(Charleston, SC) – Transformation Table, a Charleston-based global organization known for using shared meals as a tool for connection and social change, has selected YWCA Greater Charleston – a historic nonprofit organization committed to eliminating racism and empowering women across the region – as the inaugural Community Partner for their pioneering program. This model is designed to replicate the success of Transformation Table’s home-based and community dinners, hosted in the Lowcountry since 2016.
The Charleston, S.C. Lowcountry region is the first to launch this new model, under the banner of Transformation Table Lowcountry. Steered by a shared vision of a just, inclusive, and equitable society, these two organizations are setting the stage for a dynamic partnership.
“We were thrilled when YWCA Greater Charleston expressed interest in piloting this initiative with us,” said Tina L. Singleton, founder of Transformation Table. “Combining our shared strengths and our collective efforts to create space among people of different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences where they can come together to see, hear, and understand one another all is what we are both all about.”
Dismantling more barriers
The new partnership will allow the two organizations to expand into new communities and reach more people as they dismantle barriers that separate humanity.
Under the new community partner model, Transformation Table Lowcountry will be housed within YWCA Greater Charleston’s Racial Equity & Inclusion program, adding a new cross-cultural understanding component, and offering the opportunity for people to engage in meaningful dialogue in new ways and settings where community members listen with open hearts and minds.
“A shared humanity is very much part of our vision,” said LaVanda Brown, M. Ed, executive director of YWCA Greater Charleston. “Transformation Table has been recognized for breaking new ground in diversity and inclusion, and as part of our own pioneering efforts in racial equity, we are excited to become the first to imprint its innovative model on our own region.”
Expanding the conversation
In addition to the home-based dinners with cuisine prepared by global chefs that is the signature of Transformation Table, Transformation Table Lowcountry will partner with community organizations in the tri-county region to host larger community-based dinners that are also designed to foster conversation and dialogue.
Planned partnerships include the International African American Museum, Charleston Black Pride, Summerville’s Public Works Art Center, and Charleston Jazz.
Making Room at the Table: Equitable Access for All
Moving into the holiday season, Transformation Table and YWCA Greater Charleston will launch a joint GivingTuesday campaign on November 7. Centered around GivingTuesday on November 28, the purpose of the “Making Room at the Table: Equitable Access for All” campaign is to ensure that community members have the opportunity, resources, and support to attend dinners, regardless of their range of physical ability or mode of language communication.
The campaign’s goal is to raise $10,000 for Transformation Table Lowcountry to fund accommodations such as a portable ramp and adaptive dinnerware and utensils. Inclusive communication includes the creation of braille menus and large-print materials, the services of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, and language translators – including bilingual tamadas. Donations will also be used to offset costs of the dinners to allow community members to pay what they can afford – enabling anyone who wishes to participate in a dinner to do so.
“We want to ensure that all voices of the community are around the table. We can do that with the help of our Lowcountry community, and we look forward to what 2024 will bring,” shares Singleton.