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Matthew Sagacity Walker

Community Assistance Associate

Headshot of Matthew Sagacity WalkerWhy I work at Everyday Democracy:

I am motivated each morning by the opportunity to make a positive change; by the prospect of progress.  On my desk there is a frame of our core values: Commitment to Excellence, Teamwork, Public Benefit, Diversity and Inclusion, and Learning and Innovation. I believe that if more individuals and organizations held and practiced these values, our world could be a better place.

Our Executive Director inadvertently let me know I was in the right organization while discussing or Theory of Change. During a meeting, she said, “Our Theory of Change is like our ether.” To some, this may seem like just another statement, but to me, it represents a profound sense of awareness and accountability.

 

What I love about what I do:

I love that my job requires constant learning, meeting new and interesting people and traveling across the country. Each community we work with is different, different regional cultures, different ethnicities, and different issues. I like that I am consistently meeting people who are motivated to make their environment a better place.

I enjoy my role as Community Assistant Associate because although I don’t know everything about everything, my role allows me to work across our various teams. I also stay in contact with our Senior Associates who are located across the country, so I consistently hear about the great work that they are doing on projects that I am not directly involved with. I am often the first contact cold callers have with Everyday Democracy, and I appreciate their passion. Their energy is invigorating.

 

How I got here:

I graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in Performing Arts Management. During my last semesters I began working with urban youth, usually focusing on arts and artistic expression. After working in various community based organizations in Connecticut, I began running out of excuses for the structural injustices. Although I love the arts and interacting with youth, I also wanted to address institutional hindrances. I soon began working for the Center for Social Research and focused on program evaluation and researching social issues. I learned a great deal during my five years at the Center but in 2013, I heard of an opening at Everyday Democracy. What I love about Everyday Democracy is our focus on community engagement and honest assessment of racial inequity. I believe in the organization’s mission and core values and hope to be an asset to our organization and community partners.

 

What I do when I’m not helping communities create change:

When I’m not in the office or working in a community I enjoy spending time with my family; I have a wonderful son in elementary school, two great nephews who are currently in college and two adorable nieces, also in elementary school. My home, like Borders, can be summed up in four words: music, movies and books.

Musically, I am a fan of Wu-Tang Clan, Dungeon Family, Al Green, Fitz and the Tantrums and Erykah Badu to name a few. When I can, I love to catch a live Hip Hop show; the energy is amazing. I am partial to action movies and the new wave of comic inspired movies; some of my favorites are Carlito’s Way, First Blood, Harsh Times and Dredd.

Although I enjoy reading fiction, I rarely find time to read novels. Some of my favorite books are When a Heart Turns Rock Solid: the Lives of Three Puerto Rican Brothers on and off the Streets by Tim Black, Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozal, The Magus by John Fowles and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

Outside of my family and media, I enjoy a hearty home cooked meal followed by a peach cobbler, sweet potato pie or apple crisp.

Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and we believe that our tools, advice, and resources will help foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.