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SE Michigan residents to break bread, discuss new ways to make communities better

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"We really do believe there’s a power in people getting together and sitting down and talking face-to-face about important issues that face their communities," Smiley said about Wednesday's event.";

The Next Idea

In an age where anonymous opinions posted online often drown out civil discourse, the idea of people sitting down to share a meal and conversation seems downright radical. 

But this coming Wednesday, groups of regular folks all over Southeast Michigan will be doing just that, and each gathering will address the same question: What can we do to make our communities places where young people can grow and thrive?

The event is called On the Table, and Melissa Smiley, special assistant and strategy officer for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, joined Stateside to discuss the upcoming event.

“The idea is really simple: Individuals and organizations all across the region will invite people to gather at tables and sit down and have a discussion about how to make the community a better place for young people to grow and thrive,” Smiley said.

Smiley says anyone can host, and these events will take place all day Wednesday in locations ranging from local YMCAs to people’s living rooms.

“We do think it is important to think about gathering together at a table and having a face-to-face conversation,” Smiley said. “And we think having some food there to get people to gather and eat together is an important part of it.”

Registration to attend or host a table is open through Wednesday, Oct. 4. Click here for more information.

Listen below for the full conversation.

The Next Idea is Michigan Radio’s project devoted to new innovations and ideas that will change our state.

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