Anchor Program

Everyday Democracy envisions a country in which everyday people engage people across their community in dialogue and community change with an equity lens.  Over the years, we have seen the power of coaching and training community coalitions, but there are limits to the direct assistance our staff and senior associates can provide.  That is why we are now working with “anchor partners,” or intermediaries, who will help carry out our work and principles on a larger scale than we can alone.

Group photo of Everyday Democracy's anchor partners


Download a printable handout with information about our anchor program.

Everyday Democracy currently has 11 anchor partners:


CALIFORNIA — Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco — San Francisco 
Contact: Kate Moore, Assistant Director for Operations 

FLORIDA - Community Partners of South Florida
Contact: Jaime-Lee Bradshaw, Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer
561-841-3500 x1057

ILLINOIS– Study Circles Illinois - Aurora
Contact: Cathy Gaddis, Executive Director

INDIANA - Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center - Indianapolis, IN 
Contact: Anne-Marie Taylor, Executive Director
317-920-0330 x311

MISSISSIPPI - Parents for Public Schools, Inc. - Jackson
Contact: Joann Mickens, Executive Director
601-969-6936, ext. 311

MONTANA - Montana State University Extension - Community Development - Bozeman
Contact:  Tara Mastel, Community Development Associate Specialist

NEW HAMPSHIRE - New Hampshire Listens
Contact: Michele Holt-Shannon, Co-Director, New Hampshire Listens

NEW YORK - InterFaith Works of Central NY
Contact: Beth Broadway, President/CEO, InterFaith Works of Central New York
315-449-3552 x116

Contact: Peter Willner, Director, El-Hindi Center for Dialogue
315-449-3552 x102

Contact: Bishop Colette Matthews-Carter, Director, The Ahmed and Elizabeth El-Hindi Center for Dialogue and Action

OHIO - Project Ujima, Inc. - Akron
Contact: Lakesh Hayes, Executive Director

OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma State University - Tulsa 
Contact: Tami Moore, Ph.D.
Co-Director, The Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa

SOUTH DAKOTA - SDSU Extension Community Vitality - Brookings 
Kari O’Neill, Community Vitality Specialist

WEST VIRGINIA - West Virginia Center for Civic Life
Contact: Betty Knighton, Director, West Virginia Center for Civic Life

We are looking for additional Anchor Partners whose principles are closely aligned with ours, and who wish to build and/or strengthen their own capacity to provide coaching and training on community engagement to local communities in their states, regions and issue areas.  As anchor partners become part of a learning network with us, they share lessons across geographic regions and issue areas. They will have the opportunity to contribute to a larger movement of regional and national organizations dedicated to strengthening democratic capacity for community voice and change. We see this as a critical pathway to scale and embed participatory democracy in the United States.

Why have our Anchor Partners chosen to work with us?

Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco (PPS-SF) promotes the fundamental value of public education and pursues the success of every public school by sharing knowledge, bridging communities, and strengthening connections between schools and families. We are thrilled to announce that we are working with Everyday Democracy as an Anchor Partner to strengthen our work bringing families together to learn from one another and work in solidarity to address equity barriers in schools. 

                                                                                                                                                                                 ~Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco


"Community Partners supports families changing the odds they encounter each day.  Our investment in sincere relationships with families allows us to better understand their unique neighborhood hopes and challenges.  Through our coordination with existing community systems we use the Dialogue to Action framework to create a consistent and equitable platform in order to facilitate these important conversations."

~Community Partners of South Florida

"We are so honored and proud to be an official Everyday Democracy Anchor Partner!  Collaboration on this level creates a national chain of inspiration and influence that we can both contribute to and learn from.  Study Circles was founded on the principles of equity and community engagement, using the Dialogue to Change model offered by Everyday Democracy, and in service to the power of human connection to mobilize change in our community.  With shared principles and common goals, including a commitment to democratic participation, community problem-solving, and social equity, Study Circles Illinois and Everyday Democracy will work in partnership to contribute to the creation of a civic infrastructure and build local civic capacity to strengthen our nation’s democracy."

   ~ Study Circles Illinois

"For over nearly two decades, INRC has benefited from Everyday Democracy’s coaching, research, best practices and resources to support our work in implementing programs and engaging neighbors. We are especially inspired by Everyday Democracy’s focus on structural racism and recognition of its impact on all issues that neighbors and neighborhoods face. We appreciate the tools and support that Everyday Democracy offers to create space for conversation, understand longstanding challenges, and collectively craft community-led solutions.”

~Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center, Indiana

"At Parents for Public Schools (PPS), we work to ensure that students are provided a high-quality education and equity plays a major role in making this happen. We are excited and honored to become an Anchor Partner with Everyday Democracy, an organization that we not only admire but one that also fosters hope and works to eradicate structural racism. Because Everyday Democracy and Parents for Public Schools have aligned core values, we know that our collaborative partnership will help further reduce barriers to racial and systemic equity faced by many in our nation. We truly believe that this partnership will ensure that we continue to build our capacity as change agents for equity in this country."

~Parents for Public Schools, Mississippi

"I am excited to be representing Montana State University Community Development and work with Everyday Democracy on this collaborative effort.  Since our time working together many years ago on the Horizons program, I have looked forward to opportunities to work collaboratively, share resources, and partner to accomplish our mutual goals.  From our many native communities, to the rural towns across the state, to our fast growing cities, Montana is fortunate to be an anchor partner with our friends at Everyday Democracy."

~Montana State University Extension's Paul LaChapelle

“We are proud to be one of the first national anchor partners with Everyday Democracy.  Since we were founded in 2010, NH Listens has been inspired by the core values and processes that Everyday Democracy has demonstrated for many years, including and especially commitments to authentic engagement, equity in both participation and the solutions that emerge from inclusive participation, and the important translation of talk into action that can benefit communities and individuals.  Our Everyday Democracy colleagues make us better at what we do!”

~New Hampshire Listens, Durham, New Hampshire

“InterFaith Works has chosen to be an anchor partner with Everyday Democracy because of our shared missions that dialogue builds common ground on which people can stand, leading to lasting, positive change.  Everyday Democracy offers the best thinking and ideas and evaluation tools about dialogue-to-change initiatives, and serves as a critical connector to other organizations that do dialogue and racial equity work. InterFaith Works’ El-Hindi Center for Dialogue is expanding its efforts across the Central New York region, and we are prepared to assist other organizations in the Northeast with dialogue-to-change work to leverage dialogue to bring about racial and social equity, and to help others find common ground to solve issues and problems that face their communities.”

~InterFaith Works, Syracuse, New York

Project Ujima is honored to become an anchor partner with Everyday Democracy in the critical work of empowering citizens and strengthening communities.  Over the years, we have benefited greatly from Everyday Democracy’s leadership in providing coaching, training, resources and tools to enhance authentic community engagement.  This has strengthened our ability as a grassroots organization to provide processes and safe spaces for citizens to discuss issues of shared concern, develop relationships of trust, discover common ground, and go from dialogue to action.  We look forward to a long, rich relationship of shared learning with Everyday Democracy and the other anchor partners as Project Ujima continues our commitment to service through the principle of Ujima-- “Collective Work and Responsibility.”

~Project Ujima, Inc., Akron, Ohio

"OSU-Tulsa leaders share Everyday Democracy’s commitment to strengthening community infrastructure for active, effective participation in public decision-making processes, drawing on the principles of racial and intergenerational equity.  We are thrilled to join a national network of individuals located in community organizations and university entities who are also committed to this important work.  With this opportunity to draw on others’ experiences, and share what we are learning about fostering community-based dialogue and change, we will be in an even stronger position to realize our role as a metropolitan, urban-serving research university engaged with the community we serve."

~Oklahoma State University - Tulsa

"The West Virginia Center for Civic Life has learned from the broad experience of Everyday Democracy for nearly two decades, and we are delighted to be among their initial group of anchor partners. We have seen firsthand how deeply communities here in West Virginia and around the country have benefited from their keen insights and thoughtful public practices.  All this--plus a relationship of mutual respect, shared learning, and joyful communication. Connecting with Everyday Democracy is an inspiring and uplifting venture!"

~West Virginia Center for Civic Life, Charleston, West Virginia


How does Everyday Democracy choose and work with anchors?

Before engaging in an anchor partnership, we learn more about each other’s principles and practices and begin to uncover areas of potential alignment. We are looking for partners where there is strong alignment with our mission and strategies, such as:  

  • A commitment to social equity, explicitly but not exclusively on racial equity
  • A commitment to the principles and practices of inclusive, equitable community engagement
  • A commitment to nurturing and building community engagement practices in their network and/or affiliates
  • A commitment to learning with the communities they serve, with Everyday Democracy, and with other anchor partners

If we and a potential anchor partner agree that there is this kind of alignment, we then work together to co-create the goals of the anchor partnership and a memorandum of understanding, including an assessment of the anchor’s assets and desired capacities and an assessment of where Everyday Democracy can best provide supports. These assets and capacities will fall into these areas:

  • Inclusive coalition-building strategies
  • Inclusive community organizing training
  • Facilitation training and supports
  • Equity and inclusion strategies and supports
  • Action planning and implementation trainings and supports
  • Issue framing and material development
  • Evaluation supports
  • Communication training and supports
  • Collaborative problem solving strategies
  • Democratic governance

Together with the potential anchor, we complete assessment tools to identify areas of joint learning and areas in which they may want to receive training and coaching from us. We also identify areas in which the potential anchor has excelled and can offer advice and supports to Everyday Democracy. Our aim is to create a true learning partnership that strengthens the capacity, reach and effectiveness of both organizations.


How do anchors work?

As anchor partners begin or strengthen their capacity to coach and train communities and groups in their state or region on Dialogue to Change principles and practices, in using a racial equity lens, and we support them in their documentation and learning.  Through Everyday Democracy, these anchor partners continue to receive capacity-building support, become part of a learning community with other anchors, and become engaged in regional and national efforts to build a movement for equity and a stronger democracy.

Anchors are not funded by Everyday Democracy. Instead, we invest our time and resources in strengthening their capacity so that they are better poised to advance equitable community change and also leverage new partnerships and sources of support.  We also invest our time in co-learning so that their work in turns strengthens the work of Everyday Democracy and other anchor partners. 


Stories from anchor partners

Everyday Democracy and Anchor Partner New Hampshire Listens (NH Listens) are working embed inclusion and equity practices in Nashua’s immigrant inclusion initiative

Everyday Democracy and Anchor Partner Housing Partnership of West Palm Beach are using Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process on issues such as race, early childhood education, and building strong neighborhoods.


Learn more

Contact Valeriano Ramos, our director of strategic partnerships and alliances, to start a conversation on becoming an Everyday Democracy anchor partner.

Connecticut Civic Ambassadors are everyday people who care about and engage others in their communities by creating opportunities for civic participation that strengthens our state’s "civic health."

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.