Civic Action

Towards a More Civil Society: Town Hall 2.0

Event information

Join a national Town Hall with Americans from across the United States to hear their fears, hopes, and dreams for the country coming out of the midterm elections with the Civil Society Fellowship: a Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute.

In a time of vitriolic polarization in the United States, Civil Society Fellows are devoted to the need for civil discourse across difference. On December 2 from 12pm – 2pm ET, we invite you to join a national town hall “Conversations Across America” hosted by Fellows. In a series of rapid fire interviews, these Civil Society leaders will be in conversation with key members of their communities to speak on their hopes, fears, and dreams and what’s needed most for this country.

This is an opportunity to gain an understanding of what’s on the mind’s of Americans across ideology, identity, and geography post-election. Gain perspective and join this unique conversation.

Who You’ll Hear From:

The mosaic of Fellows and guests includes Indigenous Americans, People of Color (POC), members of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, conservatives, progressives, libertarians, socialists, and independents. See the speaker line up below with more to be announced.

  • Akbar Hossain, Policy Director, Shapiro for Pennsylvania, Civil Society Fellow, Philadelphia, PA
  • Aviva Nassimi, Senior Manager, Communications, Corporate Affairs, Pfizer, Civil Society Fellow, New York City, NY,
  • Brittany Hughes, U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Supervising Associate, Ernst & Young, Civil Society Fellow, Washington, DC
  • Caleb Cage, Founder, Arc Dome Strategies, LLC, Civil Society Fellow, Reno, NV
  • Derek Muller, Ben V. Willie Professor of Excellence, Election Law Professor, University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA
  • DeRionne PollardPresident, Nevada State College, Henderson, NV
  • Ellen Ray, CEO, Chicago Cares, Civil Society Fellow, Chicago, IL
  • Emma Robbins, Executive Director of the Navajo Water Project & Founder, The Chapter House, Los Angeles, CA and Navajo Nation
  • George McGraw, Founder and CEO, DigDeep, Civil Society Fellow, Los Angeles, CA,
  • James RudykExecutive Director at Northwest Center (NWC), Chicago, IL
  • Jorge MartinezTexas Director of Coalitions, The LIBRE Initiative, McAllen, TX
  • Juan Barnett, Mississippi State Senator District 34 (D), Jackson, MS
  • Melissa Hyatt, Chief of Police, Baltimore County Police Department, Civil Society Fellow, Towson, MD
  • Mia McCord, President, Hourglass Strategies, LLC, Civil Society Fellow, Austin, TX
  • Rebekah Staples, President and Founder, Free State Strategies, LLC, Civil Society Fellow, Jackson, MS
  • Roya Hakakian, Iranian American Jewish poet, journalist, and writer, CT
  • Rudy EspinozaExecutive Director, Inclusive Action for the City, Civil Society Fellow, Los Angeles, CA
  • Trae Corbin, Public Relations Office, Baltimore County Police Department, Baltimore, MD
  • Wilkeitha WashingtonCollege Student and Mother, New Orleans, LA
  • William Snowden, New Orleans Director, Vera Institute of Justice, New Orleans, LA, Civil Society Fellow

Moderated by: 

Nike Irvin 
Managing Director
Civil Society Fellowship  

Nike Irvin serves as managing director of the Civil Society Fellowship a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute for next generation community and civil society leaders, a joint partnership between ADL and Aspen Institute and new offering of the Aspen Global Leaders Network (AGLN). Based in Los Angeles, Nike led California Community Foundation’s (CCF) grantmaking for six years, overseeing grants to arts, education, juvenile justice and health. Before CCF, Nike served as president of The Riordan Foundation for seven years. She is active in American truth and reconciliation efforts with Kellogg Foundation and AGLN. Prior to her nonprofit career, she was a brand manager for Nestlé and Pepsi Cola. She is a trustee for The Riordan Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers, High Resolves, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and The Broad Center. Nike received a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale and was named one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” by UCLA Anderson School, where she earned her MBA. Nike is a Marshall Memorial Fellow. In 2016, she received LABJ’s Philanthropist of the Year award and recipient of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching award. Nike is a member of the 2004 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. 

About the Civil Society Fellowship, a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute

The Civil Society Fellowship is a leadership development program preparing the next generation of community and civic leaders, activists and problem solvers from across the political spectrum. The Fellowship provides participants the opportunity to engage in experiential learning and text-based dialogue, build trust among a diverse cohort of leaders based on shared insights and mutual respect, and put ideas into action through a required leadership venture. The Fellowship will launch a new cohort annually and is a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute. For more information visit civilsocietyfellowship.org

The 2020 Town Hall

On the backdrop of the 2020 United States Presidential election, one of the most divisive in recent history, 11 Civil Society Fellows were hosts of a virtual Town Hall that created common conversation on the state of the country and how we move forward collectively.

wATCH CLIPS FROM THE 2020 EVENT