By Dylan Deprey
The City of Milwaukee is known for its diverse Summer festivals that attract thousands of people along the Lakefront each year. At the same time, Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in the country. It is a city of opportunity and amazing experiences, but also great pain and suffering.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation announced a way to bring people together to engage the many diverse communities in meaningful conversations. During a rooftop press conference atop Radio Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation announced the “On the Table” initiative, on July 20, 2017.
“On the Table offers a welcoming, accessible way for any and all people in our community to contribute their ideas and energy toward advancing a more vibrant connected region,” said Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation president and CEO. “Strong relationships strengthen community, and this effort will build the types of relationships that lead to collaborative actions and positive changes.”
The initiative allows individuals to host and invite a small group of people to a mealtime conversation to discuss the community issues that matter most to them. The event will take place at any time on Oct. 17, and anyone is available to register as a host and invite a table of 8 to 12 people.
The initiative will provide conversation starters to jump-start discussions, and tables have complete discretion over the topics discussed. Whether it’s breaking bread over breakfast, lunch or dinner, anywhere across the city, participants will continue a needed conversation.
“I think we all know that our region has what it takes to be a vibrant globally competitive 21st Century region, and doing that means we have to build upon our strengths. At the center of every success is relationships and that’s what is at the heart of ‘On the Table,’” said Marcus White Vice President of Civic Engagement, Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
White added that “On the Table” was a unique first step to build relationships, generate ideas and igniting action to better our communities. He noted that it wasn’t the solution, but more of a spark to lead to solutions.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation was also joined by participating leaders from cultural, fellowship, civic and community engagement foundations from across Milwaukee to encourage diverse groups across the City to join the conversation.
“When we talk about ‘how are we going to make this a viable global community where people are going to want to work, live and play,’ we need to engage in these crucial conversations that are difficult,” said Griselda Aldrete, President and CEO, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee.
For more information visit onthetableMKE.org