Four years ago, The Chicago Community Trust began the On the Table initiative with the goal of bringing the region’s residents together to share a meal and discuss the opportunities and challenges that face the Chicago region. On May 16, 2017, residents of the Chicago region once again convened in conversation with new acquaintances and old friends to celebrate this unofficial civic holiday. Throughout their conversations, they shared frustrations and optimism about their local communities and the region, and they explored ideas and solutions to address persistent community problems.
The Trust invited the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) to continue in the role of research partner and to study the fourth iteration of On the Table. As in past years, we set out to gain a deeper understanding of the conversations through results gathered from a survey of On the Table 2017 participants.