A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

On the Table initiative to spur community-wide conversation about Lexington set for Wednesday

Lexington is one of 10 cities across the U.S. selected to participate in the national replication initiative On the Table with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Blue Grass Community Foundation is spearheading the effort.

On the Table is a community-wide conversation designed to bring people together during small mealtime conversations to discuss not only what makes their city great, but what they can do to make it better. Support for On the Table is one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to help cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunity and create a culture of civic engagement.

The Knight Foundation believes that successful communities are equitable, inclusive and participatory.

In Lexington, On the Table will take place on Wednesday, March 15. Volunteers throughout the city will host small groups of 8 to 12 individuals over a meal or coffee for informal conversation about issues of importance to all. There is no cost to participate.

“In addition to generating new ideas and collaborations, results of On the Table conversations will help inform Lexington’s Comprehensive Plan and Blue Grass Community Foundation’s future priorities and grantmaking focus as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017,” said Lisa Adkins, president/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation. “So far, over 5,000 people in Lexington from all walks of life have committed to taking part. Local planning partners include the City’s Division of Planning, Leadership Lexington and Fayette County Public Schools,” she added.

“The expansion of On the Table will help create a connected network of people across our nation who are working to make our communities stronger and more successful, while sharing lessons about how local residents can collaborate to begin working on pressing challenges,” said Lilly Weinberg, Knight Foundation director for community foundations. “With community foundations like Blue Grass Community Foundation leading the effort, the information gathered through this initiative will tap into local residents’ interests and aspirations, informing decisions about new investments and engaging local policy and decision makers.”

To find out how you can be a part of the conversation, go the bgcf.org/onthetable and sign up to be a host, guest, or ambassador. You may also contact Blue Grass Community Foundation at 859-225-3343 or jtate@bgcf.org.

The Blue Grass Community Foundation is a public charity established by local citizens almost 50 years ago to promote giving and improve the quality of life in Lexington and the many communities we serve across Central and Eastern Kentucky. Since 1967, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $68.5 million in grant funding to thousands of organizations, including $6.5 million in FY2016. To learn more about Blue Grass Community Foundation, visit www.bgcf.org.


On the Table is a community effort, made possible by many committed partners including the Blue Grass Community Foundation, Leadership Lexington, the city’s Division of Planning and many other civic organizations. For detailed partner information, visit onthetablelex.com/partners.

Get social

‘On the Table’ and kickoff participants are encouraged to share their experiences and engage other citizens via social media using the hashtags #OnTheTableLex and #ImagineLexington. Citizens can learn about the city’s comprehensive plan’s progress and other events by following@Imagine_Lex , liking Imagine Lexington on Facebook or visiting imaginelexington.com.

For more information about ‘On the Table’, visit onthetablelex.com.

Fayette County Public Schools will also participate in the initiative. Schools are encouraged to join in on March 15 as a host or super host so that the district’s voice is included and students know their voice matters.

Among ways to get involved:

— Work with student leaders to host conversations at school;
— Invite parents and volunteers to chat with students during lunch;
— Contact the PTA/PTSA to engage parents in the discussion;
— Include On the Table as part of a classroom lesson;
— Encourage families to join On the Table during dinner at home.

A host toolkit will provide everything needed, including a conversation guide and easy ideas for taking action afterward. After the conversations, please highlight key discussion points and share back with Blue Grass Community Foundation. 

Schools may register any time before March 15.

From BGCF Communications

Related Posts

Leave a Comment