Everyday Democracy

Everyday DemocracyEveryday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process encourages diverse groups of people to come together, engage in inclusive and respectful dialogue, and find common solutions to community problems.

Everyday Democracy’s process is suited for communities that want to build trust, relationships, and collaboration among residents and that want to examine issues of institutional racism and socioeconomic and other disparities. The dialogues consist of groups of 8 to 10 people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet several times to talk about an issue. These community dialogues create spaces in which everyone has an equal voice and people try to understand each other’s views. They do not have to always agree with each other. The idea is to share concerns and look for ways to make things better. In its Dialogue to Change process, Everyday Democracy places a great deal of importance to using a “racial equity lens” at every stage of the process to ensure inclusiveness and that outcomes do not perpetuate or create new, but rather remove existing, disparities.

A trained facilitator drawn from the community helps the group focus on different views and makes sure the discussion goes well and that participants contribute action ideas. In a large-scale (or community-wide) dialogue program, people all over a neighborhood, city, county, school district or region participate in such dialogues over the same period of time. At the end of the dialogue rounds, participants come together in a large community meeting to work together on the action ideas that emerged from the dialogues.

Use Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process when: There is a need or desire to empower community members to solve complicated problems and take responsibility for the solutions.

Topics suited for this model: Community issues such as racism, violence, regional sprawl, and more. Any issue where community members need to be part of crafting a solution.

Why we chose this model: This approach brings together people both in smaller study circles, as well as in larger community gatherings. It's well suited for larger communities who need both the in-depth conversations in a smaller group and the larger community engagement to talk about ideas emerging from the smaller groups. It aims to result in action and change efforts

Visit the Everyday Democracy website


Learning Sessions

  • WEBINAR: "Libraries Transforming Communities: Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change Process" (recorded May 1, 2017)

  • IN-PERSON WORKSHOP: "LTC Models for Change: Dialogue & Deliberation for Large and Urban Communities" (held June 23, 2017 at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference)

 

Resources

  THE TOOL WHAT IS IT? HOW CAN IT HELP? GET THE TOOL

30 - 60 Days: Going into the Community
Resources: Everyday Democracy

 

Everyday Democracy: How to Develop Discussion Materials for Public Dialogue A guide to help develop materials to be used for public dialogue Offers templates for developing steps of the program and writing exercise

 

Get How to Develop Discussion Materials for Public Dialogue
Everyday Democracy: Ten Ways to Make Your Materials More Inclusive

 

A tip sheet on making your materials/events more inclusive A quick checklist that can help make events as inclusive as possible of the whole community Get Ten Ways to Make Your Materials More Inclusive
Everyday Democracy: How to Recruit Dialogue Participants A one-pager on how to recruit dialogue participants from every part of the community Offers five steps to make a well-rounded recruitment process that brings in a diverse group of dialogue participants Get How to Recruit Dialogue Participants

 

Everyday Democracy: Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action and Change A comprehensive guide on how to organize a "study circles" dialogue program Very detailed guide to develop a "study circles" program from beginning to end

Provides case study examples

Get Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action and Change
Everyday Democracy: Protecting Communities, Serving the Public A five-session discussion guide for bringing residents and police together Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Available in Spanish

Get Protecting Communities, Serving the Public
Everyday Democracy: Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation A six-session discussion guide for dialogue participants to examine racial/ethnic inequalities and work to create policy/institutional change Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Available in Spanish

Get Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation
Everyday Democracy: Strong Starts for Children A five-session discussion guide for dialogue participants to address issues facing children, especially the effects of racism and poverty, and take action Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Has worksheets for taking action

Available in Spanish

Get Strong Starts for Children
Everyday Democracy: Youth Issues, Youth Voices A four-session discussion guide for youth and adults to discuss issues related to youth and work together toward problem solving Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Supplemental materials available

Get Youth Issues, Youth Voices
Everyday Democracy: Building Strong Neighborhoods for Families and Children A four-session discussion guide for people with children to work toward building better neighborhoods Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Supplemental materials available

Get Building Strong Neighborhoods for Families and Children
Everyday Democracy: One Nation, Many Beliefs: Talking about Religion in a Diverse Democracy A five-session discussion guide for people from different religious and philosophical perspectives to strengthen relationships, address tensions, and discuss the rold of religion in public issues Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each session

Supplemental materials available

Get One Nation, Many Beliefs: Talking about Religion in a Diverse Democracy
Everyday Democracy: Towards a More Perfect Union in an Age of Diversity A discussion guide for dialogue participants to examine ideas about unity, diversity and pluralism, and how it affects our community and country. Provides session structure with several different viewpoints and discussion starters for each session

Supplemental readings included

Available in Spanish

Get Towards a More Perfect Union in an Age of Diversity
Everyday Democracy: Changing Faces, Changing Communities: Immigration and Race A five-session discussion guide for dialogue participants to face the challenges and opportunities of arrival of community newcomers Provides session structure with several different viewpoints and discussion starters for each session

Supplemental readings included

Available in Spanish

Get Changing Faces, Changing Communities: Immigration and Race
Everyday Democracy: "When the Mask Comes Off" Video and Discussion Guide A discussion guide designed to accompany a screening of "When the Mask Comes Off," a film about youth experiences with mental illness Provides discussion guidelines to explore youth experience ad reflections after the film screening

Designed to be held in school during a 45-minute class period

Available in Spanish

Get "When the Mask Comes Off" Video and Discussion Guide
Everyday Democracy: Thriving Communities: Working Together to Move from Poverty to Prosperity for All A five-session discussion guide to help people talk about poverty in their community and move to take action where all can thrive Provides very detailed structure for program and facilitator tips for each sessions

Supplemental materials included

Available in Spanish

Get Thriving Communities: Working Together to Move from Poverty to Prosperity for All
Everyday Democracy: How-To Guides A list of guides around issues of training facilitators, organizing, developing materials and issue type Explore various guides that can help your process based on your D&D phase (organizing, dialogue, etc.)

 

Get the How-To Guides

 

These resources are offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).