Nominations open for 2018 Shreveport Reconciliation Dinner hosted by Centenary College

SHREVEPORT, LA — Nominations for participants to attend the second Shreveport Reconciliation Dinner will open to the community on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 23. The dinner, an opportunity for a diverse group of citizens to discuss racial reconciliation in Shreveport, will be held at Centenary College on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

“Racial reconciliation starts with listening to each other’s stories,” says Dr. Chris Ciocchetti, Beaird Chair of philosophy at Centenary and a member of the Reconciliation Dinner steering committee. “We begin to see our community from another person’s perspective and let their experience help shape our vision for a shared future. This evening will be an opportunity to get beyond sound bites to talk face to face. People who might never meet can come together to talk about challenging experiences.”

Participants will be selected to attend the dinner based on a clear, demonstrated record of achievement or the potential to promote racial justice and equality. Community organizations and individuals are encouraged to nominate individuals who have, for example, advocated change in the community by speaking at public meetings for positive improvements in their neighborhoods, started a community garden or neighborhood watch to help integrate their community, worked with youth to help them build a positive future, or other activities promoting progress and racial equality.

All nominations will be considered by the Reconciliation Dinner selection committee with the goal of bringing together participants who are diverse in race, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, profession, and experience. There will be no charge for selected participants to attend the dinner, which will feature an eclectic, diverse menu coordinated by Chef Hardette Harris. Mavice Thigpen of Eddie’s Seafood and Soulfood Restaurant, Sione Maumalanga of Ono’s Traditional Hawaiian Cuisine, and Gabriel Balderas of El Cabo Verde will join Harris to prepare and present the meal.

The first Shreveport Reconciliation Dinner was hosted by Slow Food North Louisiana and several other community partners in August 2016. The event was organized by Shreveporters inspired by the story of Nat Fuller, a freed slave and renowned chef in Charleston, South Carolina, who in 1865 invited the city’s elite – black and white – to sit at a common table and share a “reconciliation dinner” after the end of the Civil War.

Nominations for the 2018 Reconciliation Dinner will be open through December 31, 2017. For more information on the dinner and information on nominating a participant, visit or connect with the dinner on Facebook in the Reconciliation Dinner – Shreveport group.

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