Race Around the Table returns as the largest simultaneous conversation on racial equity

October 14, 2021

Community members invited to host a dinner discussion on Nov. 4 

NEW ORLEANS – The Campaign for Equity: New Orleans (CENO) and United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) are hosting the third annual Race Around the Table on Nov. 4, a night where friends, families and organizations will come together to hold the largest simultaneous conversation about the need for racial equity.  

All across the region, all in one night – participants will host in-person or virtual dinners with their network of friends, family and colleagues to foster discussions on racial disparities and how we can work together to make more equitable communities. This year’s event, held just over two months after Hurricane Ida rocked Louisiana, will focus on equity in recovery and rebuilding efforts. 

“Disasters like Hurricane Ida disrupt society in powerful ways, and the recovery process presents an opportunity to reshape communities and policies to address long-standing racial disparities,” said Shawn Barney, CENO Co-Founder. “We’re grateful to partner with United Way to use this collective experience and our love of food to foster conversations on how we can create a more equitable community for everyone.” 

Founded by CENO in 2019, Race Around the Table harnesses the unifying powers of food and conversation to normalize discussions about race and equity. UWSELA joined the effort this year to help expand the event’s reach and scale.  

“We see this as an opportunity to get people talking about race, which can feel difficult, but is more approachable while sharing a meal with family or friends,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA President and CEO. “The fact is, we were not all affected by the storm equally. We're hopeful that Race Around the Table will get folks excited to learn more about race and equity and challenge them to advocate for change and equitable recovery in our communities.” 

Hosts will be provided with an in-depth toolkit – including discussion questions, facilitation tips and sample invitation language. Organizers encourage up to 10 familiar guests and a location and menu that will create a safe and comfortable environment. 

The event is free, but interested participants should visit RaceAroundTheTable.com to learn more and register their dinners.  


About United Way of Southeast Louisiana 
For more than 95 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.  



About The Campaign for Equity: New Orleans 
The Campaign for Equity: New Orleans (CENO) is working to make New Orleans the most equitable city in America. Led by a small advisory group of organizers, the Campaign works to educate, connect, and mobilize leadership throughout the city in order to address areas of systematic racism and build a more equitable future for New Orleans.  Founded in 2016, CENO is rooted in the belief that we must first have a common language and shared understanding of our community’s challenges. Our efforts focus on expanding awareness, training, and connecting leaders through networks. Awareness building is an ongoing process – it is a campaign.  For more information visit www.equityfornola.org.