Coca‑Cola is teaming up with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, The King Center, Civic Dinners and Equitable Dinners to host a series of six virtual dinner events designed to spark social justice conversations and invite Americans to listen, learn, connect and take action.
“Together We Must: The Conversation” kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 21, with the goal of reaching 3,000 people and inspiring more self-organized conversations by the end of 2020. The series is free and open to the public. Up to 500 people can attend each virtual dinner, which will be hosted by celebrities and influencers including: NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace; Global Thought Leader, Orator, Peace Advocate & CEO of The King Center, Dr. Bernice A. King; Team USA Paralympic Track and Field athlete, Roderick Townsend; Former Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE, American Writer & Journalist, Susan L. Taylor and National Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Thomas W. Dortch Jr.
Topics will cover a range of issues critical to having open and honest conversations about uncomfortable issues impacting racial justice – including allyship, belonging, bridging the racial divide, inclusive culture, unconscious bias and understanding race. Hosts and facilitators will help guide the conversation by posing three questions tied to the topic.
The virtual dinners will take place from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on the following dates, with topics noted:
- Wednesday, Oct. 21: Bridging the Racial Divide
- Thursday, Oct. 22: Unconscious Bias
- Friday, Oct. 23: Belonging
- Tuesday, Oct. 27: Inclusive Culture
- Tuesday, Nov. 10: Understanding Race
- Tuesday, Nov. 17: Allyship
To allow for more intimate discussion, trained facilitators will host 50 breakout rooms of up to 10 participants. At the end of each dinner, participants will be encouraged to take specific actions to deepen their engagement in the featured topic and host their own conversation with friends, family and colleagues. Guests are encouraged to host their first conversations on National Make A Difference Day (Saturday, Oct. 24), declare personal commitments, and take action in their community through 2020. Discussion guides are available for download here.
“Equitable Dinners inspires anti-racism action through art and courageous conversations,” said Adria Kitchens, program manager, Equitable Dinners. “This collaboration with Coca‑Cola allows us to continue to build spaces to nurture our complete humanity and realize the untapped strength of our society.”
Jenn Graham, founder and CEO of Civic Dinners, called the effort a perfectly timed “dream collaboration.”
The series is an extension of “Together We Must”, a pledge Coca‑Cola made in June to listen, learn and act on its history of advancing civil rights, diversity and inclusion, and to steer resources and energy toward helping end the cycle of systemic racism. The pledge included a $500,000 donation to 100 Black Men of America Inc. In July, the brand partnered with Lin-Manuel Miranda and World Central Kitchen (WCK) Founder Chef José Andrés ahead of the global premiere of Hamilton on Disney+ to create impactful change with inclusivity and optimism at the forefront. Coinciding with the premiere, Coca‑Cola donated $1 million to WCK to fight food insecurity around the world and support communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is not a brand campaign,” Tuggle said. “Our commitment is that we will continue to listen and learn, actively seek solutions for our business and our communities, and encourage collaboration so that together we can help create a better future.”
To sign up to attend a “Together We Must: The Conversation” dinner, and learn more about the hosts, schedule and conversation topics, please visit: https://www.civicdinners.com/togetherwemust.