A Seat at the Table
During these uncertain times having difficult conversations are more important than ever. It is through these conversations, between people who may not otherwise have them together, that we can create meaningful change.
We invite you to have A Seat at the Table. An initiative of Treehouse Institute led by Chanel Jones (pictured right), A Seat at the Table aims to engage the community in having difficult discussions and conversations around entangled and complex subjects — race + privilege; sex, gender and identity; and climate change — through weekly meet-ups that will culminate in a family-style dinner. With the beginning of 2017 looking and feeling as exclusive and divisive as 2016, it is important we all pull up to the table—baggage and all—and continue to build and strengthen a more empathetic, compassionate, and understanding community.
There are two parts of A Seat at the Table. The first is our meet-ups. Completely open to the public, the first three Thursdays of the month will be casual, 1-hr long meet-ups at a brewery, a coffee shop, etc.
The second is our dinners. On the last Thursday of the month, we will have a small (limited to 8-10 people), intimate dinner with facilitated conversation. The dinner is completely free; we only ask that participants self-publish a reflection on their experience after attending the dinner. This must be something shareable online – a piece of writing, an audio recording, or video for example. To attend A Seat at the Table dinner, interested community members must fill out a brief application. Now, this next point is important and makes A Seat at the Table distinct— those invited to attend the dinner will be selected to over represent underrepresented populations. Far too often the tables where important discussions and decisions happen are over representative of heterosexual, Christian, economically wealthy, white men. That’s not okay and we won’t continue to accept this as the new normal. We hope you’re down for that.
Thank you for a successful first month with over 70 people attending our two meet-ups and 13 strangers attending our first facilitated dinner.
So, what’s next?
Join us! The full April schedule of A Seat at the Table meet-ups is coming this week. All meet-ups are free and open to the anyone and run 5:30-6:30pm. Beverages at our hosts businesses are available for purchase.
April 6th @ Creative Portland (84 Free Street, Portland ME)
April 13th @ Rising Tide (103 Fox Street, Portland ME)
April 20th @ Red Thread (1 City Center, Portland ME)
*April 27th @ Press Hotel (119 Exchange Street, Portland ME)
*This is a small group, intentional dinner. Learn more and request a seat here.
We realize this is not accessible for everyone. In addition, to our scheduled meet-ups, we hope that you find time to have these conversations, and invite us to join you!