InterFaith Works’ El-Hindi Center for Dialogue is Civvys Winner


Syracuse, NY– InterFaith Works of Central New York’s Ahmad and Elizabeth El-Hindi Center for Dialogue was honored Oct. 18, 2018 in Washington, D.C. as a winner of the 2018 American Civic Collaboration awards or Civvys. The center tied for first in the Local Category and was noted for its work in a variety of programs, most notably the Police-Community Dialogues, an initiative bridging the gap in understanding between the Syracuse Police Department and local community.

The awards hosts — Bridge Alliance Education Fund, Big Tent Nation and the National Conference on Citizenship — noted the dialogues organized by the El-Hindi Center, for having an immediate and lasting impact that presents a model for other communities to follow. Civvys judge Michele Holt-Shannon, who was also a 2017 Local winner, pointed out “the use of multiracial, multilingual facilitators expands the impact of the dialogues.”

InterFaith Works President and CEO Beth Broadway, who accepted the honor at the awards ceremony with Center for Dialogue Director Peter Willner, said the agency was honored to receive the award from its peers in democracy building. “Our work in leading deliberative dialogue for four decades has given our community and the people of our region the opportunity to find common ground in polarizing times,” Broadway said.

“Our work to build trusting relationships among diverse groups of people in many different settings across our community has never been more needed,” Willner added. “Meeting colleagues from across the nation this week in DC had been energizing and inspiring. We thank our community partners here in Central New York who share this award with us.”

Awards were presented to winners in four categories: national, local, youth and political, as well as an additional “Committee’s Choice.” Finalists were selected from a field encompassing all corners of American life and evaluated by a committee of reviewers – comprised of leaders from organizations such as the Kettering Foundation, Bipartisan Policy Center, Converge and Democracy Fund. The awards ceremony was held during the National Conference on Citizenship.

Organizers of Syracuse’s annual Duck Race to End Racism, the El-Hindi Center for Dialogue also sponsors the Community-Wide Dialogue to End Racism (the longest-running dialogue program of its kind in the nation), supports the Syracuse Chapter of the Seeds of Peace program and oversees the Starting Small School Exchange dialogue program. The center was established in 2012 through a gift from the Ahmad and Elizabeth El-Hindi Foundation to serve as a regional hub for constructive community engagement.

Empowering people in need, including refugees, the elderly and institutionalized, InterFaith Works of Central New York’ service and educational programs include the Center for New Americans, Ahmad & Elizabeth El-Hindi Center for Dialogue, as well as Senior Services and Interfaith Initiatives.