One Table Rebranding For National Expansion In Its 5th Year

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Approaching the fifth year of Chattanooga’s city-wide potluck known as “One Table,” host Causeway is renaming the event for national expansion. Locally, the event will remain the same, taking place during the lunch hour on Nov. 19 in the middle of Martin Luther King Boulevard at one long table.   

"One Table was born from a desire to unite different groups of people in Chattanooga. In 2014 the staff of Causeway, a local social innovation nonprofit, were walking to lunch discussing the invisible wall that stood on Martin Luther King Boulevard, dividing two of the city’s green spaces, Miller Park and Miller Plaza. Miller Plaza is known as a popular venue for outdoor concerts and plays a key role in Chattanooga’s startup culture. Before the current reconstruction, Miller Park was known as a place for people experiencing homelessness, or who lived in nearby subsidized housing. Causeway decided to invite both sides, and the broader groups that they represented, to share a meal at one table in the middle of that dividing line. 

"The first year 700 people showed up to what the nonprofit thought would be a one-time event. Because the city embraced it so much, it has since become a beloved tradition. Each year, the event has grown. In 2015, it was covered in the Washington Post. In 2016, the event was replicated in Huntsville, Al. In 2017 it was replicated in Milan, Tn. Locally last year, over 1200 neighbors showed up, and 100 percent of the people who took Causeway’s survey said that they had a conversation with someone they had never met before," officials said.

Causeway’s Creative Director Chelsea Conrad says, “In my experience, people actually want to get to know people who are different from them, but they don’t always know how to go about it. At this event, we are really intentional about designing an experience that makes people more comfortable taking that step and introducing themselves to someone they would probably never meet in their day-to-day lives.” 

In addition to the two cities that have already replicated the event, Causeway has received many requests from other cities who have heard about the event and want to host their very own city-wide potluck.

"In 2014 when Causeway hosted the first One Table, they did not foresee the growth and success that would come with it. Once the group started to look at national expansion, they found an existing nonprofit named One Table that already existed in several cities where they were looking to expand," officials said.

In order to be able to share the event with other cities, Causeway has rebranded One Table to be called “Gratefull”. The name, brand, and a replication guide are free for any city to use to host their own event.

“After five years of growth, this event is a big production for us that takes a lot of planning and a lot of partners. But the first year, we planned it in just a few weeks with a couple thousand dollars, and the social return on that investment has been exponential. We want to empower other cities to bring their community together in the same way,” says Abby Garrison, Causeway’s executive director.

There are no strict rules around the replications. It has to be a free meal the week of Thanksgiving that is open to everyone. Otherwise, Causeway invites other cities to host the event in a way that makes sense within the context of their city.

In Huntsville, the event closely mirrored Chattanooga’s, taking place at lunch time on the Monday before Thanksgiving in the middle of a downtown street. Milan is a small town in west Tennessee with a population of just under 8,000 people. Because most people tend to commute into other cities for work, the town hosted their event on a Saturday afternoon when more families could attend. “We had to think about the resources that we had in our community to pull it off. The churches cooked most of the sides, the firemen cooked the turkeys and everyone was able to come on a Saturday,” said Kathy Conrad, organizer of One Table Milan. “It was truly powerful to see our community not just serving the needy, but sharing a meal and really getting to know people who were different than them.”

Locally everything remains the same. Gratefull Chattanooga will be hosted by Causeway on Monday, Nov. 19 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on the 200 block of MLK Boulevard at one long table in the middle of the street. The Feed Co. Table and Tavern is the presenting sponsor this year. Dish t’ Pass is cooking the turkey and the dressing at cost, as they have since the very first year. Many local restaurants are bringing large side dishes to share, and individuals are again encouraged to bring a potluck dish. Causeway is still accepting additional sponsors for this year’s event at causeway.org/gratefull.



Local Veterinarian Tai Federico Among Those TVMA Announces As Executive Board

National Medal Of Honor Heritage Center Names New Curator As The Center Prepares To Open In 2020

CARTA’s Easter Holiday Schedule Announced


Tai Federico, DVM of Riverview Animal Hospital in Chattanooga has been named as the vice president of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association 2019-2020 Executive Board. The board is comprised ... (click for more)

Keith A. Hardison, executive director of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, has appointed Molly Randolph as curator. Ms. Randolph holds a master of arts degree in history of decorative ... (click for more)

In observance of Easter, there will be no CARTA fixed route bus service or CARTA Care-a-van service this Sunday. The Downtown Shuttle will operate on its’ Sunday schedule from 9:30 a.m.-8:30 ... (click for more)


Happenings

Local Veterinarian Tai Federico Among Those TVMA Announces As Executive Board

Tai Federico, DVM of Riverview Animal Hospital in Chattanooga has been named as the vice president of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association 2019-2020 Executive Board. The board is comprised of veterinarians from across the state. The newly elected officers are: • President – Danny Walker, DVM, University of Tennessee at Martin; • President-Elect – Matt Povlovich, ... (click for more)

National Medal Of Honor Heritage Center Names New Curator As The Center Prepares To Open In 2020

Keith A. Hardison, executive director of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, has appointed Molly Randolph as curator. Ms. Randolph holds a master of arts degree in history of decorative arts from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. and a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology and sociology from Centre College in Danville, Ky. Ms. Randolph served as curator ... (click for more)

Breaking News

TDOT Plans To Add 1 Lane In Each Direction To I-24 From Georgia State Line To US 27; New Section Of Apison Pike To Be Widened

The state plans to add one lane in each direction to a seven-mile section of Interstate 24, which is one of the most congested freeways in the country. The purchase of right of way for the project is included in TDOT’s annual three year transportation program. Right of way is listed for 2022 in a section between the Georgia state line and Brown's Ferry Road and another ... (click for more)

Man, 50, Shot In Road Rage Incident On Bailey Avenue; Christopher Bell, 29, Wanted For Attempted Criminal Homicide

A man, 50, was shot on Bailey Avenue on Thursday afternoon, and Christopher Bell, 29, is wanted for criminal attempted homicide. At approximately 3:20 p.m. Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a person shot call at 1050 Bailey Ave. Upon arrival, officers located a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The man stated to police that he and the suspect were involved in a vehicle ... (click for more)

Opinion

Save The Wildlife, Mr. Berke

Why in the world would there be any question regarding the wildlife at East Lake park, and the humane relocation of same? Why would anyone need to beg for the right thing to be done? Maybe if the ducks could ride scooters, there would be money for this. Or maybe if they had means to pay for one of the so-called affordable apartments we have in Chattanooga, they would rate the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What's 'Good' About It?

For the biggest part of my life (a real long time) I refused to acknowledge what is “good” about Good Friday. Today, in literally every country on earth, it is ‘Good Friday’ and, nope, nothing is “good” about killing my Jesus. Forget that it is the most singular display of His love for me, and I push all of the human race aside, to stand completely alone, and feel Jesus’ eyes on ... (click for more)