WHAT IS THE DEMOCRACY CENTER?
- Headquarters For 5 Non Profit Organizations
- A 21st Century Meetinghouse:
- Host to over 100 national & local organizations
- Home to over 500 events per year & growing
The Democracy Center works to foster a more vibrant local and global democracy by supporting more sustainable, united and stronger communities of action. We do this by providing non-profits and other groups, which directly promote our mission, affordable space for meetings, events, fundraisers, etc. and by connecting student organizers to local campaigns.
Since its founding in 2001, the Democracy Center has gone through many changes. The Center is a vibrant activist and progressive community space located in the heart of Harvard Square. In a city where independent non-commercial space is rare, the Center provides an exciting alternative space for a variety of student and community groups in and around the Boston area.
The Center has become a true progressive community hub. From 60 families who pick up their farm shares every week in the summer, to local youth after-school programs, to author and Obama’s transition team strategist Mike Lux presenting his new book, the Center offers the progressive community a place to meet, network, collaborate and participate in other cultural and educational activities. In addition to providing space for events, movie showings, meetings, workshops, and classes, we are taking the first steps to develop our student-community organizing initiative. Our work lies in providing both student and community groups with the necessary information, training, and tools to work together in order to achieve our common goals for justice with peace.
Program Mission Statement
By offering affordable space and logistical resources to organizers, activists, creatives, and neighbors, particularly those with little or no budget, the Democracy Center’s Meetinghouse Program supports vibrant community organizing and community building toward a more sustainable, just, connected, expressive and equitable world.
- The Meetinghouse Program covers the ground level of the Democracy Center. This includes the four rentable rooms and access to common spaces (e.g., bathroom) in the center. On a case-by-case basis, it can include the Democracy Center Coordinator’s assistance in planning events.
- Community Organizing and Community Building - the Meetinghouse Program explicitly promotes and supports people and projects aimed at bringing about a more sustainable, just, connected, expressive and equitable world. We encourage un(der)funded progressive organizations to use the space.
- Inclusion and Partnership - We specifically encourage LGBTQIA2&+ people, people of color, women, neurodivergent folks, poor and working class people, undocumented immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, and youth to use our space to grow their movements. We do not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), immigration status, education, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, housing status, prior conviction record, or military status.
- Unfortunately, the Democracy Center is only partially wheelchair accessible, no accessible bathroom on site. The Mandela, Parks, and Chavez rooms are accessible, but the Library is not. Wheelchair users are welcome to use the accessible restroom at Daedalus while we plan our improvements for bathroom accessibility. To reach that bathroom, exit the ramp and turn left on Bow St, at the next building (Daedalus) use their accessible entrance and their restroom will be on the right.
- Our work to support community organizing and community building means that we are explicitly a working and building space for progressive movements. We do not host personal, private social functions (e.g., birthday parties). Event requests are evaluated by the Democracy Center Coordinator for how well they align with the Meetinghouse Program’s mission.
- The Democracy Center coordinator exercises sole discretion on decisions about event bookings. We welcome events and organizations from a wide ecosystem of approach and understanding while striving to maintain an atmosphere of accountable community, where traditionally marginalized people can thrive.
- In terms of maintaining a healthier and safer space for everyone, event organizers take primary responsibility for what happens at their events. Problems, abuses, and conflicts should be reported to the Democracy Center Coordinator, who may facilitate, support, or intervene as needed.
- At our heart, the Meetinghouse Program strives to create a community center atmosphere: honesty, transparency, collaboration, communication, grace, and flexibility from all parties make our work more successful and nourishing.
- More information on specifics of booking rooms can be found on our Guidelines & FAQ page.