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Anchor Program

Everyday Democracy envisions a country in which everyday people engage people across their community in dialogue and community change with an equity lens.  Over the years, we have seen the power of coaching and training community coalitions, but there are limits to the direct assistance our staff and senior associates can provide.  That is why we are now working with “anchor partners,” or intermediaries, who will help carry out our work and principles on a larger scale than we can alone.

Group photo of Everyday Democracy's anchor partners

 

Download a printable handout with information about our anchor program.

Everyday Democracy currently has four anchor partners:

New Hampshire Listens
Contact: Michele Holt-Shannon, Co-Director, New Hampshire Listens
Michele.Holt-Shannon@unh.edu
603-862-0692
NHListens.org

West Virginia Center for Civic Life
Contact: Betty Knighton, Director, West Virginia Center for Civic Life
knighton@wvciviclife.org
wvcivivlife.org

InterFaith Works of Central NY
Contact: Beth Broadway, President/CEO, InterFaith Works of Central New York
bbroadway@interfaithworksny.org
315-449-3552 x116

Contact: Peter Willner, Director, El-Hindi Center for Dialogue
pwillner@interfaithworksny.org
315-449-3552 x102
interfaithworkscny.org/

Housing Partnership of West Palm Beach
Contact: Jaime-Lee A. Brown, Vice President, Community Services
jbrown@cp-cto.org
561-841-3500 x1057
cp-cto.org

 

We are looking for additional Anchor Partners whose principles are closely aligned with ours, and who wish to build and/or strengthen their own capacity to provide coaching and training on community engagement to local communities in their states, regions and issue areas.  As anchor partners become part of a learning network with us, they share lessons across geographic regions and issue areas. They will have the opportunity to contribute to a larger movement of regional and national organizations dedicated to strengthening democratic capacity for community voice and change. We see this as a critical pathway to scale and embed participatory democracy in the United States.

 

Why have our Anchor Partners chosen to work with us?

“We are proud to be one of the first national anchor partners with Everyday Democracy.  Since we were founded in 2010, NH Listens has been inspired by the core values and processes that Everyday Democracy has demonstrated for many years, including and especially commitments to authentic engagement, equity in both participation and the solutions that emerge from inclusive participation, and the important translation of talk into action that can benefit communities and individuals.  Our Everyday Democracy colleagues make us better at what we do!”

~New Hampshire Listens, Durham, New Hampshire

 

“InterFaith Works has chosen to be an anchor partner with Everyday Democracy because of our shared missions that dialogue builds common ground on which people can stand, leading to lasting, positive change.  Everyday Democracy offers the best thinking and ideas and evaluation tools about dialogue-to-change initiatives, and serves as a critical connector to other organizations that do dialogue and racial equity work. InterFaith Works’ El-Hindi Center for Dialogue is expanding its efforts across the Central New York region, and we are prepared to assist other organizations in the Northeast with dialogue-to-change work to leverage dialogue to bring about racial and social equity, and to help others find common ground to solve issues and problems that face their communities.”

~InterFaith Works, Syracuse, New York

 

"Community Partners supports families changing the odds they encounter each day.  Our investment in sincere relationships with families allows us to better understand their unique neighborhood hopes and challenges.  Through our coordination with existing community systems we use the Dialogue to Action framework to create a consistent and equitable platform in order to facilitate these important conversations."

~Housing Partnership of West Palm Beach, Florida

 

"The West Virginia Center for Civic Life has learned from the broad experience of Everyday Democracy for nearly two decades, and we are delighted to be among their initial group of anchor partners. We have seen firsthand how deeply communities here in West Virginia and around the country have benefited from their keen insights and thoughtful public practices.  All this--plus a relationship of mutual respect, shared learning, and joyful communication. Connecting with Everyday Democracy is an inspiring and uplifting venture!"

~West Virginia Center for Civic Life, Charleston, West Virginia

 

How does Everyday Democracy choose and work with anchors?

Before engaging in an anchor partnership, we learn more about each other’s principles and practices and begin to uncover areas of potential alignment. We are looking for partners where there is strong alignment with our mission and strategies, such as:  

  • A commitment to social equity, explicitly but not exclusively on racial equity
  • A commitment to the principles and practices of inclusive, equitable community engagement
  • A commitment to nurturing and building community engagement practices in their network and/or affiliates
  • A commitment to learning with the communities they serve, with Everyday Democracy, and with other anchor partners

If we and a potential anchor partner agree that there is this kind of alignment, we then work together to co-create the goals of the anchor partnership and a memorandum of understanding, including an assessment of the anchor’s assets and desired capacities and an assessment of where Everyday Democracy can best provide supports. These assets and capacities will fall into these areas:

  • Inclusive coalition-building strategies
  • Inclusive community organizing training
  • Facilitation training and supports
  • Equity and inclusion strategies and supports
  • Action planning and implementation trainings and supports
  • Issue framing and material development
  • Evaluation supports
  • Communication training and supports
  • Collaborative problem solving strategies
  • Democratic governance

Together with the potential anchor, we complete assessment tools to identify areas of joint learning and areas in which they may want to receive training and coaching from us. We also identify areas in which the potential anchor has excelled and can offer advice and supports to Everyday Democracy. Our aim is to create a true learning partnership that strengthens the capacity, reach and effectiveness of both organizations.

 

How do anchors work?

As anchor partners begin or strengthen their capacity to coach and train communities and groups in their state or region on dialogue-to-change principles and practices, we support them in their documentation and learning.  Through Everyday Democracy, these anchor partners continue to receive capacity-building support, become part of a learning community with other anchors, and become engaged in regional and national efforts to build a movement for equity and a stronger democracy.

Anchors are not funded by Everyday Democracy. Instead, we invest our time and resources in strengthening their capacity so that they are better poised to advance equitable community change and also leverage new partnerships and sources of support.  We also invest our time in co-learning so that their work in turns strengthens the work of Everyday Democracy and other anchor partners. 

 

Stories from anchor partners

Everyday Democracy and Anchor Partner New Hampshire Listens (NH Listens) are working embed inclusion and equity practices in Nashua’s immigrant inclusion initiative

Everyday Democracy and Anchor Partner Housing Partnership of West Palm Beach are using Everyday Democracy's Dialogue-to-Change process on issues such as race, early childhood education, and building strong neighborhoods.

 

Learn more

Contact Valeriano Ramos, our director of strategic partnerships and alliances, to start a conversation on becoming an Everyday Democracy anchor partner.

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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 can help community members take action and make their voice heard.