Democracy Dinners Return In-Person
On Monday, January 16, Learning Life successfully held its first in-person Democracy Dinner in three years as the Covid pandemic recedes and the DMV Democracy Learning Community (DLC) moves forward.
The Dinner, held at the home of a Learning Life supporter in Alexandria, Virginia, brought together fourteen people, most engaged in democracy work in different ways, from citizen engagement in health policy, to labor representation, to deliberation, polarization, electoral reform, and Congressional problem-solving (photos below of participants and the Greek food plus desserts we enjoyed). The discussion focused on challenges and opportunities for democracy with an eye to developing a DLC in the metro Washington DC area. This was the 37th Dinner since Learning Life began developing the DLC with its first Democracy Dinner in June 2019. More than 200 DC area democracy sector professionals have participated in the Dinners, some repeatedly, since that first Dinner.
Learning Life’s Democracy Dinners are smaller gatherings intended to nurture sustained, deeper, more participatory conversations than conventional networking events and panel discussions typically allow between democracy sector folks who might not otherwise meet given their specialty silos. Learning Life has used the Dinners to build a list of now over 5,000 metro DC democracy sector professionals whom we invite to the Dinners and other DLC events. The Dinners allow us to harness our growing participant network to develop the wider DLC: a growing association of individuals and organizations, starting in the Washington DC or DC-MD-VA (DMV) metro area, working together to strengthen democracy by developing engaging events, products, services and spaces that nurture fun, learning, networking, collaboration and wider, deeper citizen participation.
In 2023, Learning Life will be releasing a vision and action as a series of published articles and a larger report that can be used to guide forthcoming DLC organizing, including a first DC Democracy Festival. We also plan to hold at least five more Democracy Dinners in-person in 2023, one every other month. If you live in metro DC and volunteer and/or work on one or more democracy issues, broadly defined, you can participate. To reserve your spot at an upcoming Dinner, please fill out this Doodle scheduling poll. To learn more about the Dinners, click here.
Democracy Dinner participants are asked to contribute financially to support the Dinners and to help build the wider DLC: $100 for individuals, $150 for couples, $50 for Learning Life Democracy & Diplomacy Community (DDC) members, though you can contribute at whatever level you are comfortable with. If you decide to join the DDC, please type “DDC member” in the Note box on the contribute page, and add “anonymous” if you wish to remain an anonymous member.