Launched in 2017, the search for Nicest Places has resulted in thousands of stories of a kinder America.

A panel of eight experts in “nice” will work with the Reader’s Digest editorial team to select the 50 finalists.

 

(NEW YORK, NY) June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Over 31 furious days in May, Reader’s Digest collected more than 1,000 stories of places across America where people are kind and civility is winning as part of its third annual search for the “Nicest Places in America.” Now, a panel of judges will convene to choose the Nicest place in every state; and on June 21, Reader’s Digest will reveal the 50 Nicest Places in America.

With a final tally of 1,077 stories, an increase of 140% over 2018, it’s clear that Americans are more eager than ever to move past the current climate of conflict and focus on the positive.

“Since launching Nicest Places in 2017, the number of submissions has ballooned, with so many people hungry to tell us their stories of helping neighbors, welcoming strangers, and pulling together when times are tough,” said Reader’s Digest Editor-in-Chief Bruce Kelley. “I can’t wait to share these uplifting and inspiring stories with our readers.”

A panel of eight experts in “nice” will work with the Reader’s Digest editorial team to select the 50 finalists, one in each state. Then, America will vote on which place will get a cover story in the November issue of Reader’s Digest magazine. Nine others will also be featured.

The judges:

Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and second largest nonprofit.

David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times and Executive Director at the Aspen Institute, where he leads Weave: The Social Fabric Project. His latest book is “The Second Mountain.”

Gary Dixon, President of The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) and The Foundation for a Better Life.

Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor, the world’s largest social network for neighborhoods. Nextdoor enables local conversations, building safer and stronger communities.

Bruce Kelley, Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest

Steven Petrow, an award-winning journalist and book author who is best known for his Washington Post and New York Times essays on civility and manners.

Madeline Rogero, the 68th Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the first woman to hold the office. Knoxville is home to Yassin’s Falafel House, the 2018 Nicest Place in America.  

Geri Weis-Corbley, Known as ‘The Good News Guru’, Geri Weis-Corbley is the founder of Good News Network—the #1 website (and app) that delivers positive news from around the world—and author of a new book, “And Now, The Good News.”

To determine the winner, Reader’s Digest editors will consider the voting tally, the judges’ input and other relevant factors including, but not limited to, the embodiment of the spirit of the people in the place.  

This year, Reader’s Digest is teaming up with Nextdoor, the social network that helps neighbors around the world build real-world connections, stay informed and lend a helping hand to neighbors in need.

Launched in 2017, the search for Nicest Places has resulted in thousands of stories of a kinder America. In 2017, the heartwarming story of the winning place, Gallatin, Tennessee, was of a growing city struggling to heal painful racial divides when faced with tragedy. In 2018, the winning place told the story of Yassin Terou, a Syrian refugee whose falafel restaurant has become an engine of kindness and charity in Knoxville.

Reader’s Digest is partnering with local and national organizations to drive the Nicest Places search. Partners include Nextdoor, Feeding America, Catholic Charities, BYUtv’s Random Acts, National Association of Counties, Urban Libraries Council, Kind Campaign, American Booksellers Association, Weave, and the Good News Network.