Hungry for Good Conversation
Everybody loves good food and good conversation. And there’s nothing quite like sharing a table with friends and family to make you feel connected and closer. There’s so much that divides us in the world today, but the dinner table can still bring us together.
That’s the idea behind Day of Dinners, a nationwide event planned for June 25. Created by Dream Defenders, an organization of grassroots activists based in Florida, Day of Dinners welcomes everyone to the table, in towns and cities all across the country. Strangers, neighbors, collaborators, adversaries—none will be turned away. We’ll pull up a seat, we’ll break bread, and we’ll speak our minds, fill our bellies, and grow our communities.
Can We Dream Together?
Dream Defenders is headed by our good friend, Umi Selah. Umi co-founded Dream Defenders in 2012, after Trayvon Martin was murdered in Sanford, Florida. He and his co-founders traveled to Florida college campuses, talking about Trayvon, talking about injustice, talking about the countless acts of violence committed against communities of color that go unpunished, unchecked, or unnoticed. They were looking for a new generation of leaders who were ready to do something about the criminalization of black and brown youth.
Dream Defenders is building a powerful grassroots movement for freedom and liberation in Florida. Too many children of color are being locked up, trapped in the school-to-prison pipeline. Too many neighborhoods are being torn apart. Too many families upended by over-policing and incarceration. As Umi has said, it’s hard to be poor, or black, or Latino in this country. More than that—it’s deadly. So Dream Defenders is pushing back, asking us all if we can dream together of a better way.
On June 25, we’ll dine together, and we’ll get to know one another — not as stereotypes or statistics, but as people, real live people with flaws and points of view and the best of intentions. People. And we’ll look each other in the eye and find that we have more in common than we ever thought possible.
Sounds too good to pass up, right? So here’s what you do:
- Go to the Day of Dinners website.
- Sign up to find a dinner near you. Or, if you’d like to host, register your home, church, synagogue, mosque, etc. to learn more about supporting a dinner.
- Prepare a dish that means something to you to share.
- On June 25, sit down for dinner with a group of beautiful human beings. Turn off your phone, describe the importance of your dish, and tell your story.
- At the end of the night, take a “family photo” and share it with the message, “We aren’t perfect; we’re family.”
Time to Tell a New Story
For too long our story in America has been one of division: us vs. them. Many of our leaders, seek to profit from that sense of division. But what if we started telling a new story, a better and more real and more important story?
On June 25, let’s break down the old narratives. Forget about red and blue, forget about pro- and anti- and just sit down with neighbors and friends and people you’ve never even met before, and eat. Pass a roll, pour some water, and tell your own story—but be sure to listen to everyone else’s too. We think that before the day is through you’ll be amazed by how much unites us. That’s the new story. And it starts at the dinner table.