A potluck meal is a great way for diverse groups to come together as a community and better understand each other. Sharing food is one of the most basic – and most community building – activities we do as human beings.
Ask students to bring in an item of food for the potluck that represents who they are. Explain to them that this representation of self is not limited simply to one’s ethnicity (you don’t have to bring pasta just because you’re Italian). A student could bring rainbow cookies to represent pride in their sexual orientation; a student could bring Gatorade because they are an athlete, etc. Students might choose to bring a food their family uses to celebrate special occasions (Thanksgiving, birthdays, significant achievements, religious holidays, etc.). The communal potluck is simply an opportunity for students to show a part of who they are and then allow their peers to respectfully take part in their “culture.”
During the potluck meal, encourage a discussion about coalition building. A coalition is a group forged for a common purpose, often consisting of a diverse group of people with diverse skill sets and backgrounds. Help students understand that the communal meal is a form of coalition – harnessing the skills of divers people resulted in the great and unique meal that everyone is currently enjoying!
Push them to think further about this notion of coalition building: ask them to consider what coalitions they would like to see formed within their schools, communities, or both! Have students brainstorm what they would like to see those coalitions accomplish.
We would love to hear about your communal potluck and post about it on Facebook and Twitter. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org [link to email] and tell us what everyone brought!