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.



Fallen 5 Memorial Committee Announces Matching Grant Challenge From The Lyndhurst Foundation

Upcoming Street Closings Announced

New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses


This Veterans Day, and ahead of Giving Tuesday, the Fallen Five Memorial Committee invites the community to participate in a “Matching Grant Challenge” to close out fundraising efforts to complete ... (click for more)

Here are upcoming street closings: Wednesday After Hours Event in West Vill age - W 8th Street between Pine Street and Chestnut Street will be closed on Wednesday, October 31st ... (click for more)

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: RYAN WILLIAM KERR SHANNON LEIGH SLOVENSKY 2234 CAPE LIBERTY DRIVE 2623 MISTY ROCK COVE SUWANEE, GA 30024 DACULA, GA 30019 ... (click for more)


Happenings

Fallen 5 Memorial Committee Announces Matching Grant Challenge From The Lyndhurst Foundation

This Veterans Day, and ahead of Giving Tuesday, the Fallen Five Memorial Committee invites the community to participate in a “Matching Grant Challenge” to close out fundraising efforts to complete the Fallen Five Memorial under construction in the Tennessee Riverpark. The Lyndhurst Foundation has agreed to match up to $100,000 that is raised by the community to help cover the ... (click for more)

Upcoming Street Closings Announced

Here are upcoming street closings: Wednesday After Hours Event in West Vill age - W 8th Street between Pine Street and Chestnut Street will be closed on Wednesday, October 31st from 4PM until 9PM. This closure will be in effect each Wednesday evening through January 30th, 2019. Friday West Village Out on 8th - W 8th Street between Pine Street ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Man Shot And Killed Monday Morning When Police Officers Respond To Shots Fired Call

Chattanooga police officers responded to a shots fired call at 6:13 a.m. on Monday in the 5000 block of 15th Avenue. A reporting party said the suspect was walking in the street, displaying a firearm, and firing shots at houses. Upon arrival, officers encountered an armed male suspect matching the description given by the reporting party. Officers engaged with the suspect, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Department Completes 2nd Phase Of Public Safety Camera Installations

The Chattanooga Police Department has added 14 new public safety cameras to its network, bringing the total to 29 cameras around the city focusing on violent crime and deterring future acts of violence. This system is known as “Crime Eye” by Convergint Technologies which is an industry leader in technology used in promoting crime reduction, crime solving, and improving community ... (click for more)

Opinion

Thanks To First Volunteer Bank

Thank you to the Highway 58 branch of First Volunteer Bank. On behalf of the Ernie Pyle Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, I would like to express our appreciation to the manager and staff of the HIghway 58 Branch of First Volunteer Bank for putting on a Veterans Day lunch in the lobby of your bank on Friday, Nov. 9. It was a cold and rainy day and Army, Marines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Pete, Never Forget’

Sometimes I don’t tend to myself quite like I should. Think of it as a bad habit. So last week I took some time away from the computer, away from my morning readings and newspapers and TV, so I could tap my reset button. Things happen when you get old and some of them aren’t good. Thank goodness there is hardly anything today that has no solution if you keep trying and stay in the ... (click for more)