People in conversation

Dialogue Journalism Collaboration Empowers Democracy in Alabama

Image: Bridge Alabama logo

This spring, Essential Partners embarked on a dialogue journalism and civic engagement collaboration with Reckon, Cortico, and Bridge Alliance. The goal was to invite Alabamians under 40 to join dialogues that would decrease polarization, build community, and supports community-led journalism in advance of the state and midterm elections. 

We convened groups of Alabamians in a series of three conversations held over three consecutive weeks in April. Through the power of our dialogue model, they were able to talk about their hopes and concerns for the future of Alabama. Cortico's state-of-the-art digital platform analyzed the recording and shared quotes, themes, and transcripts of those conversations to amplify community members’ voices, inform public understanding, and drive better policy and decisions.

One outcome of those conversations was a series of Voter's Guide, written by Reckon journalists, that explore the issues that residents themselves said was most important to them:

EP will also be offering support to encourage healthier civic conversations in Alabama and to combat the divisiveness that has defined politics in recent years, as well as connections with community leaders, elected officials, and other Alabamians working to improve their communities.