Building Our Village One Meal at a Time

by Bo Thao-Urabe | Mar 28, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

St. Paul is diverse, but it will continue becoming more diverse. How can we best embrace this growing diversity and build a shared sense of identity? One of the ways that I've learned about and deepened my connections with people is through food; eating different cuisines, and also eating together with many different people. But each of us alone cannot build a village. Let's take this to scale, because while place matters, the people and their shared connections to each other matter even more if we want to have greater impact.

The people of St. Paul must grow its relations and build the human connections between its many diverse communities. How and why we all ended up here is important to know, but what and how we build St. Paul together for everyone will mean more if people believe that this is their place, their village.

Let's have great community meals together so that we form bonds beyond ethnicities, gender, class, institutions, neighborhoods etc. This could be achieved by working with our existing local restaurants who specialize in different foods (whether that be Hmong, Burmese, local, organic, Mexican etc) to host community meals. These would be large open community events, featuring local businesses, and structured to facilitate conversations that build connections with new people and ideas. Food is a welcoming way to build community.

I believe there is great potential to achieve more when people come together and develop a shared sense of identity. These community meals will help people reach across communities, and ensure that ideas for community improvement can be executed through engagement and involvement of the people.

About You

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About You

First Name

Bo

Last Name

Thao-Urabe

City

Eagan

County

Dakota

Country

United States, MN, Dakota County

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

social media

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Organization Country

United States

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Building Our Village One Meal at a Time

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

St. Paul is diverse, but it will continue becoming more diverse. How can we best embrace this growing diversity and build a shared sense of identity? One of the ways that I've learned about and deepened my connections with people is through food; eating different cuisines, and also eating together with many different people. But each of us alone cannot build a village. Let's take this to scale, because while place matters, the people and their shared connections to each other matter even more if we want to have greater impact.
The people of St. Paul must grow its relations and build the human connections between its many diverse communities. How and why we all ended up here is important to know, but what and how we build St. Paul together for everyone will mean more if people believe that this is their place, their village.
Let's have great community meals together so that we form bonds beyond ethnicities, gender, class, institutions, neighborhoods etc. This could be achieved by working with our existing local restaurants who specialize in different foods (whether that be Hmong, Burmese, local, organic, Mexican etc) to host community meals. These would be large open community events, featuring local businesses, and structured to facilitate conversations that build connections with new people and ideas. Food is a welcoming way to build community.
I believe there is great potential to achieve more when people come together and develop a shared sense of identity. These community meals will help people reach across communities, and ensure that ideas for community improvement can be executed through engagement and involvement of the people.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This idea is a twist on the family meal and the concept of "it takes a village to raise a child." It builds on the assets that St. Paul already has - diverse communities, great local restaurants, and great leaders and ideas. Also, to do something at this scale and not let a person's/family's financial reality stand in the way of their participation and attendance is critical.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

It will make a difference in St. Paul because it builds relationships and deepens the bond that all the people of St. Paul have with each other. It's about relationships and being constructive together, and helping people truly live the practices that "we all do better when we all do better."

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

This idea is simple, and it's something that most people already value in their own families and communities. It's truly about building the village. If it's successful it could be easily replicated in any other city.

chantalchantelle2013 chantalchantelle2013 said: There are some people who can carry each situation that easily. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2561 days ago read more >

Bo Thao-Urabe updated this Competition Entry. - 2859 days ago

Bo Thao-Urabe submitted this idea. - 2859 days ago