Sandy Heierbacher

Interim Communications Director

Why I work at Everyday Democracy:

I have great respect for the work Everyday Democracy does in communities across the U.S.  I have worked with Everyday Democracy for many years in different capacities, and have always admired how the staff and coaches at EvDem are committed to the hard work of getting large numbers of community members engaged in difficult dialogues that lead to real change and collaboration.  The opportunity to help with EvDem’s Communications Team was too good to pass up!

What I love about what I do:

As interim Communications Director, I get to support and call attention to the groundbreaking work my colleagues are doing, both in Hartford and across the country.  I love that I get to spread the word about this critically important work and its impacts.
I also value everything I have been learning at Everyday Democracy, especially about the importance of having an intentional focus on racial equity when doing community engagement work on any challenging issue.

How I got here:

In 2002, I founded what became a large network of individuals and organizations doing public engagement and conflict resolution work - the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD).  Everyday Democracy was one of our 60 founding members and worked with me on the planning team for the very first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.  They have stayed involved in NCDD ever since, and the two organizations developed a very strong collaborative, mutually supportive, and collegial relationship.  When it was time for me to move on from leading NCDD for 15 years, EvDem approached me to help them fill some gaps they have at the moment and I was thrilled to step in.

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

When I’m not working, I love cooking, volunteering, spending time with my friends, and being social in general.  I’m all about meeting new people and connecting them to each other, and I love doing that as much as I can in Boston where I’m based.

Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources 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.