Everyday Democracy has carried out and studied the process of bringing diverse people together for more than 25 years. Our Dialogue-to-Change Process offers an adaptable approach to community engagement that is grounded in years of experience and learning with communities throughout the U.S.
The process includes core elements of community organizing, facilitated meetings with small groups that later come together, and a connection between dialogue and action.
Given the impact of racism on our country, our process pays special attention to how structural racism and other inequities affect the issues we address.
We provide discussion guides, how-to handbooks, trainings, coaching and other resources to help you create a more democratic and inclusive community. We invite you to explore the resources on our website and adapt them for the specific needs of your community. You are welcome to contact us any time you have a question about using one of the resources on our website. If you are interested in organizing a large-scale, community-wide dialogue, we may be able to provide assistance in setting up your program.
Our Strengthening Democratic Capacity team can provide in-depth, ongoing assistance via phone, e-mail, and (at times) field visits. We consider a number of factors when deciding which communities will receive customized assistance, giving special consideration to community coalitions that:
- are seeking to address a timely issue that affects everyone in the community;
- are committed to involving all kinds of people in every aspect of the program;
- are developing clear goals for their community change efforts;
- are committed to exploring the racial and ethnic dimensions of the issue they are facing;
- are committed to exploring how to support and implement key action and change steps that will come from the dialogue;
- demonstrate an openness to receiving and acting on Everyday Democracy’s assistance;
- demonstrate a commitment to sharing experiences and lessons with us; and
- demonstrate a strong potential to fund, staff and carry out efforts.
In addition, we consider geographical diversity of the communities we assist, racial/ethnic diversity of leadership, and a range of issue areas. Please keep in mind that because our resources are limited, we cannot provide assistance to every community that is doing good work.
If you think that your community is ready to be considered for assistance, e-mail or call us to schedule a conversation with a member of our Strengthening Democratic Capacity team.