Host a Civic Dinner and Bridge the Racial Divide


Nothing brings people together quite like a good meal. For me and my family, it was my grandma’s world-famous (well, southeast Michigan famous) spaghetti that almost always drew a large crowd. Now, I know here in the south the food has a little more soul, but there’s something about sharing the joy of a full belly that allows family, friends, and complete strangers to come together around the dinner table, to share in conversation.

Our family at Hands On Atlanta is no different. Every year on the Sunday before MLK Day, we host our annual Signature Sunday Supper. We’re joined by corporate and community leaders, activists, teachers, and students to share with each other, often around a principal or vision of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our 2019 Signature Sunday Supper is sold out, but this year we’re going really big and want you to join the conversation.

We’re teaming up with The King Center, Civic Dinners and Mailchimp to help launch a national conversation around Bridging the Racial Divide, with a goal of getting 1,000 Civic Dinners to happen all across the United States! While the campaign officially kicks-off on Sunday, January 20 at our Signature Sunday Supper, we’re hoping to secure 53 Civic Dinners in Atlanta through February, in honor of the 53rd edition of [insert alternative name for a really big, huge and awesome football game here].

How it Works

The way a Civic Dinner works is super simple. You’ll start with introductions, and then get into three big questions, with one voice at a time, and equal time to share. While everyone loves to talk, you are there to listen far more than speak. And most importantly, you should share from your heart, be real, and be kind.

Your Role as a Host

As a host, your main role is setting a date, a time and location for friends, neighbors and colleagues to gather together over food and follow the simple conversation guide Civic Dinners created for Bridging the Racial Divide.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind as a host:

  • Select a date register your dinner on

  • Dinners can be in homes or restaurants (like at partners King + Duke or Miller Union)

  • Everyone pays for their own meal or brings a dish if it is potluck, so there is

    no cost burden on the host

  • The Host Guide (you’ll receive after sign up) includes all prompts and questions that guide the conversation so you can sit back, relax and listen as you follow the guide

  • Civic Dinners are designed to be inclusive, so try to invite diverse voices to

    the table to create a robust conversation

  • Remember to share photos with @handsonatlanta, @thekingcenter and @CivicDinners using the hashtag #bridgethedivide

  • After the dinner, Civic Dinners will follow up with guests with a survey link to

    share their reflections, ideas and actions with The King Center to inform a

    national report on how we can bridge the racial divide

Get Started

Signing up to host a Civic Dinner is easy! It’ll take you just a few minutes to get set up and start inviting your network. Don’t feel like hosting, but want to attend? Perfect. There are plenty of open dinners you can join. Don’t wait, start planning your Civic Dinner now.