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Dine 4 Democracy

Powered by The Philadelphia Citizen, the monthly dinner series invites you to eat, drink and support causes you believe in


Dine 4 Democracy is a Citizen-powered movement of monthly dinners to support impactful charities while learning about and discussing important topics in our national discourse. Started after the election by Penn researcher Laura Henderson and three friends around the country, Dine 4 Democracy is meant to be fun and informative. Use the form below to sign up, then check out the cheat sheet provided by Dine 4 Democracy to help you get started hosting your own conversations.

How it works

Dine 4 Democracy will pick a theme each month and a nonprofit that works in that field. You sign up to host a dinner party with several friends (use the form below), asking each to bring a suggested donation of $15 that will then go to that organization (or a different one of your choosing). Dine 4 Democracy will provide talking points on the issue, discussion questions, information about the groups involved and other materials as needed. You provide the home, and the food—take out, potluck, cocktails…whatever.

Hopefully, some part of the evening is spent in a discussion about politics and social action, perhaps by bringing in a guest speaker or writing letters to Congresspeople—but it is not a requirement. You don’t need to be a political junkie, experienced activist or anything else; you just need to be someone who wants to become more engaged in issues and eat dinner.

This month’s topic: Immigration and Refugees

Immigration was the signature issue of the Trump campaign, and the President has moved forward on his agenda—sometimes swiftly, sometimes unsteadily. One of his first actions in office was to issue the now infamous executive order banning the travel of citizens from seven nations with majority Muslim populations, including dual citizens and green card holders. Mass protests erupted, and eventually the Ninth Circuit Court upheld a stay on the ban. However, the administration has since released a revised order, whose legality remains uncertain.

In addition to the travel ban, Trump also issued two other executive orders boosting enforcement of immigration laws, broadening the pool of immigrants who are selected for deportation, expediting deportation hearings, and deputizing local law enforcement in the process. Homeland Security has issued new, stricter guidelines, and ordered the hiring of 10,000 new immigration enforcement officers and 5,000 new border patrol agents.

Immigrants and refugee advocacy organizations work on the local level to protect, advise, and serve the vulnerable in their communities. Some focus on legal aid to immigrant communities; some focus on assimilation and community-building. Dine 4 Democracy suggests several national organizations that you can support, including: the ACLUAmerican Immigration Lawyers AssociationSouthern Poverty Law CenterLutheran Social Services; and Catholic Charities USA.

For a more local impact, there are plenty of organizations you can support in Philadelphia, including: Nationalities Services Center; Friends of Farmworkers; Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians; and HIAS.

Sign up to host a dinner here:


Not sure how to get starting hosting dinners? Check out this cheat sheet!

Past month’s topics:

February 2017