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Everyday Democracy Wins CT Humanities Award

In case you missed it, we wanted to share the press release that Everyday Democracy – a long-time NCDD member organization – published last month about an important grant they’ve received that will help them plan for a statewide civic health project. We encourage you to join us in congratulating them! You can read the release below or find the original here.


Connecticut Humanities Awards Planning to Grant to Everyday Democracy in Support of its Projects “Connecticut’s Civic Health: A Humanities Perspective”

EvDem LogoHartford, Connecticut: Connecticut Humanities awarded Everyday Democracy a planning grant in the amount of $9,999 in support of its humanities project “Connecticut’s Civic Health: A Humanities Perspective.”

The grant will support research and data gathering on Connecticut’s civic health conducted by the National Conference on Citizenship that will help Everyday Democracy frame a strong humanities program that connects this topic to various humanities themes. Part of the grant will also cover the cost of a consultant who will develop lesson plans on Connecticut’s civic health utilizing various humanities themes for civics and social studies teachers to use beginning in the fall of 2016. The grant also supports planning of an event to be held next year featuring Mr. Eric Liu, co-author of Gardens of Democracy, as a speaker and panelist. That event will take place at Connecticut’s Old State House on April 7, 2016 and will be produced in partnership with The Connecticut Network (CT-N), Connecticut’s Old State House, and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.  Planning of the event will be done by the Connecticut Civic Health Advisory Group between June and December 2015.

Everyday Democracy partnered with the National Conference on Citizenship and various state partners, including the Secretary of the State of Connecticut Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s Old State House, The Connecticut Network (CT-N), and other members of the Connecticut Civic Health Advisory Group to publish and disseminate the 2011 Connecticut Civic Health Index Report. This report released findings on various indicators of civic health in the state, including voting, volunteering, donating to charities, contacting public officials, working with neighbors on local problems, joining groups and organizations, talking about public issues, attending public events, etc.

The humanities program supported by the grant will highlight similar civic health findings to be published in January of next year in the 2016 Connecticut Civic Health Index Report under the auspices of the National Conference of Citizenship. That report will be published in partnership with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, DataHaven Inc., and other members of the Connecticut Civic Health Advisory Group. The program will offer various humanities perspectives on the importance of civic health to the economic resiliency of Connecticut communities. It will also examine opportunities and barriers to civic participation and draw strategies and best practices from Mr. Liu’s talk and the panel discussion. Drawing from Mr. Liu’s work and that of local scholars and civic leaders, the humanities program will address such topics as the meaning of “great citizenship,” civic engagement and public participation, and the role of everyday people in finding solutions to local problems. This humanities program draws from the underlying message of William D. Adams, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, that “the common good is central to democratic political theory and expresses both the right and the obligation of citizens to debate and determine the general welfare; it is the aspirational goal, the guiding ambition that anchors citizenship and participation in democratic politics.” The program will create a space for conversation and learning on how the humanities can play a vital role in public life. The “civic health” and “great citizenship” narratives will contribute to this conversation in unique ways.

Funding for “Connecticut’s Civic Health: a Humanities Perspective” is made possible by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which provide significant support to Connecticut Humanities.

Everyday Democracy thanks the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation, especially Congressman John B. Larson (1st Congressional District) and Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, for supporting funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, State Representative Angel Arce (State House District 004), and State Senator John Fonfara (S01) for supporting Connecticut Humanities. It also thanks Connecticut Humanities, Connecticut’s Old State House, The Connecticut Network (CT-N), and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill for supporting this program.

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 over 600 local communities nationally by providing advice, training, tools and resources, so that they can engage their residents in meaningful and inclusive ways to build communities that work for everyone. It has also partnered with national and local organizations to strengthen the field of dialogue and deliberation and promote a stronger, more equitable democracy.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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