Invigorating civic engagement through
community conversation and storytelling


As a part of the national "Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation" initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Forum is supporting a series of events and activities around voting, engagement, and democracy to strengthen civic connection and participation throughout Alaska.

Across the country, this initiative includes exhibitions, explorations of history, public panels, and radio talk shows oriented around civic engagement in our democracy. 

The Forum invites Alaskans to join in on the conversation.  Below are some ways to get involved:

1. Alaska Voting Stories: What's Your Voting Story?
We are now gathering submissions of Alaskans' voting stories and reflections to document, highlight, and spark conversation around the diversity of experiences with voting in our state. Submit your story here, and explore the growing collection within our virtual gallery! Stories will be transferred to the University of Alaska’s Archives and Special Collections after a year to preserve and honor the voices that contributed.

2. Voting Story Circles
To encourage sincere conversations and reflections on voting experiences, we are funding individuals who would like to host their own story circles with friends, coworkers, or fellow community members. Receive a $250 stipend and a facilitation guide to host a story-based conversation.
Get details and apply!

3. Community Conversations to Spark Civic Engagement
Bringing people together to talk, think, and listen, this series of online events hosted in collaboration with community partners is scheduled throughout April. Designed around a variety of civically engaging topics, these events are opportunities to practice the tough conversations core to our democracy. Check out our events page for details!

4. The Togetherings: On Representation
To deepen the discussion on civic engagement, we are partnering with the Alaska Center to produce three episodes of The Togetherings around the theme of representation. The Togetherings are recorded conversations with Alaskans from all walks of life sharing their perspectives on big questions and diving into what matters from their point of view. Stay tuned for more information!

All programming will conclude by April 30th. Please reach out to Lev Greenstein at [email protected] for more information!

Anyone who submits a story or hosts a Voting Story Circle will receive our Why-It-Matters thank you package with original stickers designed by Alaska artists Ted Kim and Alyssa Quintyne, a conversation card deck, and an AKHF notebook.