past event
Civic Action

Towards a More Civil Society: Town Hall 2.0

The Civil Society Fellowship’s, a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute, mission is to build civil discourse across difference. This was exemplified in the virtual Town Hall: Conversations Across America on December 2 to meet the need for a space where Americans from across the country and political spectrum could come together and start making sense of what comes next after a divisive midterm election.

The town hall allowed folks to really hear from one another on their greatest hopes, dreams, and fears going forward. We invite you to carry on these conversations into your neighborhoods and communities. Practice your muscles of listening and conversation in your community and rewatch and share the Town Hall:

2022 Civil Society Town Hall

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

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