Welcome Table New Orleans Launches

NOLA-groupLast week, Winter Institute staff teamed up with the City of New Orleans to facilitate Welcome Table New Orleans‘s first sessions. More than 150 people representing four New Orleans communities gathered, over eight sessions, at Crocker College Prep and New Orleans City Church.

The diverse group of attendees–representing Central City, Little Woods, St. Roch, and Algiers–differed in race, gender, and age; they displayed a common hopefulness for strengthening their communities and their city.

A key element of the Welcome Table is trust building. One of the phrases that has grown out of the WT process is that its goal is “to build a bridge of trust strong enough to hold the weight of the truths that community participants tell.”

To begin the trust-building process, at these meetings participants learned the Welcome Table guideposts and shared their stories in story circles. (Guideposts provide structure for sharing and listening; the personal stories shared in circles help participants grow to know one another and build trust.)

What people shared during these first meetings gives us very much hope. The most prominent entry in the word cloud below is “hopeful,” which indicates that participants used it more than any other word as the Welcome Table began.

The next meetings are June 25, at 6:30 p.m., for Central City and Little Woods. Specific locations will be announced closer to the date.

New Orleans marks our 19th Welcome Table partner city. As demand for Winter Institute services increases, please consider lending your support to help our growing staff and expanding responsibilities. Please donate today!


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