Martha McCoy, executive director of Everyday Democracy, has made important contributions to the fields of deliberative democracy, community problem solving, and racial justice. One of her greatest passions is to create close links among these fields. Her early life experiences doing community work in the rural South and in inner cities fueled her conviction that progress in all three fields is crucial to strengthening democracy in the United States.
McCoy began at Everyday Democracy in 1991, becoming its director in 1995. She helped take it from a small, start-up organization to its current strength, with 13 full-time staff members, associates across the country, and a network of hundreds of communities. Under McCoy’s leadership, Everyday Democracy has become respected as a national organization that excels in helping local communities build their own capacity to organize large-scale, diverse dialogue for problem solving. Much of McCoy’s energies are dedicated to guiding the strategic direction of the organization. Under her direction, Everyday Democracy is at the leading edge of connecting public dialogue to collective action and democratic governance, and of keeping race and inclusion at the forefront of practices to strengthen democracy.