Daily emails and a family-style dinner create space for community conversations

The United Way of Bay County asks us to spend September talking about the tough topics.

The United Way kicks off its annual fundraising campaign late in September. Before that happens, though, the agency is fostering community-wide conversations on race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veterans, and the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population.

Graphic courtesy of the United Way of Bay CountyIt all begins with a virtual 10-day Unity Challenge.

Participants who sign up for the Unity Challenge will read, watch videos, learn, and take action based on prompts from the daily challenge email. The challenge, which runs Sept. 6-19, is designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of their neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family members.

Click here to sign up for the Unity Challenge.

Graphic courtesy of the United Way of Bay CountyThe next conversation takes place over dinner at “The Longest Table.”

The table is literal. A table extending a city block on Washington Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets. Community members are invited to take a seat at the table, enjoy a meal together, and talk to people they may not typically meet.

The goal of sitting down together is to create connections between people who may not typically meet each other.

The Longest Table event is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 21. Tickets are $80 or $100 each and available through Facebook.

“The event, taking place on September 21st from 5:30 to 8 p.m., intends to open the door for conversation between those that may not typically have the chance to socialize, let alone sit down and share a meal together,” reads a news release from the United Way.

“Our vision for Bay County will be reflected in this event: no matter your ethnicity, career status, financial status, sexual orientation, etc., all are welcome to join us at The Longest Table!”

The Longest Table doubles as the kick-off event for the annual United Way campaign.
If you have questions about either event, the campaign, or the United Way, call the United Way at (989) 893-7508.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.