Community Issues

There's Still Time to Join an Event That Could Change Pittsburgh

What can be done to make us more caring and connected? "The Big Table Pittsburgh" aims to find out

For many people in Pittsburgh, tomorrow will be just another Wednesday. But for hundreds of people it will be a day that could change the region, in a good way, forever.

Wednesday 4/17/19 is the first annual Big Table Pittsburgh , an event that's inviting people in the Pittsburgh region to connect with each other in small groups, over a meal, to have meaningful conversations about our shared values as a community, and what can be done to make us more caring and connected. The non-profit leadership organization Leadership Pittsburgh is organizing the event. Click here to watch our video story about The Big Table.

The event is meant to spark conversation between people from different walks of life who all call Pittsburgh home. (Images: The Big Table Columbus)

Several hundred "hosts" have already organized groups of 8-12 people, some of whom know each other, and some of whom they don't know well, to meet over breakfast, lunch, dinner or even a snack at whatever location worked for their group.

If you're not already part of one of these groups, there's still a way for you to join in this important conversation. There are "public" Big Tables around town, in places like branches of the Carnegie Libraries, The Jewish Community Center, even a mall, a YMCA and the Children's Museum. Click here to find a public Big Table and register.

There's still time to join the conversation -- branches of the Carnegie Library are among the public locations for "big tables."

This has been a year of heartache in the Pittsburgh region, between the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, and the shooting death of a young black man by a white police officer and the officer's subsequent trial and acquittal.

Leadership Pittsburgh Executive Director Aradhna Oliphant says those two incidents weren't the only reason for organizing The Big Table , but they definitely fed into the belief among local leaders that the fabric of Pittsburgh as a community is torn, and talking face to face is the only way to mend it. "When something like that happens we say how can this happen," said Oliphant, who believes the answer is that we, as a community, don't talk enough.

"We have to believe in the power of conversation, that it really does build community." Aradhna Oliphant, Executive Director, Leadership Pittsburgh
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