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Winner of the Leadership in Democracy Award Revealed!

Everyday Democracy is delighted to present the winners and runner ups of the prestigious Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. This award honors the work that creates opportunity for meaningful participation for all people, by bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how community operates.

The recipient of the award this year is Point Diversity for creating a more diverse community for the past seven years in Roanoke VA. The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. The second runner up was awarded to Jenny Spencer for her remarkable involvement in Cleveland politics, where her efforts have been dedicated on increasing voter registration.

To get better acquainted with the recipients keep reading below and find the original announcement here.


Everyday Democracy is Excited to Announce the Winner and Runners-up of the 2020 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award

This year’s winner is Points of Diversity in Roanoke, VA. Points of Diversity has worked in Roanoke for almost seven years to create a more diverse community by “connecting, engaging and [educating] in cross-cultural discussions and experiences.”

“We have to learn to understand each other,” Katie Zawacki, Executive Director of Points of Diversity, explains. “We don’t have to agree, but we still have to have respect for each other. It’s about respecting human dignity.”

While Points of Diversity was the clearest example of the principles Paul Aicher founded Everyday Democracy with in action, there were other deserving candidates as well.

The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. Mr. Amado is passionate about working with young adults and empowering them to make positive change in their lives. His grassroots efforts

exemplify the approach that Everyday Democracy believes will lead to change.

Our second runner up is Jenny Spencer. She has been deeply involved in the local politics of her Cleveland home, and has dedicated herself to increasing voter registration and participation around her. Ms. Spencer’s dedication to democracy in action are at the heart of Everyday Democracy’s mission.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award provides recognition and a $10,000 award to an individual or organization in the U.S. whose achievements inspire us and can be lifted up for many others to aspire to. This year, in addition to the main award, two runner ups will each receive $2,500.

Paul J. Aicher and his wife Joyce were known for their generosity and creative genius. A discussion course at Penn State helped Paul find his own voice in civic life early on, and sparked his lifelong interest in helping others find theirs.

Paul founded the Topsfield Foundation and the Study Circles Resource Center, now called Everyday Democracy, in 1989. The organization has now worked with more than 600 communities throughout the country, helping bring together diverse people to understand and make progress on difficult issues, incorporating lessons learned into discussion guides and other resources, and offering training and resources to help develop the field and practice of deliberative democracy.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award honors work that creates opportunities for meaningful civic participation for all people, addresses racial inequities through dialogue and collective action, and shows the power of bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how a community works.

You can find the original version of this post on the Everyday Democracy site at www.everydaydemocracy.org/news/everyday-democracy-excited-announce-winner-and-runners-2020-paul-and-joyce-aicher-leadership.

Isabella Guzman
Isabella Guzman is ecstatic to join the NCDD team as Blog and Social Media Curator. She studied International Relations and French Language and Literature at George Mason University. Her passions for expression, communication and connection led her to become a facilitator, translator and yoga teacher. She wants to keep learning, growing, supporting organizations and people who do the important work of Dialogue and Deliberation.

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