How do people find out about my dinner?
Civic Dinners are designed to be inclusive and we prefer to have dinners that have a mix of both strangers and friends or acquaintances to make for an interesting conversation. We empower hosts with the responsibility of creating diverse tables, but diversity can mean demographic diversity (race, age, sex, location) or ideological diversity (conservative, liberal, religious, atheist) or socioeconomic diversity (student, retiree, CEO, working class). Until our diverse tables algorithm is ready for testing we rely on both the host and the platform for bringing people together. You can invite people by posting your dinner on Facebook, on Twitter, or printing out an invite and posting in your local coffee shop, student dorm room or by the water cooler at your office. And by posting your dinner on our platform, people searching for a dinner in your area will be able to see it and rsvp.
Who covers the cost of food?
No, hosts are not expected to pay for the meal. In fact Civic Dinners are meant to be either potluck where everyone brings a dish or at a restaurant where everyone pays for their own meal with separate checks. If a host wishes to provide a meal at home, they can decide to charge guests for the cost of food within reason and the cost should be listed on the platform. Fixed prices should not exceed $35 to keep dinners accessible. After all, it's not meant to be about the food. It's all about the conversation.
Am I responsible for keeping the conversation going? Or taking action?
As a host, your main role is in setting a date, a time and location for strangers and friends to gather together to talk about the Beloved Community. At the dinner, we provide you with a question guide with prompts and questions that guide the conversation, with one person speaking at a time. The third question generally moves into empathetic action, and guests will start thinking about what they can do to make the current situation better. This inevitably leads to desire for action, either as individuals or as a group. It's not the responsibility of the host to keep the group together or organize a follow-up. After the dinner, all guests and the host will receive an email from Civic Dinners asking for feedback on the dinner conversation and a menu of actions which they can take. Those who wish to take action will be provided next steps. The most common request after a dinner is for the host to provide contact information for all guests, which is certainly available through the Civic Dinners platform.