A Community Table
This is how we bring back the unity of community.
A Community Table is a conversation toolkit through which you can engage in structured, meaningful, solution-oriented conversations about the issues that matter most to you and your community. DU Grand Challenges (DUGC) provides the tools (sample invitations, conversation guides, facilitation training webinars, and more) that you need to host a conversation. You choose when, where, and with whom to have that conversation. To make A Community Table fully accessible, all materials are online, free, and available to download anytime.
What's the goal of A Community Table?
- Foster rich civic dialogue
- Build community capacity to solve public problems
- Identify opportunities to partner with you to tackle grand challenges.
We look forward to hearing your voice about issues that matter to you and how you think DU and the community can collaborate to address them. We will use the information to continue to inform our efforts and planning for the coming academic year.
A Community Table is modeled after The Chicago Community Trust's On The Table event. We offer our sincere thanks to the Trust for their encouragement and support for replicating their model.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it Amanda Gorman, America's first-ever youth poet laureate
A Community Table in Action
In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Community Table toolkit was used to structure Fireside Chats and Forums to engage participants in civic dialogues on a series of topics centered around "What is Community?" ranging from Green Justice to Healing Past Incarceration.View Fireside Chats & Forums
Host A Community Table Conversation
Hosts organize a conversation for a group of people which can be held in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid format. Groups between 5 and 10 people work best.
Hosts are responsible for:
- Registering your conversations
- Picking a date, time, and where to meet
- Inviting guests (whoever you want!) and communicating when and how you'll meet
- Reviewing the Table Host Guide and watching the facilitation webinars
- Facilitating your conversation
- Encouraging participant to complete the post-survey
- Completing your host survey
We also ask that you encourage participants to host their own conversations. Let's keep building our communities!
Host Materials - Democracy Edition
For guidance on facilitation, planning your conversation, and more, please check out the Host Handbook.
For the Democracy Edition of A Community Table, you can find the question prompts and other important information in the Democracy Edition Conversation guide. The guide is designed to ensure you have flexibility around what topics or events you want to discuss and which questions you want to ask.
Facilitator Training Webinars
This short webinar series covers everything you need to know to plan and host A Community Table. While you don't need to watch all of the videos at once, please do watch them sequentially. You can access the full video playlist here or use the links below to jump to a specific video.
- Video 1: An Introduction to A Community Table
- Video 2: Host Facilitation Overview
- Video 3: Facilitating the Content
- Video 4: Logistics & Resources
- Participant Recruitment Resources
If you choose to host a conversation in a virtual or hybrid format, here are some of the web platforms we've found easiest and most useful to host conversations on. Below, please find resources and tutorials for those platforms.
If you're a DU faculty member, staff member, or student, you have access to the professional version of Zoom. If you're not affiliated with DU, you can still use Zoom for free. The Office for Teaching & Learning has a host of resources on the ins and outs of using Zoom on their website. We recommend the following tutorials to get you started:
- How Do I Host a Video Meeting on Zoom?
- Inviting Others to Your Zoom Meeting
- How to Share Your Screen in Zoom
Google Hangouts allows you to host meetings (Google uses the term "video call") with up to ten people for an unlimited amount of time. In order to use this platform, you and your guests must all have Gmail accounts. We have created the tutorial below on basic topics including how to set up a video call, invite your guests, and use functions like "chat" while facilitating your conversation. We also recommend perusing Google's Hangouts Chat Help Center.
Cisco Webex allows you to host meetings with an unlimited number of participants for however you long you want. It also has features like screen sharing. We have created the tutorial below on basic topics including scheduling and running a meeting. If you use Webex, we recommend setting up an account now due to the high volume of users on the platform. Cisco also has a host of resources on their site including video tutorials and FAQs.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Tell the world about your ideas and insights! Please share the social media information below with your guests at the start of your conversation.
Make sure to tell us, too, by completing the host survey and providing the participant survey link to your guests. DU Grand Challenges takes your feedback seriously and integrates the ideas you share into our collaborative programming.
Tools for you:
Tools to share with your guests:
Not sure what to talk about? We invite you to peruse the resources below. Please note that these resources are not exhaustive. They are simply meant to be a conversation tools. If one of these issues resonates with you, you might consider sending the link to your guests beforehand to help orient the conversation. Please note that all resources are specific to Colorado.
- Education Access: Denver's Opportunity Gap
- Food Security
- Health Equity
- Immigration & Refugee Resettlement
- Resource Conservation
SHIFT RESEARCH LAB REPORTS
If you haven't heard of the Shift Research Lab, you definitely want to check them out. A program of the Piton Foundation, they provide reliable, objective data and analysis on some of Denver's most pressing issues. Check out their work below.
Families & Children
- Colorado's Youngest: A Profile of the 0-5 Population
- Early Childhood Development
- The Labor Market's Impact on Families
Faculty members are encouraged to host A Community Table conversations with friends, colleagues, community partners--whoever you like.
If you're specifically interested in integrating A Community Table into one of your courses, we encourage you to visit our A Community Table ePortfolio page for additional resources and tools.
Please contact us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
A huge shout out to our friends in DU DialogUes and Inclusion & Equity Education for collaborating with us to create these A Community Table materials. We so value and appreciate you sharing your time, energy, and wisdom with us. All things are better when we work together