Gracious Plenty Sunday Dinners: stories, traditions, and personal narratives


This project was put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This study seeks to collect the stories, traditions, and personal narratives related to food so that we might understand how and why people eat what they eat and how different people based on race and class navigate and have navigated our food system.  A series of five community dinners will be held, the first three will be caucused into facilitated conversations for a people of color and white. The fourth dinner will be a integrated facilitated conversation and the final dinner will be a celebration event.  Each of the four facilitated conversations will be catered by Black or Indigenous chefs.  Topics for each dinner will be:

  1. Making a Way Out of No Way: Debunking Myths About Black and Indigenous Cooking
  2. Power and Benefit on Your Plate
  3. Dining through Displacement
  4. Eating for the Ancestors

The goal of the Gracious Plenty Sunday Dinners is to bring community voice and lived experience to both celebration and struggle as it relates to food, culture, history, and ultimately the food system we might imagine for Durham.  This project will work in concert with the history project to inform the Durham Food Justice Plan as to how people are and have been affected by food policy and practice and how to embrace culture for community owned, equitable food solutions.

Project Outputs

  • Four dinner reports, including facilitator’s presentations and summary analysis of dinner outcomes.
  • Final report including analysis of feedback from dinner conversations, framing of issues, and recommendations.
Gracious Plenty Sunday Dinners


Project Team

  • Jen Zuckerman, M.S.
  • Gizem Templeton, Ph.D.
  • Deborah Hill
  • Justin Robinson, Earthseed Collective - Lead researcher
  • Vivette Jeffries-Logan, Biwa | Emergent Equity
  • Jefferson Currie, Lumbee Tribe
  • Georie Bryant, Embodied Durham
  • Gabrielle Eitienne, Revival Taste Collective