Above: Residents of East Greenwich and nearby communities gathered at the Varnum Armory for a community dinner in May 2018.
To combat polarization, the Rhode Island Foundation is inviting people to share ideas over neighborly meals
The Rhode Island Foundation is inviting East Greenwich and Warwick residents to share their thoughts about the issues that are important to them at a free community dinner Aug. 10. The get-together is a reboot of its 2018 “Together RI” initiative.
“When we did this four years ago, there already was a troubling tendency toward divisiveness and polarization. Now more than ever Rhode Islanders need a place for listening, reconnecting and inspiring constructive, civic and civil dialogue,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
The Aug. 10 dinner will be held at Chelo’s restaurant, 2225 Post Rd., Warwick, Wed., from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Register at rifoundation.org/togetherri.
“We’ll offer people the chance to talk face-to-face with each other over family-style meals. Bring your ideas for improving your community and the local challenges you’d like to see addressed,” said Steinberg.
Ten additional community get-togethers are scheduled through Nov. 15. The events will take place at restaurants and community gathering spaces that are well known locally. The public can attend any of the sessions regardless of where they live. For people who cannot attend the Chelo’s event, a get-together is scheduled for West Greenwich at the Elk’s Lodge, 42 Nooseneck Hill Rd., Wed., Aug. 31, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The complete schedule is posted at rifoundation.org/togetherri.
“Every voice in Rhode Island deserves to be heard. Grab a friend and join other engaged folks in your area for a free meal and positive discussion to highlight opportunities in your community and our state,” said Steinberg.
The Foundation will provide moderators to help guide the conversations, but participants will drive the topics and discussions. The findings will be shared with participants and the public after the final session.
In 2018, more than 1,300 people attended at least one of the Together RI get-togethers. The Foundation released the results in a report posted at togetherri.org. Read about the 2018 Together RI dinner in East Greenwich HERE.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.