America's Dinner Table

The Leadership Dallas Alumni Board of the Dallas Regional Chamber were the impetus for Dallas Dinner Table (DDT). Following the dragging death of James Byrd in 1998 in nearby Jasper, the Alumni Board of Leadership Dallas sought a way to bring people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds together for a facilitated conversation about race/racism and the dinner table concept was born. The first dinner table was held on October 7, 1999.

DDT later transitioned to an independent nonprofit organization led by volunteers. In addition to a signature MLK Day event, DDT facilitates requests for Private Dinner Tables and Community Dinner Tables throughout the year with corporations, schools, community, and nonprofit organizations.

In 2021, DDT began its long-planned expansion to America’s Dinner Table (ADT), continuing to provide the dinner table experience to communities not only in Texas, but across the nation. Events can be planned in the virtual or in person setting, and ADT prepares materials based on the needs and diversity initiatives of each organization.

America’s Dinner Table also certifies individuals in association with companies, churches, and other nonprofit organizations who seek to host their own Dinner Tables in local venues for their community.

The Dallas Dinner Table

The Dallas Dinner Table commemorates the celebration of the annual Martin Luther King National Holiday.  We host, encourage, and provide training for facilitators, corporations, organizations, schools, and various non-profits to host dinner table experiences to:

  • Encourage communication about race relations and the impact of ethnicity on relationships 
  • Educate participants about perspectives held by others related to race relations
  • Empower citizens to develop relationships with people from a variety of racial/ethnic groups.

Let’s continue to have conversations that matter to create actions that lead to real change. Join our mailing list to stay updated and be a part of the conversation. We host in-person and virtual events throughout the year.  

What can I expect at the dinner?

Dinners involving 8 to 10 participants of balanced diversity will be held simultaneously throughout the DFW metroplex at different locations in homes, churches, businesses, and restaurants on the evening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday.

Do bring an open mind and willingness to share your personal experiences.  Trained facilitators will lend structure to the evening and utilize established techniques designed to minimize debate and maximize understanding among people representing different backgrounds and cultures.  The program design allows for 90 minutes of discussion with a target completion time of 9:30 p.m.

Is there a fee to participate in the Dallas Dinner Table? No, there is no charge to attend. Dinner is provided through the generosity of our hosts. Please feel free to make a donation to the Dallas Dinner Table so that we may continue this program.

Please make a donation to the Dallas Dinner Table; your gift will enable us to continue our mission, including our annual Dallas Dinner Table event and our ongoing outreach throughout the year.

Who should attend? Anyone who is interested in exploring ideas about race and participating in thought-provoking group discussions.

Okay, I want to participate! What can I do?  Once registration opens, register for the event and participate as either a Guest, Facilitator or Host.  Guests are expected to arrive promptly by 6:00 pm at their designated dinner location on the day of the event and be prepared to hear and share their diverse perspectives about the impact of race in their daily lives with their fellow guests, facilitator, and host.  Facilitators will attend orientation sessions prior to the event so that they will be prepared to guide dialogue at each table towards cross-cultural communication with a focus on personal action and growth, and foster the advantages of cross-racial relationships.  Hosts provide an evening meal, either privately or with resources provided by their religious organizations or businesses, to participants.

Where are the dinners held? Dinners are held in private homes, churches, businesses, or restaurants and hosted by gracious citizens who provide an evening meal to participants from diverse backgrounds.

Is there a fee to participate in the Dallas Dinner Table? No, there is no charge to attend. Dinner is provided through the generosity of our hosts. Please feel free to make a donation to the Dallas Dinner Table so that we may continue this program.

Explore this website to learn more about the Dallas Dinner Table and how you may participate. Join our email list to stay informed of developments for Dallas Dinner Table throughout the year.  Donate to the Dallas Dinner Table, we are an independent non-profit organization focused on improving race relations in the DFW metroplex; every donation, large or small, is important and greatly appreciated.