SUMMIT COUNTY, OHIO—On October 3, 2019, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro hosted more than a dozen On the Table conversations in multiple Executive departments. Now in its third year, On the Table is a community-wide initiative that brings together diverse individuals to share a meal and discuss meaningful ways to support the community.

“On the Table is an opportunity for our staff to talk candidly with one another about what really matters most to them—the issues affecting their families and their neighborhoods,” said Executive Shapiro. “Most importantly, this initiative provides individuals a chance to actually take action based on their conversations through the On the Table Community Impact Awards, grants of up to $2,000 for projects that address issues discussed. I am proud to be a part of this innovative community initiative.”

While participants were free to discuss any community issue, suggested conversation topics were provided in advance. This year’s topics were Drugs & Addiction, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Aging Seniors. Using local data, these issues were deemed priority areas.
In 2017, Akron was selected as one of 10 cities across the U.S. to host the event with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Led locally by Akron Community Foundation, the initiative has since brought together thousands of residents to discuss critical community issues in small conversations.

Earlier this year, Akron Community Foundation awarded $50,000 in On the Table Community Impact Awards to 26 local nonprofits for projects that addressed issues discussed during 2018 On the Table events. The foundation plans to award $100,000 in grants based on ideas discussed during this year’s conversations.

To learn more about On the Table, visit