The Longest Table returns to Sinclair to spark conversation in Dayton community

Credit: Sinclair Marketing

Credit: Sinclair Marketing

The Longest Table is returning to Sinclair College from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20 to spark conversation with Daytonians over a free meal.

“We tend to live in echo chambers. We tend to surround ourselves with people that think and act like ourselves, so what that does is no one challenges (each other),” said Sinclair’s Chief Diversity Officer Michael Carter. “When we encounter people who are very different than us it challenges our preconceived notions.”

The goal of the event is not only for attendees to have conversations with people they typically would not encounter on a daily basis, but to find how they can relate to each other.

Credit: Sinclair Marketing

Credit: Sinclair Marketing

“I think right now we focus on differences, and this is an opportunity for us to focus on the sameness we have in a lot of areas,” Carter said.

The Longest Table is open to the public. Registration is not required. Attendees can “come and go” at their convenience while they grab a free meal and have a conversation. There will be a list of “conversation starters” at the tables with questions such as:

  • What songs would be part of the soundtrack of your life and why?
  • Where did you grow up?
  • Who has been the strongest influence in your life?
  • What do you want your life to be like in 5 years?
  • What is your “go to” restaurant?

The Longest Table movement started in Dayton in 2016 where nearly 60 dining tables spanned the Third Street Bridge, bringing together hundreds of residents hungry not only for a meal but a stronger community. UpDayton, a young professionals group, organized the event, which has sparked many other community conversations across the Dayton area.

Sinclair has been hosting The Longest Table for about five to six years. Carter said he would love to resurrect the movement that took place on the Third Street Bridge.

The Longest Table will be held in the plaza outside of Building 7 at Sinclair’s Dayton Campus, 444 W. Third St., Dayton.

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