Giving Compass' Take:

• Sam Gill describes how the Knight Foundation provides tailored supports to communities to engage in impactful democracy-building. 

• What communities do you know well enough to engage with? How can you learn more about these communities? 

• Learn how civil society can act as an immune system for democracy

Building stronger democracies starts with local communities. It is at the local level where we make the decisions that have the most immediate impact on our lives — what our neighborhoods look like; the kinds of roads and transit we use; the libraries and community centers we build; how to keep our streets clean and safe; and what it’s like to work, go to school, start a business and have a family in the places we live.

At Knight Foundation, our approach is to help communities discover their own right answers to these questions. Each community needs to work with what it has, learn from the mistakes and successes of others and, simultaneously, look to the future.

We know that cities across the country are grappling with rapid change — from disruptions to industry and information exchange brought on by technology, to shifting demographics and new demands from residents. At the same time, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to building successful communities. Those that adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing environment do so by providing people with the information they need to contribute, engaging residents across backgrounds and staying authentic to place.

In Miami, we have invested in the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. In Philadelphia, we support public spaces as platforms for civic engagement and participation. In Akron, the Knights’ hometown, we invest in bringing residents downtown to grow and revitalize the city.

Read the full article about democracy-building by Sam Gill at Medium.