2018 Aicher Award Winners

Celebrated for Leadership in Democracy

For more than 25 years, Everyday Democracy has worked with communities across the country to foster a healthy and vibrant democracy – characterized by strong relationships across divides, leadership development, including the voices of all people, and understanding and addressing structural racism. In 2017, the organization launched the Paul and Joyce Aicher Award Competition for Leaders in Democracy and Generation Justice of Albuquerque, New Mexico was the first recipient of the award.

In 2018, this distinguished award went to Beth Broadway, President/CEO of InterFaith Works of Central New York. Beth’s winning nomination was selected from 67 nominations of both individuals and organizations, in this second annual national contest.  She and her agency were awarded $10,000 and an award statue presented to Beth at a ceremony in Hartford, CT.  Learn more about Beth's work, as well as the accomplishments of the award runner up, finalists, honorable mentions and promising practices:

2018 Aicher Award Winner

Beth Broadway, InterFaith Works, Syracuse, New York

Beth A. Broadway, President of InterFaith Works of Central New York, has worked for more than 40 years as a force for justice raising voice to issues of oppression and advancing racial and social equity through the process of dialogue and action. Her racial equity work has directly impacted thousands of individuals and families and has markedly improved Syracuse and surrounding communities. Learn more about Beth’s extraordinary work.

2018 Aicher Award Runner Up

Mayme Webb Bledsoe, Duke / Durham, North Carolina

Over the past 21 years, Mayme Webb Bledsoe of the Duke Durham Neighborhood Partnership has worked tirelessly as a community activist, bringing the voices of those most marginalized in the primarily African-American neighborhoods of Durham into the conversation and decision-making of the community. With her strong, quiet leadership style, she has facilitated creative cross-sector initiatives that bring in the voices of grass-roots residents to develop affordable housing, commercial development for adjacent neighborhoods, and preservation of history and culture.


2018 Aicher Award Finalists

Campus Compact of Oregon

Campus Compact of Oregon convenes and supports the work of educational institutions individually and collectively to improve their practice around institutional equity, collaborative learning, and community engagement to respond effectively to a racially diverse and changing Oregon. Our members provide inclusive and equitable learning opportunities that strengthen communities and empower our students to be agents for positive change.

Michigan Scholars Program

The Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP) brings together students and faculty who have a commitment to community service, diversity and academic excellence. Through small courses, faculty-student contact, service projects, leadership opportunities and social programs, students model an ideal community through intergroup engagement, responsibility, friendship, and collaboration.


Marcia DuFore of the North Central Regional Mental Health Board in Connecticut

Marcia DuFore has dedicated her career to improving the lives of those living with mental illness. She is the Executive Director of the North Central Regional Mental Health Board in Connecticut. Marcia was pivotal in developing and implementing the innovative Community Conversation series, bringing together community members, faith leaders, law enforcement and services providers, to improve the lives of people in recovery from mental illness and addiction.


2018 Aicher Award Honorable Mentions

InterAction Initiative (Taeyin ChoGlueck and Deandra Cadet), Mishawaka, Indiana

InterAction harnesses the power of counter-narratives - stories from the margins - to build communities that embrace and prioritize inclusion, intersectionality, and racial equity. They strive to create communities — on college campuses, schools, organizations, and neighborhoods —  where diversity, equity, and inclusion flourish, and the structures of racism and oppression are eradicated.

 Deeqo Jibril, Roxbury, Massachusetts

In 1991, young Deeqo Jibril's family fled the civil war in Somalia and lived in a refugee camp in Kenya before starting a new life in Boston  with just a few belongings. Now the founder of an African mall that is home to six local businesses in the Roxbury area, she is also an activist in her community, working to ensure other refugees and immigrants have opportunities. She created the Somali Community and Cultural Association to empower Somali women and provide resources for those transitioning into American society while maintaining their culture. She has also held financial literacy programs to teach immigrants and Somali women how to manage their money.


2018 Aicher Award Promising Practices

The Connecticut Youth Forum, Hartford, Connecticut

The Connecticut Youth Forum is a community outreach program of The Connecticut Forum that for the past 25 years has been providing unique opportunities for diverse teenagers to connect and engage with each other across geographic, economic, social and racial divides. The Youth Forum is a civil community, established for teens by teens, where curiosity, openness, and acceptance create a safe space for youth to be seen, heard, and validated.
Equity Arcata, Arcata, California

The Multicultural Resource Center, Ithaca NY

MRC was formed in 1987 by Marcia Fort, a woman of color and leader in the community and Eileen Brown, a white ally, as a project of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC). It formed to address the lack of ethnic, cultural cross-community understanding in schools and communities in Ithaca by starting a multicultural resource library located in the Beverly J. Martin public elementary school. MRC's transformative programs, events, and projects are designed to eliminate barriers to racial justice, cultural dignity, equity and inclusion, and indigenous rights.

Tracey Robertson, FitOshKosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

When Tracey Robertson moved to Oshkosh, Washington in 2011, she struggled to feel part of the community, and faced numerous racial macro aggressions that made her wonder if her relocation was wise. She found comfort in conversations with a white woman she met at church, Janine Wright, who was raised in Wisconsin and had married a Black man from Chicago. Their ongoing conversations about race and racial impression led Robertson to found FitOshKosh in 2014, which promotes social transformation through Color-Brave Community Conversations, education, advocacy, and research in order to achieve race equity and justice in the community.

Equity Arcata, Arcata, California

Established in 2017, Equity Arcata is an effort to make Arcata a more inclusive and welcoming environment for people of color. Established by an informal group of leaders from the City of Arcata, Humboldt State University, and the Arcata business community, the group discussed everything from policing to concerns expressed by undocumented immigrants. After HSU students of color shared their experiences with the local community and asked city officials and other leaders to work on solutions, the group brought together 65 participants from different sectors of the community for a day-long planning meeting. Based on their work, a series of initiatives have been implemented, while some related efforts are underway or planned for the near future.



2017 Aicher Award Winner

Generation Justice, Albuquerque New Mexico



2017 Aicher Award Finalists

Families United for Education, Albuquerque, NM

Rapid City Community Conversations

Racial and Social Justice Program of the Delaware YWCA: Project LEARN



2017 Aicher Award Honorable Mentions


S. Nadia Hussein of Bloomingsdale New Jersey

The Winchester Multicultural Network of Winchester Massachusetts

The West Virginia Center for Civic Life



2017 Aicher Award Promising Practices

WOKE, Greyslake, IL

Speaking Down Barriers, South Carolina



January 1, 2019

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Mayme Webb Bledsoe of the Duke Durham Neighborhood Partnership Uses Dialogue to Lift Voices in the Duke / Durham Community 

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.