Dr. Bill Benet President & Senior Fellow The Center for Democratic Values
Dr. Bill Benet is an educator/researcher/activist who developed the Polarities of Democracy theory at the University of Toronto in 2006. He has over 50 years’ experience in politics, peace & justice organizing, union activism, community development, small business management, organization development, social economy entrepreneurship, fostering collaborative community/campus partnerships, and advancing the democratization of public education. Following three years in the US Army (1965-1968), he served 28 years in the Monroe County Legislature as an elected representative from Rochester, New York, including five years as Majority Leader.
Dr. Benet currently holds academic appointments as a Dissertation Committee Chair with Walden University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, an Associate Researcher with the University of Toronto’s Adult Education and Community Development Program, and a Senior Fellow with Bentley University’s Service Learning Center. In addition, Dr. Benet serves as the President and Senior Fellow of the Center for Democratic Values and as the Executive Director of the Graduation Pledge Alliance.
The Polarities of Democracy model serves as a theoretical framework for the democratization of workplaces and society in order to address the social and environmental challenges that we face on a local, national, and global level. Dr. Benet uses the Polarities of Democracy to promote participatory practices that allow citizens, workers, families, organizations, and communities to unleash their creativity and strengthen their capacity for research and social change initiatives that promote social and environmental responsibility. It is being used around the world as a guide to build healthy, sustainable, and just communities.
The Center for Democratic Values Established 1984
The Center for Democratic Values is the organizational home for the Polarities of Democracy. The Center was incorporated in 1984 as a New York State nonprofit organization. The purposes of the Center for Democratic Values as adopted on May 17, 1984 are:
To articulate and communicate the fundamental values underlying our democratic republic and necessary to its survival;
To seek to return public education to its inherent purpose, to wit: the preparation of responsible citizens; and
To examine current issues within the context of fundamental democratic values, to demonstrate the relationship between the progressive movement and those fundamental values, and to demonstrate the patriotic nature of those progressive positions.
The Center for Democratic Values Board of Directors
Chair: Elaine Spaull Vice Chair: Sheila Williams Treasurer: Jeff Morris Secretary: Allen Krisiloff Member at large: Desi Benet
Vision & Mission Adopted November 10, 2015
Vision: The Center for Democratic Values seeks to ensure an understanding of the fundamental values required to attain and sustain democracy as a system that achieves human emancipation, overcomes all forms of oppression, and supports the survival of our human species.
Mission: To promote the Polarities of Democracy as a theoretical framework for progressive social change initiatives that build healthy, sustainable, and just communities.