What + Why
We aim to repair the breach in our interpersonal relationships across political, ideological, and identity differences, leading to more civil discourse. And, we plan to do it in the most nourishing way we know – over supper!
This isn’t about a political party, or what is or isn’t happening in Washington. It’s about us, and our relationship to one another. Too often, we exist in echo chambers and see each other as monoliths: one-sided stereotypes who can be reduced to a single word or phrase.
Instead, we want to go beneath the headlines, to see each other as real people with real struggles, real fears, real hopes, and real dreams.
This project started in January 2017 as #100Days100Dinners, and since then we’ve hosted over 900+ dinners across the country. Due to demand and interest, we’re keeping the conversation going over the next year (at least) and we're building a bigger table while we're at it, taking the People's Supper experience online as well as reaching out to new towns and cities across the country.
Suppers are a place where we can come together over one of humanity’s most ancient and simple rituals. A place where we can share meaningful stories, good food, and a sense of community. A place where we can build understanding and trust.
We invite you to pull up a chair.
Want to host?
- We provide a hosting guide and resource folder full of tried and true methods for facilitating meaningful conversation. The host resources folder also has email templates, readings and poems, tips on organizing a potluck, a ritual zine full of ice breakers, ways to set the tone for supper, and much more!
Hosts receives an invitation to an online host training session with a People's Supper facilitator who can walk you through the how-to's for facilitating challenging and meaningful conversations, answer any questions, and offer tips.
Ready to host? We're looking forward to hearing from you!
Had a great supper?
Share your experience with the hashtag #PeoplesSupper, and we'll amplify it to the whole community!
Looking for What’s Next?
Sign up for our newsletter. There, you’ll find resources and updates on how to take the next step. We’re in the process of developing resources for: follow-up dinner parties, bystander intervention online teach-ins, unconscious bias trainings, or any one of an array of related offerings from our participating partners.
1. What is the goal of The People's Supper?
We aim to do nothing short of repair the breach in our interpersonal relationships across political, ideological, and identity differences, leading to more civil civic discourse.
This isn’t about a political party, or what is or isn’t happening in Washington. It’s about us, and our relationship to one another. It’s about the fact that we exist in echo chambers, and, too often, see each other as monoliths: one-sided stereotypes, who can be reduced to a single word or phrase. It’s about the fact that beneath the headlines are real people with real struggles and real fears and real hopes and real dreams. Our goal is to make space for folks to hear, and to be heard.
2. Who's pulling this thing together?
3. What does a host need to do? What’s involved?
Host a dinner-time conversation among friends, neighbors or acquaintances in your network whom you'd like to get to know better. Build a guest list, decide on your conversation “track” and the location and the type of food you want to serve. We'll share everything you need to make it an easy and memorable night: hosting guidelines, template emails, facilitation tips and support.
Nope. We’re big believers in potlucks. While it's perfectly acceptable (and generous) to take on cooking the entire meal yourself, potlucks are a great way to get everyone working together from the get-go. Hosts should be prepared to serve the main dish, but guests should bring the rest. We'll send you a template potluck sign-up sheet, among other things.
4. Hold-up, am I agreeing to feed 10 mouths single-handedly?
STEP 2: GET EQUIPPED. We’ll supply each host with (1) guidelines, template emails, and other digital resources as well as online trainings with expert facilitators who are practiced in the art of hard conversation.
STEP 3: SHARE YOUR STORY. Following the supper, share a photo or a story from the night, using the hashtag #PeoplesSupper. We’ll use those stories and insights to create an open-sourced guide for those who recognize some of our hardest conversations are those most worth having, and who seek training and insights in how to do them better.
5. How does the hosting process work?
These are materials that are meant to help set the mood and expectations for the supper. By reading these materials, people are committing to the tenants of both spaces.
We Agree is a statement of openness. The People's Supper consists of people sharing their stories. There may be times that people will disagree but they must be open to hear each other and attempt to understand where the other person is coming from. We Agree creates a space of sharing and learning.
Brave Space is a statement that while no space is perfect, people who come to a People's Supper will be supported in this imperfect space and be able share our stories. So while people share their stories and bare their scars, the group has a responsibility to elevate and hear their stories. Brave Space works to create a space that is supporting, healing, and nurturing to all involved.
6. What are these We Agree and Brave Space printouts?
Awesome. And yes, just not at one table. That simply means you’ll need multiple hosts, and a space large enough to hold everyone. Fill out the host application and let us know how many you have in mind, and we’ll be in touch to talk more about your supper event.
7. I can easily rally a crowd to participate. Can more than 8-10 people join a supper?
We invite hosts in Track I: Healing and Connecting to bring together folks you know for a conversation about what healing looks like during these challenging times. This track is especially catered to attend to the needs of those most dramatically impacted by the uptick in violence since the election--particularly people of color, immigrants, LGBT+ folks, and religious minorities.
We encourage hosts of Track II: Bridging, to reach out beyond your close circle of friends to dialogue with folks across lines of difference. You may consider reaching out to a larger community by co-hosting your event with a local church or nonprofit. Consider asking your guests to bring a friend, or invite people from your network that don’t already know each other.
Lately we've been hearing from many people looking to invest in new friendships and connect with others in a meaningful way. The questions and format of either Track I or Track II provide a rich and thoughtful conversation for people looking to strengthen their ties to one another.
8. Who should I invite?
No worries. Occasionally we have supper opportunities come up that are open to the public. Check out our Join a Supper page to see if we have one coming up near you. Nothing on the calendar that fits your schedule? Click the "Join a Supper" button and we'll be sure to let you know when there's another event in your area.
9. I’d love to join a supper, but I don’t have the capacity to host.
Get creative. The priority is to create an atmosphere conducive to meaningful conversation – a potluck in your dining room, a film screening paired with picnic, a gathering at a neighborhood restaurant, or a backyard BBQ are just some of the many possibilities. As a host, you’ll receive The People's Supper host toolkit to get the creative juices flowing and we’ll connect you to a network of peers rocking this thing out.
10. What should this event look like?
We encourage all participants to share insights, photos and videos on social media throughout the day, using the hashtag #PeoplesSupper. At the conclusion of each supper, we’ll share resources to help guests and hosts take the next step, whatever that may be — whether that’s a follow-up potluck, a bystander intervention workshop, or a public theology intensive for people of faith, an unconscious bias training, or any one of an array of related offerings from our participating partners. We will share further opportunities to go deeper at a local and national level, inviting hosts to supplement resource lists with local volunteer opportunities and knowledge of their own.
11. What happens after the supper?