To transform life after loss from an isolating experience into one marked by community support, candid conversation, and forward movement using the age-old practice of breaking bread.
We foresee a day in which people find amidst their deepest struggle the source of their deepest strength by connecting with others who’ve been there too, in an environment that’s accessible and familiar, and marked by deep connections over time; a day in which grief is free of stigma and silence; and in which those who’ve lived through loss or hardship, whatever its form, are recognized not as objects of pity, but as better listeners and better leaders, characterized by profound empathy, resilience, agency, and a commitment to living a life of meaning.
The Dinner Party is building a worldwide community of 20- and 30-somethings who have each experienced the loss of a parent, partner, child, sibling, or close friend. We screen, train and onboard a growing network of more than 300 peer hosts, and connect them to 10-15 would-be Dinner Partiers nearby, who share a similar age and loss experience. We then provide ongoing coaching and support in order to sustain each group over the course of a year or more. Since January 2014, we have grown from a few dozen people to more than 3,000, currently active at more than 275 tables in 100+ cities and towns worldwide. We’ve been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, CNN, NYT, O Magazine, BuzzFeed, and dozens of other publications, and as a case study in various books, including The Upside of Stress, The New Better Off, The Power of Meaning, and Death Over Dinner.
I co-host a Queer-centered/Straight-friendly table for The Dinner Party here in the Twin Cities. We do not police identity and are one of five open tables here in the Twin Cities, though we are the only Queer-centered space.
Sound like something you need? Just send me an email to chat about it!