can read the above announcement on the Engaged Cities site at www.engagedcitiesaward.citiesofservice.org/finalists/.

EvDem Announces New Leadership in Democracy Awardee

In case you missed it, our friends at Everyday Democracy, an NCDD member organization recently announced the winner of the third annual Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award! Please join us in congratulating Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of the Lower Ninth Ward Center for the Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) in New Orleans, who for almost a decade has been “combining citizen engagement with environmental science to create equitable development and policy on climate resilience”. The Aicher Award Committee recognized the following finalists: Catalyst Miami, BRIDGE, Lisa Jo Epstein, and Ximena Zúñiga; and honorable mentions to Brandyn Keating, The Phoenix Association, Blontas (Winkie) Mitchell, and Roanoke Valley Points of Diversity. We encourage you to read the announcement below or on Everyday Democracy’s blog here.


3rd Annual Paul J. Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award Announced

For 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. The Aicher Award seeks to elevate community leaders who embody these values.

After considering more than 60 nominations from around the country, Everyday Democracy has announced the winner:

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of New Orleans, LA

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson of New Orleans, La., were selected as the winners of the 2019 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. This team’s winning nomination was selected from 64 nominations in this third annual national contest. Everyday Democracy will present the two men (who work together but are not related) with a $10,000 award at a ceremony on December 5th in Hartford, CT.

Happy Johnson and Arthur Johnson have been working at the Lower Ninth Ward Center for the Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) in New Orleans for almost a decade, combining citizen engagement with environmental science to create equitable development and policy on climate resilience. According to Martha McCoy, Executive Director of Everyday Democracy, “there are many others across our country and globe who are facing the inequitable effects of climate change and want to tackle it through democratic ways of working. Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson provide inspirational models of the kind of leadership we need, so that we can address critical climate issues in inclusive, sustainable ways.”

The Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) has been on the front lines of restoring the fragile ecosystem of the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans while strengthening the Ninth Ward’s civic fabric. CSED is committed to equity and social justice in an already underserved community that was completely devastated after Hurricane Katrina. Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson have been leading the effort every step of the way.

The Lower Ninth Ward is still reeling from the effect of Hurricane Katrina. With a population that is 93% African-American, the neighborhood has been marked by an uneven recovery effort compared to other neighborhoods in New Orleans. Thirteen years after the storm there were still no supermarkets in the Lower Ninth, and residents had to fight the city to ensure that at least one school of the five that were closed after the storm would be rebuilt. A couple of months ago, one small grocery store was opened.

Arthur Johnson and Happy Johnson are leaders in and advocates for the neighborhood at the heart of CSED. They are an incredible example of steadfast and consistent leadership. They are homegrown and grassroots. In an environment where resources are drying up, they implement programs that have strengthened and restored both the ecological and civic infrastructure of their community.

Their work has elevated the voices of African American, Vietnamese, and Latino residents in conversations with state-level agencies, demonstrating that bridge building, equity, inclusion, and transparency make equitable, community-driven change possible and sustainable. Their commitment to racial and intergenerational equity is evident across all of their work. Arthur and Happy were nominated by Nicole Cabral of Public Agenda, and received several letters of support including one from the National Wildlife Federation that noted: “CSED’s sought-after expertise transcends politics and is regularly tapped for non-profit, mayoral and community appointments, panel discussions, presentations and public policy recommendations.”

“Community engagement is who we are.” – Arthur Johnson

Happy Johnson served as one of the youngest African Americans to drive an Emergency Response Vehicle in New Orleans post-Katrina and has dedicated his life to building cultural and environmental resilience. Additionally, his series of children’s picture books about wetlands restoration and disaster preparedness have been taught to thousands of students throughout the American South. Arthur Johnson noted, “We are thrilled to be recognized, because it will help us move the mission of equity and democracy in the Lower Ninth Ward in the face of many challenges.” He went on to say that “Having two black men being recognized for something like this is unusual and also a powerful symbol…. The kind of recognition your foundation gives doesn’t happen a lot in our country.”

Happy added that “the work is difficult, and recognition doesn’t happen often. This award is a great boost to our morale.” Happy Johnson was excited that he and Arthur were being recognized together, noting that this is the first time this has happened. Arthur reflected that people don’t work together across generations often enough, and that seasoned leaders and younger people should work together all the time. This thought aligns directly with the intergenerational equity work Everyday Democracy is focusing on, to complement its focus on racial equity through community dialogue to change.

This year, the Acher Award Committee also recognized these strong finalists for the award:

Catalyst Miami, FL; BRIDGE, Lee, MA; Lisa Jo Epstein, Philadelphia, PA; and, Ximena Zúñiga, Amherst, MA

There were also four honorable mentions:

Brandyn Keating, West Bridgewater, MA; Blontas (Winkie) Mitchell, Springfield, OH; The Phoenix Association, CT; and Roanoke Valley Points of Diversity, Roanoke, VA.


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.

Learn more about Paul’s journey and the origins of Everyday 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.

The award winner will be celebrated in Hartford, CT on December 5th. More information to follow.

You can read the original version of this announcement on Everyday Democracy’s blog at www.everyday-democracy.org/news/3rd-annual-paul-j-aicher-leadership-democracy-award-announced.

Microgrant Opportunity Available for Forum Moderators

NCDD member organization, the National Issue Forums Institute recently announced a new microgrant opportunity from Net Impact to host a a forum around the NIFI issue guides, “A House Divided” or “A Nation in Debt”.  The $150 microgrant is available for forum moderators from accredited US-based higher education institutes until May 1, 2020. We encourage you to read the announcement below, find the original version on the NIFI blog here, and apply for the funding today!


Announcing the Net Impact Microgrant Program

Net Impact is excited to offer a micro grant of $150 to moderators* who host a forum using the “A House Divided” or “A Nation in Debt” issue guides.

To receive the funding, apply by May 1, 2020 and host a forum using either the A House Divided or the A Nation in Debt issue guides before June 30, 2020. Applicants will receive more detailed information about the micro grant program from Net Impact.

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*Moderators must be affiliated with an accredited US-based college or university to be considered eligible for the micro grant.

The National Issues Forums partner, Net Impact is excited to offer this micro grant. Net Impact is a nonprofit that inspires and equips emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world. Net Impact’s programs help new leaders broaden their thinking, build their networks, and scale their impact beyond just individual actions. One stand-out Net Impact program, Up to Us, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their future opportunities, they have no better advocates than themselves. Up to Us is the only nationwide, campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation.

Up to Us, an initiative of Net Impact and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their economic and fiscal future, they have no better advocates than themselves.

You can read the original version of this announcement on the National Issue Forums Institute blog at www.nifi.org/en/announcing-net-impact-micro-grant-program.