Op-Ed

Eat, drink, talk at On the Table

Lisa Ashner Adkins
Lisa Ashner Adkins

You are invited to join with thousands of your Lexington-area neighbors, colleagues and friends by hosting or attending an On the Table mealtime conversation on Wednesday, March 15.

Blue Grass Community Foundation is launching On the Table to mark its 50th anniversary because we are committed to making Lexington, and all the communities we serve across Central and Eastern Kentucky, the most generous, vibrant and engaged places they can be.

We believe now, more than ever, that your voice matters and that there is a need and desire for civic and civil discourse. That’s exactly what will occur at more than 1,000 conversations across the city on March 15, as we discuss our quality of life in Lexington.

What do you love about Lexington? What needs to change? Most importantly, what are your ideas to solve Lexington’s most pressing challenges — how do we help make our community more vibrant, safer, sustainable and equitable? By meeting in small, informal groups of eight to 12 people around a table while breaking bread together, we’ll have the opportunity to discuss all these topics and more.

Your comments, feedback and ideas will help inform the Community Foundation’s priorities and grantmaking as we look forward to our next 50 years. But, even more immediately, they will help inform Imagine Lexington, the city’s comprehensive plan.

With 11,000 people participating in an On the Table conversation on March 15, we have more than doubled our goal of 5,000. It is not too late to join us and attend or host your own conversation. Everyone is welcome at our table. Families, youth and schools are encouraged to participate, too. You can register for On the Table now at bgcf.org/onthetable/register.

It is simple to participate. Some hosts are organizing mealtime conversations in their homes or offices. Others are hosting gatherings at local restaurants, libraries, schools, community centers and places of worship. It is the conversation that matters, not the cuisine; some meals will be doughnuts and coffee, potluck, bring your own brown bag, soup and salad or take-out pizza.

On the Table conversations are designed to be friendly, flexible, creative and fun. At Blue Grass Community Foundation, we know people invest in what they help create and big ideas can spring from small conversations. When we come together as a community to listen to and learn from each other, we accelerate our ability to work together and create greater solutions. On the Table is a starting place.

Finally, we believe in the power of partnership. On the Table is made possible by the efforts of many committed partners including the city of Lexington, its Division of Planning, Fayette County Public Schools, Leadership Lexington, Knight Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.

Your voice matters. Join us on March 15.

Lisa Ashner Adkins, JD, is president/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation, founded in 1967 to promote giving and improve the quality of life in Central and Eastern Kentucky. It has awarded more than $68.5 million in grants, including $6.5 million in 2016. For questions call 859.225.3343.

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