Public Understanding and Demand Initiative

Making sure that every young person receives a quality education is one of the most important challenges our country faces. With support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Everyday Democracy has been working to address this challenge across New England, as part of Nellie Mae’s Public Understanding and Demand Initiative. Since 2015, Everyday Democracy has been helping districts and community organizations build their own capacity to involve people from all backgrounds in community conversations about the future of education and how education can work for all.

We are helping districts and community groups use lessons, principles, and practices from our Dialogue to Change approach. A critical element of our coaching and training is to help districts and community groups apply a racial/ethnic and economic equity lens to their community engagement efforts. In the past year, we have partnered with project intermediary Great Schools Partnership in coaching the growing number of districts in the initiative.

Here is what is happening in just one community: Lowell, Massachusetts.

Across New England, districts and community groups are finding ways to start welcoming conversations about the future of education among all kinds of people, including those who have often been marginalized. Students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and other community members are seeing the power of a different kind of conversation.

Here are a couple of other communities that are continuing to address these needs:

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.