Breaking Bread Village leads the conversation

The Breaking Bread Village wants to include YOU in some upcoming shows. Erin Patrice is the mastermind behind The Breaking Bread Village. She believes that EVERYONE deserves a seat at the table. Originally based on the concept of "It takes a village," the Breaking Bread Village is a space free of judgment, creating connections one conversation at a time. 

Patrice began opening up conversations during the tumultuous year of 2020. She saw how argumentative, combative, and siloed our society was becoming. Never being afraid of a tough conversation, Patrice opened up conversations, wanting to get to the bottom of our differences. Patrice helped facilitate conversations so that each voice at the table would be heard and understood. 

“Including YOU,” a Breaking Bread Village Series, is a six-part conversation. This series is a partnership between The Breaking Bread Village and The Cultural Awareness Coalition, which is supported by the Midland Area Community Foundation. Over the span of a year, each show will feature an intentional diverse panel and a live audience.
The January 2023 show at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library auditorium.
The shows are family friendly and free to attend. Panelists will discuss Societal Expectations, Bias and Judgement, Empathy and Tolerance, Honesty and Transparency, Morality, ideology, and religion, and the greater good, the big picture. Each live show’s topic will build on the next, the panelists will change, and so will the conversation topic, but Patrice says the knowledge gained will grow with each session in the series. 

“Being on the panel of Societal Expectations was outstanding,” says Lisa Thompson, CEO and Founder of Self Love Beauty, “It really allowed me to reflect internally on the questions Erin asked along with how we each responded.“ It really allowed me to reflect internally on the questions Erin asked along with how we each responded. It is an amazing thing when individuals from all backgrounds can come together to share a table to talk about topics such as we did. This work is important because we each have different experiences and stories but we all have had something that has helped empower us to get where we are today. When we open up this conversation and have a dialogue, we have the opportunity to connect to one another.” 
Erin Patrice is the creator and founder of The Breaking Bread Village.
The "after," as Patrice calls it, is that panelists and audience members will learn together and grow from their experience. “Each session will build on the previous conversation,” says Patrice, “As an individual, you will grow your emotional intelligence and empathy. As a collective, by witnessing these conversations, we will grow as a community and individually.” Not everyone will leave the conversation agreeing with one another, but they will leave having learned from each other. The conversations will leave audience members wanting to return to the next session, ready to expand upon what they’ve learned. The process of change is an evolving process, growth which takes time. 

The Breaking Bread Village is committed to the promise that all audience members and panelists will have the opportunity to leave changed, and make new connections. 

Poster promoting March TBBV show.
The first show was held in January. Upcoming shows for the Including YOU series will be held at the Grace A Dow Memorial Library auditorium, 1710 West St. Andrews Road in Midland. Pre-show entertainment starts at 6:30pm with the show following from 7:00pm-9:00pm. 

Show dates and topics are:
March 14:    Bias and Judgement
May 30:       Empathy and Tolerance
August 29:   Honesty and Transparency
October 24:  Morality, Ideology, and Religion
January 26, 2024: The Greater Good, The Big Picture

Visit to register to attend an upcoming show. 

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Read more articles by Abby Keeley-Scherzer.

Abby Keeley-Scherzer is a Mid-Michigan native, proudly raising her two daughters in Midland, with her husband, Steve. Her degrees are in business administration, cosmetology management, and sociology. Among other great qualities, Abby is an Army veteran,  pageant queen, substitute teacher, and community volunteer.