Feast of Dreams Ignites Solutions on Full Stomachs

Propcellar, 2585 Summer Ave, padded immediately with over 100 guests, brimming with intellect, wisdom, and expertise as they prepared to engage in dinner and discussion around poverty in Memphis and its impact areas on Thursday, December 7th at “Feast of Dreams.”

The coordinator and mistress of ceremonies, Lori Spicer Robertson, Chief Communications and Engagement Officer with United Way of the Mid-South, said the event which took a year and a half to adequately and carefully plan was an “innovative solutions dinner for Memphians across all lines to have candid conversation and produce an enthusiasm to resolve the city’s most pressing challenge: poverty.”


Erling Jensen

Dinner was sponsored by celebrity chef, Erling Jensen, owner of Erling Jensen Resturant in Memphis who designed a 3-course menu for the family style dinner. Participants paid for nothing.



Guests included civic and political leaders from various corporations and organizations including Executive Director, Workforce Investment Program and School Board commissioner Kevin Woods, Pastor Stacey L. Spencer, New Direction Christian Church, and Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation, Ruby Bright.

For 40-minutes, tables held a candid conversation, giving their opinions on how the city reached a poverty rate of 27 percent and childhood poverty rate of 44 percent. Reason ranged from racism and low-wage jobs to a loss in community and coalition building.

The “meeting of the minds” soon turned into a workshop of solutions and networking, participants offering ways in which individuals, organizations

 and the city could move the needle of poverty.

“People have to feel empowered to advocate for themselves and their families,” said Erika Conley, Teach for America.

A looming resound of impacting communities through supporting local and effective organizations such as United Way concluded the night. Bringing organizations together in an effort to boost community, collective impact was another sentiment that garnered snaps and applause.

“We did not get here overnight and we will not reach a resolve tomorrow, but we will get there with the hands of each other you,” concluded President and CEO, Kenneth S. Robinson, United Way.

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