A blurred aerial photo of a road behind a headshot of Ayinde Merrill on the right and a small NJCIC logo in the bottom left corner.

Ayinde Merrill named program officer for NJ Civic Info Consortium

The NJ Civic Information Consortium is thrilled to announce that Ayinde Merrill has joined the organization as its new Program Officer.

Ayinde is a lifelong Camden resident, activist, and organizer who has dedicated part of his career to increasing civic engagement within the city. He is the founder of non-profit organization Watu Moja, which is dedicated to connecting African American and Afro-Latino young adults to the global Afrikan community through arts and service.

Ayinde holds a bachelor’s degree in Afrikana Studies from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as a teacher at Rutgers Future Scholars facilitating courses on “artivism,” identity, and visual storytelling.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Consortium, we are confident that Ayinde’s passion for civic engagement and his extensive experience in the nonprofit sector will make him a valuable asset to the organization,” said Chris Daggett, Interim Executive Director and Board Chair. “We are excited to see the impact he will make in the community and look forward to working with him to empower New Jersey residents to engage with their government and community.”

As Program Officer, Ayinde will be responsible for developing a strong pipeline of prospective grantees and supporting current and former grantees of the Consortium. He will work closely with other members of the Consortium team to identify, research and evaluate potential grantees that align with the Consortium’s mission and goals. Additionally, Ayinde will build relationships with current and former grantees, providing guidance and support to help them achieve their objectives. He will also collaborate with other members of the Consortium team to develop and implement strategies for grant-making, evaluation, and impact measurement.

“I immediately jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Consortium, as its mission and goals align with my own,” Ayinde said. “Improving the quality of civic information by providing communities with trusted and verifiable information has transformative potential – especially in underserved communities.”

“When we have well informed and empowered citizens our democracy works better for the collective group,” he added. “This is what uplifting work looks like and I am proud to be here.”

Please join the Consortium in welcoming Ayinde to the team. His email address is [email protected].


The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds initiatives to benefit the State’s civic life and meet the evolving information needs of New Jersey’s communities. A first-in-the-nation project, the Consortium builds off the foundation laid by public media in the United States, and reimagines how public funding can be used to address the growing problem of news deserts, misinformation, and support more informed communities. For more information, visit njcivicinfo.org.