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5 Things to Know for Hosting an On the Table Conversation

On the Table is a week-long, conversation-based initiative that aims to gather community members for meaningful conversations to build personal connections and explore how we can create stronger communities together.

We invite you and your families, neighbors, colleagues and friends to pull up a chair, share a meal, and discuss the ways in which we — as individuals and as a collective — can, and do, work to make our communities more generous, vibrant and engaged.

It’s easy to host!

Often, we have these types of conversations without realizing it! This is an opportunity to have intentional conversations with friends, family, neighbors or colleagues about what you love and what you what to strengthen in your communities. Hosts determine the place, guests, time, and topics for their On the Table conversations. To ensure a safe environment for all participants and our community, conversations will take place virtually or in-person, following social distancing guidelines. Plenty of host resources can be found on, include a host toolkit for adults and youth as well as conversation guides on important topics including race relations, poverty, civic engagement and education.

Getting Started

Registering is simple. Just visit our website and fill out the form! If you don’t know all the details, fill out as best as you can and update us when you have the rest of the information. Before October 4, make plans for the location of your conversation. It can be anywhere! Let your guests know ahead of time what to expect: about how long the conversation will be, conversation format, or if they will need to download any virtual meeting software.

Your voice matters

We are doing this because your voice matters. These conversations are meant to bring a diversity of voices to the discussion of who we are and our vision for the future. Our actions matter too. When we gather, we want to come away with actionable items that can make the community a better place. Hosts are encouraged to be creative. The priority is to spark meaningful conversations with your peers.

Anyone can get involved

Anybody living in Richland or Lexington counties can participate in these conversations throughout the week of October 4-10! You don’t need a background in community leadership to play an active role in hosting a discussion. You can choose a private or public gathering. A private table will only include the guests you select and will not be listed on our website. If you choose a public table, this is open for anyone to attend and your event will be listed through Eventbrite. Public tables will only include virtual conversations at this time.

What’s next?

Did an exciting, actionable idea come from your conversation? Beyond the Table mini-grants are available up to $2,000 for projects increasing volunteer, promoting civic engagement, or sparking social change. Applications will open on October 4. Individuals with a fiscal sponsorship or nonprofit organizations can receive Beyond the Table mini-grants.

After the conversation

After the gathering, you can submit your guest information via the form provided so we can send them a brief survey. Feel free to complete the survey to share your thoughts and ideas that arose from these conversations. Be sure to look for the community report from us — we will share the ideas and outcomes from On the Table. We’d love to hear your personal stories, so be sure to share them on social media by using #OnTheTableCola or email us.