SDSU Extension selected as National Anchor Partner

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension was recently selected by Everyday Democracy, a national leader in civic participation and community change, to serve as an Anchor Partner.

“It is a special honor to welcome SDSU Extension as an Anchor Partner,” said Martha McCoy, Everyday Democracy’s executive director. “Our work with them dates to the beginning of the Horizons program, in which hundreds of small communities across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest have used Dialogue to Change to address poverty and make a difference in the lives of their residents. SDSU Extension is a leader in community engagement in this area. Their work shows the power of people of all backgrounds coming together to solve public problems and create strong communities that work for everyone. We look forward to working with them, learning from them, and sharing their lessons and stories with our network across the country.”

Anchor Partners are leaders in addressing structural racism, engaging all different kinds of people in public dialogue and linking dialogue to action and positive change. They are selected for their effective work and dedication to shared principles.

“Everyday Democracy is a natural partner for the work of the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team,” explained Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program director. “SDSU Extension has already utilized their materials addressing racism in several of our programs. We are excited to be an Anchor Partner and the benefit it will bring to South Dakota communities.”

As an Everyday Democracy Anchor Partner, SDSU Extension becomes part of a national learning network, share lessons and tools on racial/social equity-driven dialogue and change practices.

Anchor Partners contribute to a larger movement of regional and national organizations dedicated to strengthening democratic capacity for community voice and change.

“Anchor Partners help build a civic infrastructure for equitable, democratic change in our country,” said Valeriano Ramos, the director of strategic alliances at Everyday Democracy. “We learn from them and they learn from us and each other about ways to strengthen our toolkits and practices to support authentic community participation for local problem-solving and decision-making.”

Everyday Democracy first worked with the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team in 2003, when together they worked with the Northwest Area Foundation and the Horizons project with the goal of helping small, rural communities and reservations address issues of poverty through leadership training, community organizing and assisting in Dialogue to Change programs.

From 2003 until 2010, SDSU Extension Community Vitality team introduced the Horizons project to more than 40 communities and reservations throughout the state.

More about Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy helps improve the quality of civic life through dialogue, organizing, including all voices and addressing structural racism and other inequities.

In addition to helping create capacity in local communities, Everyday Democracy works with Anchor Partners around the country, whose capacity and leadership amplifies the impact of community work while building capacity in regions and nationally.

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, based in Hartford, Connecticut, has worked with more than 600 communities by providing advice, training, tools and resources. It also partners with national and local organizations to strengthen the field of dialogue and deliberation and promote a stronger, more equitable democracy.