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Commentaries

Check out commentaries from Everyday Democracy staff, senior associates, and guest writers on current events and our main issue areas.

What is civic engagement?  People solving problems and making the country work better. According to author Brian Aull, effective engagement is built on service, learning, and community. Here are three real-world examples of civic engagement that demonstrate these virtues.
Many of us speak of good intentions towards inclusivity and diversity. We truly believe and want equality of opportunity. But somewhere along the line we have conflated good intentions with a job well done. And it is killing us. Some of us, anyway.
When people think of “democracy,” what comes to mind most often is voting. This is certainly an important part of it, but democracy is something we as citizens should be connected to every day. Our "What does democracy mean to you?" campaign drew responses from people all over the U.S., and it also caught the attention of Adam Conkright, co-founder of Democracy In Practice, a nonprofit organization based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, dedicated to democratic innovation, experimentation, and capacity building. Check out what students in Bolivia are doing to make their visions of democracy a reality.
I can’t quite remember at what age I realized I wasn’t “white.” As an ethnically ambiguous person I was often afforded white skin privilege. But passing as white did not make me immune to the offensive and outright racist comments that inevitably came up. As I navigate a world that is most assuredly not “post-racial,” I have begun to realize with a greater sense of clarity that we are writing the history books of our progeny today with our action and our inaction.
If you’ve ever organized or attended a community event like a town hall meeting, a meet and greet with your lawmaker or a public forum and were surprised that not many people showed up, you’re not alone. See why you might be encountering this problem, and what you can do about it.
For many of us, the notion of “democracy” is buried in school textbooks or is something that only happens once a year when we vote. We don’t often realize that we can change the status quo – we can define for ourselves what democracy means for us.
Many unanswered questions surround the death of Freddie Gray. What we do know is that people are crying out to have a voice, to make change.
Once again we find ourselves in this place – a place of tragedy, pain, outrage, frustration and confusion. We can and must act differently in our communities and in our public institutions.
Check out the most popular tools and tips from this past year, including key lessons for making change and worksheets to help you reach your goals.
In the wake of recent events, there has been a call for a new way of building relationships with the police. Leaders want to provide ways for people to have a voice, work across divides and establish equitable policing that is accountable to the community. Here are some strategies you can use to create positive change in community-police relations where you live.

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With over 400 community members and 44 community-based, non-profit organizations participating, Families United for Education is a leader in the nation when it comes to engaging families toward...

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.