More than ever before, America’s future depends on working together. We need to celebrate the people and initiatives that leverage collaboration and creativity to strengthen communities, heal partisan divides and invigorate American democracy. That’s why we created the American Civic Collaboration Awards – or Civvys – and celebrated the inaugural winners of this prestigious award on Friday, Oct. 20 at the National Conference on Citizenship in Washington, D.C.
The 2017 American Civic Collaboration Awards winners all exemplify what it means to embrace diverse perspectives and make a difference. Selected by a panel of civic engagement experts from over 50 nominations and 15 finalists, this year’s winners have achieved on-the-ground impact at the youth, regional and national level.
We’d also like to extend our sincere congratulations to all Civvys nominees and finalists, each of whom is harnessing teamwork to help overcome polarization and foster civic renewal.
Meet our 2017 Civvys winners:
New Hampshire Listens is the winner in the regional category for their work facilitating civil conversation on controversial public challenges. They also train others to facilitate such productive dialogues. Bruce Mallory and Michele Holt-Shannon have developed programs to elevate New Hampshire’s problem-solving capabilities, modeling a respectful and inclusive approach that many hope will be replicated nationwide. As the person who nominated them put it, “People feel relieved and respected when Bruce and Michele enter the room.”
The national winner is a partnership between the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) and the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). This innovative collaboration has resulted in a new leadership program designed to deliver insight, inspiration, and techniques to state legislative leaders working to improve public policy discussion. With NICD’s expertise in training community leaders and legislatures, SLLF’s success in providing state legislators with nonpartisan information and a forum for discussion, and NFWL’s work in empowering leaders, this partnership aims to replace gridlock with progress, and criticism with compassion. In the words of their nominator, “since many of our federal leaders begIn their political service in state legislatures, success in this program will eventually improve our federal government.”
In the youth category, the Student Public Interest Research Groups from several college campuses were nominated for their work supporting voter education, voter registration and creating safe spaces for dialogue between students with diverse perspectives. Student PIRGs promote learning and understanding about a host of current issues, while providing a forum for students to become politically active and effective. As one elected official put it, “the work PIRGs do is vitally important in a democracy and serves as such a great role model as a set of engaged citizens so necessary to building effective public policy.”
The Civvy awards are co-sponsored by the Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation - organizations dedicated to bringing people and organizations together from across the political spectrum to address and resolve America’s greatest challenges.