Video Contest Winners Announced

January 17, 2017
Finalists All Won Trip to Baltimore; Winners Awarded Additional Grants


Young leaders video competition finalists

NATIONWIDE – Everyday Democracy, a national nonprofit that works to create a democracy that includes all voices, has announced the finalists and winners in its Young Leaders Video Competition.

Each of the five finalists was sponsored to send up to three people to Everyday Democracy’s national convening, The Moment is Now: A Democracy that Works for All, December 8-10 in Baltimore, MD. Three winners, to receive grants to support their work, will be announced at the event.

The competition was open to young leaders, aged 18-30, working in community engagement with a focus on structural racism, participatory democracy and/or civic engagement. The finalists were selected from nearly 20 entries based on the quality of their work in their communities and their capacity for change if they receive the award. Each submitted a short video highlighting their work.

“We are so pleased lift up the voices of these young leaders, and honored to bring them to this national stage,” said Everyday Democracy Managing Director Shelby J. Brown.  “The caliber of work being done by young leaders, and by the quality of the submissions, was outstanding, and the conference will be an opportunity for them to meet others leaders and their peers from all over the country.”

The winners are:

First Place: Critical Participatory Action Research Project, Knoxville, TN
Second Place: Windham Youth Core, Windham, CT
Third Place: Georgia Shift, Augusta, GA

Other finalists were Impolitic of San Diego, CA and the Sahaba Initiative of Lake Elsinore, CA.

All finalist videos are here at Everyday Democracy’s web site,

“It was an incredible opportunity to join young leaders from across the country and learn how they are creating change in their own communities,” said Ian Bridgeforth of Georgia Shift. “…I made critical connections with leaders working on similar issues as I am.”

Keri Frantell of Knoxville reflected on her experience in Baltimore: “I…felt that connecting with like-hearted people inspired me to keep working for change. Learning about… dialogue programs that are being conducted in other areas of the country helped me build a vision for our own community.”

 “The…convening connected me with community leaders around the country who are organizing to make democracy work for everyone,” said Zoe Hayman, of San Diego’s Impolitic. “We shared strategy and vision to create an American democracy that supports active and responsive participation at all levels.”

Founded in 1989, Everyday Democracy is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States. Since its inception, Everyday Democracy has worked with more than 600 communities by providing advice, training, tools and resources. It also partners with national and local organizations to strengthen the field of dialogue and deliberation and promote a stronger, more equitable democracy. 

For more information:  

Liz Dupont-Diehl, Communications Director

(203) 667-5956,

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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.