project leader
Ricardo R
location
Virtually
(Cleveland)
latest update rss
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the project

Have you ever wanted a safe space for an honest conversation about the state of race and equity in Cleveland? The Cleveland Dinners gives you that safe space around the table, in both virtual and live settings. With our model, we aim for diverse groups of people to share a meal with facilitated dialogue on race and equity, helping bridge the gap that separates many of us.

We are working to unite Cleveland now more than ever through our virtual dinners. We are responding to the long term impacts of social isolation due to COVID-19, since neighbors are social-distancing and many are staying mostly at home. 

Why: For years in Cleveland, we have confronted the issues of discrimination, poverty, gentrification, racial disparities, as well as religious and political divisions, among others. With the Cleveland Dinners, we believe that building a strong foundation for open and honest dialogue on these difficult issues starts with providing a safe space. For us, that safe space is the dinner table (virtual and live) where we break bread together. We believe by sharing a meal with people of diverse backgrounds, we open ourselves to seeing issues from vastly different angles, simultaneously feeding our human need for meaningful connection. This opens a whole new world of opportunities to bridge the divide we may have with others, at the same time helping us support one another in our neighborhoods as we powerfully and collectively tackle and resolve the shared critical issues of the day. 
 

How:

  • An actor jumpstarts the evening, offering guests an emotional performance (of 10-15 minutes) that looks into one’s life. This allows people to share their own stories without first requiring a person of color to put their personal pain on display. Given we will host a dinner at a different neighborhood each month, we aim for the actor and playwright for each monthly dinner to be from the very neighborhood where that dinner is organized, as they know what messages resonate most with their neighbors.
  • Designated Facilitators guide and keep the conversation on track in every group.
  • Intentional Diversity in every virtual breakout room and dinner group, mixed by race, geography, economics, and age. Based on who signs up, our design team helps disperse the guests to maximize the presence of different perspectives in each breakout group (virtual format) and at the table (live format).
  • Strategic Community Engagement and planning. We do not rely solely on hosts to recruit guests; we actively work with community partners to reach out to the whole community. Just as with our approach with the actors and playwrights, it is the community groups and organizations on the ground in each neighborhood that know best how to engage and recruit their fellow neighbors.
  • Selective Media Buzz highlighting a bigger picture, to stretch well beyond just one event.

 

When: To start, our virtual dinners will be every other month. Once the community support and structure are in place to handle it, our dinners will be monthly.

 

Where: Currently, dinners are virtual from anywhere you would like. Once it is safe again and social distancing measures are lifted, dinners will be live in homes, places of worship, and community spaces across Cleveland.

the steps

1) Send an invitation to engage to the following: all community groups, non-profits, foundations, and places of worship; all local elected officials and heads of municipal agencies (includes the Chief of Police and the Chief of Fire); the CMSD CEO and all CMSD principals; All private school principals; Presidents of all local colleges; Presidents of all local hospital systems.

2) Pay for the rights of performance for our first few monthly dinners;

3) Recruit neighborhood hosts, facilitators, and actors;

4) Recruit local theater companies to develop short plays and secure actors;

5) Pay for Video-conferencing services (e.g., Zoom).

why we're doing it

For years in Cleveland, we have confronted the issues of discrimination, poverty, gentrification, racial disparities, as well as religious and political divisions, among others. We believe that building a strong foundation for open and honest dialogue on these difficult issues starts with providing a safe space. For us, that safe space is the dinner table (virtual and live) where we break bread together. We believe by sharing a meal with people of diverse backgrounds, we open ourselves to seeing issues from vastly different angles, simultaneously feeding our human need for meaningful connection. This opens a whole new world of opportunities to bridge the divide we may have with others, at the same time helping us support one another in our neighborhoods as we powerfully and collectively tackle and resolve the shared critical issues of the day. Ultimately, the more dialogue we have with one another, the closer and stronger Cleveland neighborhoods will be.

budget

6-MONTH BUDGET BREAKDOWN

Script Rights/Actor Performance: $4,500 per virtual dinner

Virtual Software: $100

Facilitator Fees: $3,600

Promotional Material: $500

Website Maintenance: $600

 



PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED = $9,300
ioby Platform Fee waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) waived
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
$288
TOTAL TO RAISE = $9,588
Please note: ioby fees are estimated and will be calculated based on totals at the end of the campaign.  

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • diana r.
  • Diana R.
  • Ann H.
  • Anonymous
  • Charlie Butts
  • Anonymous
  • Francisco
  • Dietra H.
  • Amber M.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous