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Characters Unite Award Winners

Amy Lazarus


Amy Lazarus is the first Executive Director of Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), an organization whose mission is to develop everyday leaders who engage differences as strengths to improve campuses, workplaces and communities. SDCN is comprised of students from colleges and universities around the country who are using dialogue to alleviate their campus' social tensions and make their communities more cohesive. As Executive Director, Amy works tirelessly to build the Sustained Dialogue movement and to create a cadre of culturally inclusive leaders.

Amy brings a passion for - and over 10 years of experience working with - individuals and organizations to create inclusive environments. As an undergraduate at Duke University, Amy co-founded the student-run Center for Race Relations and the Common Ground diversity immersion retreat to create safe spaces for meaningful interaction. After participating in the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, Amy earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School, where she received the Dean’s Diversity Fellowship and Dean’s Leadership Fellowship.

Amy's research has focused on both best practices for training change agents in inclusion and the relationship between social entrepreneurship and economic development. She has presented internationally on social entrepreneurship, and has developed and conducted diversity trainings and strategy sessions for clients in the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Prior to joining the SDCN team, Amy worked at ICF International, consulting for federal agencies on diversity, inclusion and leadership development. In high school in Shaker Heights, OH, she was the head of her school’s Student Group on Race Relations.

SDCN is an initiative of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, which promotes the process of Sustained Dialogue for transforming racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted conflicts in the United States and abroad.

Amy is also a board member of Operation Understanding DC. She resides in Washington, DC, with her sister, who was a Sustained Dialogue moderator at Princeton.