Our Story

The Leadership Dallas Alumni Board of the Dallas Regional Chamber were the impetus for Dallas Dinner Table (DDT). Following the dragging death of James Byrd in 1998 in nearby Jasper, the Alumni Board of Leadership Dallas sought a way to bring people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds together for a facilitated conversation about race/racism and the dinner table concept was born. The first dinner table was held on October 7, 1999.

DDT later transitioned to an independent nonprofit organization led by volunteers. In addition to a signature MLK Day event, DDT facilitates requests for Private Dinner Tables and Community Dinner Tables throughout the year with corporations, schools, community, and nonprofit organizations.

In 2021, DDT began its long-planned expansion to America’s Dinner Table (ADT), continuing to provide the dinner table experience to communities not only in Texas, but across the nation. Events can be planned in the virtual or in person setting, and ADT prepares materials based on the needs and diversity initiatives of each organization.

America’s Dinner Table also certifies individuals in association with companies, churches, and other nonprofit organizations who seek to host their own Dinner Tables in local venues for their community.

  • "Attending this Dinner Table Event has been a great place to talk about the things that are important to us and how we can further the progress of moving the journey forward."
    - MLK Day Attendee
  • “I’ve learned that it’s harder to hate up close.
    - Michelle Obama
  • "Having a conversation about race has made the subject more comfortable and less intimidating"
    - MLK Day Attendee
  • "One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever."
    - Linda Lamber
  • "You don't know what people are really thinking until you listen to their lived experiences."
    - MLK Day Attendee
  • "We've learned that race conversations is not about resolving our opinions, but rather self reflection that leads to self directed progress."
    - Dionne Kirby, Executive Director, America's Dinner Table