Civic Ambassadors

Since 2017, Everyday Democracy has played a key role in cultivating a network of local changemakers in our home state through the Connecticut Civic Ambassadors initiative. The initiative was launched in collaboration with former Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and the CT Civic Health Advisory Group as a key strategy to improve the state’s civic health, which the National Conference on Citizenship defines as “the way that communities are organized to define and address public problems.”

Group photo of smiling adults in front of a projector screen that says "Connecticut Civic Ambassadors"

Civic Ambassadors are people who care about and engage others in finding solutions to local problems. In bringing together passionate individuals from across Connecticut, Civic Ambassadors encourages diverse groups of residents to work together and alongside government to strengthen their communities.

  • Civic Ambassadors are non-partisan agents of change who can build a movement for civic renewal by:
    • Sharing civic health information and ideas with their communities–by speaking, organizing or volunteering at community events, neighborhood events, campuses, and institutions.
    • Planning or hosting local community conversations with partner organizations.
    • Developing and implementing concrete actions based on concerns and ideas learned during community gatherings. These include voter registration events, food or clothing drives, neighborhood cleanups, community gardens, and more.
    • Participating in Civic Ambassador workshops, webinars, and an annual Civic Ambassador Summit to exchange ideas and build a movement for civic renewal in Connecticut!
  • Anyone can be a Civic Ambassador. Everyday Democracy is committed to building an intergenerational network from youth to elders, and we encourage any Connecticut resident who wants to participate and improve civic and democratic processes in the state to join our movement.
  • Eager to become a Civic Ambassador? Fill out our application online here.


Safety and Justice for All

In partnership with CT Collaborative on Poverty, Criminal Justice, and Race, Safety & Justice for All is a Dialogue to Change initiative that started in January 2023 inviting residents, law enforcement, public officials, and individuals impacted by the justice system in Connecticut to explore safety and justice strategies through dialogue and action with a racial equity lens.

Two women in deep conversation with others blurred out in the background.

Upon completion of the diverse stakeholder dialogues, participants met for an action forum to develop hyper-local action plans to foster safety and justice for everyone.


MacArthur Foundation Safety & Justice Challenge

Everyday Democracy is a Technical Assistance provider for the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC). The Safety and Justice Challenge has provided support to local leaders from across the country who are tackling local criminal justice reform in America.

Group of adults seated in a circle in a classroom, in conversation

For the past four years, Everyday Democracy has worked with five SJC sites in Cook County, IL; Charleston, SC; Palm Beach County, FL; Pima County, AZ; and Spokane, WA. Our work has supported decision-makers to work more collaboratively with the community to reimagine safety and justice on a local level, while planting roots for more authentic public engagement in the future.

Everyday Democracy has supported SJC sites and communities as they design and implement community engagement processes—including community-wide dialogues, community engaged research, and leadership initiatives—that center the voices of individuals most impacted by the criminal justice system, including formerly incarcerated individuals and their families.

  • We have collaborated with local sites to plan and implement over 150 small group dialogues that engaged more than 1000 participants, including individuals most directly impacted by the inequities of the criminal justice system
  • We supported community leaders in creating and hosting 25 community-wide forums and three summits focused on generating community-driven solutions.
  • We hosted a three-week virtual leadership institute for individuals and family members impacted by incarceration, bringing together 20 participants from four sites.