Cultural Strategy’s Role in Voter & Civic Engagement

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Cultural Strategy’s Role in Voter & Civic Engagement

Join Culture Surge, Harness and the Native American Community Development Institute for a conversation on strengthening the social and civic infrastructure of communities.

October 5, 2022

Community-based organizations around the country are working to increase and sustain civic engagement among their communities to advance resident agency and collective action towards more equitable outcomes. By working in collaboration with cultural strategists and artists, many of these organizations are contributing to increased voter and civic engagement, thus strengthening the social and civic infrastructure of communities.

Join Culture Surge, Harness and the Native American Community Development Institute for a conversation on how culture and creativity are being used to develop culturally relevant strategies in partnership with artists, culture bearers, cultural strategists and community organizers.

This webinar is sponsored by The Kresge Foundation. The event will provide an opportunity to learn from three organizations working at the intersection of civic engagement and cultural strategy and will highlight how creative practices can contribute to a more just and engaged democratic process.


Moderator: Pacita Rudder
Pacita Rudder is a descendant of Ghanaian and Bajan ancestors and spent her formative years growing up in England, Ghana and the United States. She brings her passion for cultural strategy and creativity into movements for justice. Pacita is the Senior Programs Manager at Harness, leading on initiatives that bring together artists, organizers, influencers, and cultural strategists to collaborate on projects and campaigns that shift culture. Her previous work at Power California as the Cultural Strategies Manager included designing and executing strategic campaigns, rooted in culture and narrative, to mobilize youth of color to lead and engage in political action. Prior to that, Pacita helped lead grassroots, electoral organizing campaigns with Oakland Rising and Bay Rising, leveraging her digital organizing experience to build progressive political power in the Bay. 

Pacita graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Comparative Cultures and Politics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, making beats in her pajamas, writing, and reading about all things spirituality. She believes that every human being has a place to fill that no one else can fill and something to do which no one else can do.


Speaker: Allie Young
Allie Young is a citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation from the Northern Agency of the reservation in Northern New Mexico. Young serves as the Program Manager & Founder of Protect the Sacred at Harness. She is a storyteller and writer on a mission to increase the authentic representation of Native people in TV, film, and mainstream media by sharing the stories and traditions of her ancestors to help her community persevere in a world where they are largely invisible, underrepresented, and misrepresented. She founded Protect the Sacred,a program that focuses on educating and empowering the next generation of Navajo and Indian Country leaders and allies. Through Protect the Sacred, Allie makes certain Native voices are centered in culture and policy, especially the voices of Indigenous youth and womxn. It is her objective to ensure that the stories of her people are no longer history – the fabricated American narrative perpetuated in textbooks and Hollywood Westerns. Instead, they will be authentic and from the original peoples, the original storytellers of this land.


Speaker: Carly Hare 
Carly Hare (Pawnee/Yankton) is committed to advancing equity and community engagement in both her professional and personal lives. She is a proud mother, daughter, sister, auntie, partner, ally, friend, and equity advocate. Her Pawnee name is <i kita u hoo <i ]a hiks, ‘kind leader of men'.

Hare currently serves as the first executive director of Culture Surge. Previously, Hare navigated the intersections of philanthropy and equity as the Coalition Catalyst/National Director of CHANGE Philanthropy and led Native Americans in Philanthropy as its Executive Director. She has also held the positions of Director of Development for the Native American Rights Fund and Director of Programs for Community Foundation Boulder County.

Hare routinely serves on boards and commissions that reflect her values. Currently she is serving as chair for the Highlander Research and Education Center and for Impact on Education (Boulder Valley School District Foundation). She is the treasurer for the Pawnee Evening Star Fund and is on the advisory committee for the Boulder County Marshall Fire Recovery Fund. In 2021, Hare chaired the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission and served on the boards of Common Counsel Foundation, the Women & Girls of Color Fund at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and Equity in the Center. 

Carly Hare is known for balancing grace with grit, filling a room with her generous laugh and powerful lulu. 


Speaker: Elizabeth Day
Elizabeth Day (Anishinabe) serves the American Indian Urban community in Minneapolis by working as the Community Engagement Projects Manager at the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI). NACDI’s work is founded on the belief that all American Indian people have a place, purpose and a future strengthened by sustainable community development. The main tracks of Elizabeth’s work target civic engagement and healthy food access within the metro area. Elizabeth oversees the year-round voter mobilization project Make Voting A Tradition, and leads the Four Sisters Farmers Market, from planting through harvest season. While born on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe reservation, Elizabeth was raised in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area; she is happy to call both the reservation and cities her home. Elizabeth has an arts background and has been making films and videos since 2003. Day blends her Native American heritage with her urban upbringing to create films that employ traditional Ojibwe-style storytelling while using contemporary filmmaking techniques.

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