Civic Dinners: Be Brave Enough To Start A Conversation That Matters

Fast paced technology, the insatiable addiction to social media and a lack of in-person human connection have become a stark reality for most Americans. While looking to the future of Atlanta specifically, Jenn Graham created Civic Dinners, tapping into her passion for inclusivity and belonging. With her pilot program of 60 dinners in just 6 weeks, Jenn was able to bring diverse groups of millennials together around the common love of a shared meal and human connection. The purpose of “What do you love about Atlanta?” was to create a better understanding of what is important to the people of Atlanta as a whole and how to collectively create actionable items for a robust future all while creating a common bond over food.
you are invited to civic dinners

Jenn gained powerful insight during the pilot project and was able to market the idea to one of her Aha! Strategy consulting clients, the Atlanta Regional Commission. Together they created the platform, “New Voices: Millennial Advisory Panel”, to gain a local millennial perspective focused on topics such as transportation and mobility, healthy-livable communities as well as innovation and workforce development.

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“Millennials don’t want to attend a town hall or fill out a survey only. They want a human connection. They want their ideas heard and to know “What’s Next?”, states Jenn.

With the partnership of the Atlanta Regional Commission and launch of “New Voices”, Jenn and her team were astounded with the results of hosting 35 dinners over a 3 week period of time. 5 out of 135 Civic Dinners’ attendees ran for office including the school board and city council. Standout participant Bee Nguyen, ran for State Representative as the first Vietnamese woman in Georgia and won the election!

Nonprofit organizations emerged from Civic Dinners conversations such as “Advanced Atlanta” which is the only grassroots coalition around regional transit advocacy. Due to the hard work, networking and the newly formed resources, “Advanced Atlanta” was able to unlock funding, play a big role in getting 2.8 billion in referendums passed, and the Marta package passed on the ballot.

As Civic Dinners has taken on a life of its own, clients such as Teach for America and the Sierra Club have engaged the strategic dinner structure to create effective educational platforms and realistic renewable energy plans. Jenn looks forward to taking Civic Dinners around the country to build trust, connected communities on a human level and continue to follow her life’s purpose of creating inclusivity and action.

Jenn Grahm Founder of Civic Dinners discussing company with Roshawnna Novellus, Founder EnrichHER

We are so proud to showcase Civic Dinners on our EnrichHER platform and share the values of celebrating diversity and building a strong robust community together. We are stronger together!

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EnrichHER is a financial technology platform that matches revenue-generating companies led by women and founders of color to individual and institutional sources of funding. A Certified B Corporation™ and portfolio company of Techstars, Fearless Fund, and Georgia Tech’s ATDC Accelerate program, EnrichHER has been in-market since 2019, deploying $14M in capital to traditional businesses from 47 states. Our network has engaged with over 98,000 companies through our digital community and in-person activations. Named one of Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2021 “Atlanta Startups to Watch” and winner of the FinTech South Challenge, EnrichHER is proud to fuel the fastest-growing demographics of business owners — Black women and diverse-led companies — by providing capital, coaching, and connections.

Because EnrichHER offers a turn-key Fintech platform with access to over 98,000 New Majority business owners, we partner with foundations, corporate giving departments, and impact investment groups to deploy $10 Million impact funds to our ecosystem.


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