Clicky

...

Everyday Democracy is excited to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2020 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award

January 25, 2021

Everyday Democracy is excited to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2020 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award!

This year’s winner is Points of Diversity in Roanoke, VA. Points of Diversity has worked in Roanoke for almost seven years to create a more diverse community by “connecting, engaging and [educating] in cross-cultural discussions and experiences.” 

“We have to learn to understand each other,” Katie Zawacki, Executive Director of Points of Diversity, explains. “We don’t have to agree, but we still have to have respect for each other. It’s about respecting human dignity.”

While Points of Diversity was the clearest example of the principles Paul Aicher founded Everyday Democracy with in action, there were other deserving candidates as well.

The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. Mr. Amado is passionate about working with young adults and empowering them to make positive change in their lives. His grassroots efforts exemplify the approach that Everyday Democracy believes will lead to change.

Our second runner up is Jenny Spencer. She has been deeply involved in the local politics of her Cleveland home, and has dedicated herself to increasing voter registration and participation around her. Ms. Spencer’s dedication to democracy in action are at the heart of Everyday Democracy’s mission.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award provides recognition and a $10,000 award to an individual or organization in the U.S. whose achievements inspire us and can be lifted up for many others to aspire to. This year, in addition to the main award, two runner ups will each receive $2,500.

 

Paul J. Aicher and his wife Joyce were known for their generosity and creative genius. A discussion course at Penn State helped Paul find his own voice in civic life early on, and sparked his lifelong interest in helping others find theirs.

Paul founded the Topsfield Foundation and the Study Circles Resource Center, now called Everyday Democracy, in 1989.  The organization has now worked with more than 600 communities throughout the country, helping bring together diverse people to understand and make progress on difficult issues, incorporating lessons learned into discussion guides and other resources, and offering training and resources to help develop the field and practice of deliberative democracy.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award honors work that creates opportunities for meaningful civic participation for all people, addresses racial inequities through dialogue and collective action, and shows the power of bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how a community works.

 

Sign Up for Email Updates!Wasn't that inspiring? Sign up for more stories like this one

 

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.