The Decatur Dinner's vision for building community was developed by the Decatur Dinners Design Team, a group of people committed to bring this important conversation to the forefront.  Design Team partners include representatives from City Schools of Decatur, Decatur Housing Authority, Better Together Advisory Board, Decatur Education Foundation, Out of Hand Theater, Both And Partners, and One Small Change Inc.

Like the rest of the nation, the City of Decatur is struggling with issues of race and equity, discrimination, gentrification, poverty and political division. We believe Decatur can lead the country in finding a way to truly talk to each other and bridge our divides. The Decatur Dinners can be a big first step in training the entire community on how to see things from a different perspective and how to better support each other.

We recognize that we’re seeing racial disparities in our school systems when it comes to discipline and achievement. These issues reach beyond the school district into our city and community. We felt a series of dinners and courageous conversations -- focused on our town and race and equity -- would help to get everyone on the same page to work on ideas for change in our community. 

The Decatur Dinners were thought provoking and provided a great opportunity to hear perspectives from people who were different from me.
— Fanta Brooks, City Schools of Decatur parent and Member of Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights
Decatur High School Students had their own dinner on April 28th

Decatur High School Students had their own dinner on April 28th

Decatur Dinners are modeled after the highly successful Chicago Dinners™ Dialogue Project which brings diverse groups of people together to foster community discussions about critical social issues. We’ve added something to the Chicago model – a one-person short play.


Dr. Dietra Hawkins shares the history of the Chicago Dinners and why we use this model to create a safe space for people to have difficult conversations.

Our dinners will focus on race and equity – topics which are timely and important for our schools and our community at large. Together we’ll create stronger community by getting to know one another over a meal and facilitated discussion.