A week or so ago, I had a conversation with UUCA member Anna Olsen about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast, in which we discussed the practice of each organization sitting at their own table. We talked about how it made sense to do so, but that it seemed that by sitting together, we were also missing an opportunity for networking and meeting other folks in the community – especially people we don’t already know. Of course, one strategy for doing this would be to get up from the table and walk around. But wouldn’t it be so much better, said Anna, if the tables themselves were more mixed?
This conversation really stuck with me, tugging at a corner of my mind for a few days, as I tried to think creatively and find a way to mix it up. It was such a great idea – really capturing the essence of what it means to participate in an event like that one. What an opportunity to meet and mingle with others who are interested in racial justice, to build relationships in our community.
And then I found myself sitting at a table looking up lyrics to Christmas carols at the holiday party that UUCA hosted for the MotherRead group last week, and the lightbulb went off. The energy and connection between the women was so spirited and heartfelt that I saw an opportunity to continue to build on this new partnership. Eleanor Lane and Susan Steffe have been working with Marta Alcala-Williams at Asheville City Schools to support a group of women and their children from Hillcrest Apartments, working on life skills, reading, and building a support network. I asked Marta, “Do you think these women would like to go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast?” She said, “Most definitely!”
And so, UUCA’s Earth & Social Justice Ministry has purchased two tables (20 seats) for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast on January 16, the seats going first to women in the MotherRead program, and then to others from Hillcrest Apartments. In addition, we would like to fill two more tables with folks from UUCA. If we can get twenty of us to purchase tickets for the breakfast, we will combine the four tables and all sit together. In addition, I would like to fill two more tables with folks from UUCA. If we can get twenty of us to purchase tickets for the breakfast, we will combine the four tables and all sit together.
I’m so excited about the opportunity to continue to build relationships in the greater Asheville community, and to participate in such an important event in our city. I believe that there are many things that could grow from this partnership, and I hope to see you at the Breakfast! Tickets will be on sale between services starting January 3.