TableTalks are pre-set and pre-planned conversations between two campus groups that don’t normally interact. Each year, TableTalks gives all Emory student organizations the opportunity to select other groups with whom they’re interested in having a conversation. If two groups mutually select, TableTalks schedules and hosts a dinner for them. A week before the event, leaders from both groups will meet with TableTalks facilitators to identify stereotypes, pre-conceived notions, or general questions that may exist between the two groups.
At the TableTalk dinner, attendees spend the first third of the gathering meeting members of the other group on a basic, person-to-person level. Participants are encouraged to ask questions about sports, music, and other everyday interests.
Then, the participants break bread. After the meal, they sit down and ask each other direct, straightforward, penetrating, and all-encompassing questions about each others’ groups. The idea here is that any question someone conceives of, someone else has also thought about. The end goal is an open, honest, and enlightening conversation about difference.