Clicky

...

Leadership in Democracy Award is Announced

Author: 
Sandy Rodriguez
November 15, 2017
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Generation JusticeGreat civic engagement.  Building media literacy skills in youth, with a racial equity lens.  Applying journalistic integrity to its advocacy and racial equity work. These are all reasons that Generation Justice, a New Mexico non-profit established in 2005, was selected as the winner of Everyday Democracy’s first annual Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award.  After considering more than 80 nominations from around the country, Everyday Democracy announced four finalists last week, and Generation Justice rose to the top and will receive a $10,000 cash award to further its mission and vision.

Generation Justice’s vision is to raise underrepresented voices, to heal from internalized wounds, to lift up narratives of hope and inspiration, and to build pathways to equity and leadership. Noted as New Mexico’s premiere, award-winning youth media project, Generation Justice was founded on social justice, decolonization, and media justice principles.  The work has far-reaching impact and Generation Justice has a track record engaging with communities state-wide via KUNM radio broadcasts and the use of the internet to connect with individuals, schools and organizations. In addition to the high quality media that is produced, benefits of the broadband access work that Generation Justice does extends statewide, including to rural youth and families in New Mexico who pay the highest price for their lack of access.  “Generation Justice really understands how to engage young people,” said Everyday Democracy’s Executive Director Martha McCoy. “There is so much potential for the future of New Mexico because of their work.  This model should exist everywhere.”

“Generation Justice is what democracy looks, feels, and sounds like!” said Jaelyn deMaria of the University of New Mexico who nominated Generation Justice for this award.  She continues, “At their core is the sincere desire to present and give rise to a different type of narrative, one produced by those in the communities we come from.  Journalism schools teach a dominant culture lens and Generation Justice offers an alternative. Media influences beliefs, resulting in communities of color continuing to be represented in sensationalized and deceptive ways to a public that accepts those narratives as truth. This is the moment that youth of color and allies trained from a media justice lens are revolutionizing media to foster equity.”   Finalists for the award included Generation Justice, along with Rapid City Community Conversations, Rapid City, South Dakota; Racial and Social Justice Program of the Delaware YWCA, Wilmington, Delaware; and, Families United for Education, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Each of these organizations is exemplary in the democracy-building work they are doing in their communities.

ABOUT EVERYDAY DEMOCRACY AND PAUL J. AICHER
For more than 25 years, Everyday Democracy has worked with communities across the country to foster a healthy and vibrant democracy – one that is characterized by strong relationships across divides, leadership development, including the voices of all people, and understanding and addressing structural racism.

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.

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

 
When you're naming your community change effort, you may have some difficult decisions to make, especially if you're addressing racism. Should you include the word "racism" in the name? Will it turn...

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.