At the root of our why is a sense of fostering a deep sense of community, because #morekarma means increased opportunities for us all to grow and share and inspire. So when the Embrace LA team came to us asking for venue space to host a dinner, we said heck yes!

What is Embrace LA?

Unifying Angelenos and empowering communities through a citywide conversation about race and racism to challenge and change inequities.

Launched by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the program is an approach that focuses on building relationships and advancing public policy solutions.

This is one of the various strategies in place to initiate true partnership between government, organizations, and residents. Why not revert back to the tradition of coming together to break bread to discuss the challenges our city faces.

“We cannot heal what we will not face” was the theme of the night, as each dinner invitation displayed the truthful yet vulnerable words as reminders not to shy away from the difficult conversations waiting to be had.

Toolbox LA hosted an Embrace LA dinner that welcomed challenging conversations about race and racism with community leaders in order to grow and better understand each other. Founder of Mixed Up Clothing, Sonia Kang, lead the initiative that brought us all together for a dinner facilitated by a member of the Embrace LA team. The conversation started light with each of us giving a background on where our families are from and how we grew up, then progressed to more serious topics such as police brutality and the criminal justice system.

Some tweeted in response “did it make you feel better???  like you’re doing something?? even though nothing is being done???? “ which on the surface level might seem like there is no action, but without civil dialogue then yes, nothing will get done. It takes inspired thought to create inspired action. A civil discourse on a topic such as race is never easy and yet over 100 dinners took place throughout various neighborhoods in Los Angeles over the duration of 6 months.

Programs such as Embrace LA are just the start for how the city, state, and nation are shifting perspectives on race and racism. The anniversary of Charlottesville is a powerful reminder that we are not as evolved a nation as we’d like to think we are. Bringing together people of all walks of life to break bread is a tradition traced back to the beginning of time and will continue to serve as a symbol of the grace of humanity.

 

Dig it? Want to host a similar event? Reach out to us.


Also published on Medium.