Bay Area Journalists to Host Mealtime Conversations About Housing Challenges

Renaissance Journalism is inviting journalists to participate in On The Table, a day of community building through conversation sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation on Wednesday, November 15. To participate, journalists will agree to host and organize a small-group mealtime discussion about the region’s housing challenges and possible solutions.

Since some of the best conversations often occur over a meal, the idea for On the Table is for volunteer hosts to invite guests to share a meal as they discuss housing issues. The meal could be lunch or dinner or even an outdoor picnic. The meal can be held at the host’s home, in a local restaurant or in a park.

Already, hundreds of residents, from all walks of life, have volunteered to host a table talk, and thousands of residents ultimately are expected to participate.

“Renaissance Journalism believes that On the Table offers journalists a unique opportunity to converse face-to-face with a diverse group of community folks—to hear their stories, their concerns and their ideas about housing,” said Jon Funabiki, executive director of Renaissance Journalism. “We think this type of engagement will not only deepen and strengthen your reporting and your journalism, but also help to foster more trust in local media.”

On the Table is one of several community engagement efforts that are part of Renaissance Journalism’s new initiative, the Bay Area Media Collaborative (BAMC), which focuses on the crisis in housing, gentrification, displacement and homelessness.

Journalists who are interested in hosting a Renaissance Journalism-sponsored On the Table conversation will be expected to sign up for the event, then invite 6-10 guests—community members—to participate in the discussion about housing challenges. After the event, host journalists will be asked to write a report on what they heard; the report can be a story or even a blog or Facebook posting. Renaissance Journalism will reimburse journalists for the costs of the meals, up to $25 per person for up to 11 persons (a maximum of $275.00).

Interested? Next Steps

If you are a journalist interested in taking part in Renaissance Journalism’s On the Table effort, please sign up here.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you additional instructions, details and tips for holding On the Table conversations.