The local event known as “The Longest Table,” designed to foster conversations and solve issues in the community, took place most recently last month.
Hosted by the City of Tallahassee, Leon County, The Village Square and Leadership Tallahassee, this free catered event happens annually and it allows people to share authentic, opinionated dialog about situations that take place in the city. The 500-foot-long table aims to create a family oriented feeling to address public matters in an intimate manner.
The event allows residents of all demographics and genders to have a voice on matters of importance. The Longest Table brought about 1,000 people in attendance after Hurricane Michael, which added a new record to the event’s attendance. In order to have a seat at the table you must sign up a year in advance on the Village Square website.
The event is also a way for people in the community to build relationships with one other in a manner that fosters a sense of community.
Leonard Edmonds, a pre-occupational therapy student at Florida A&M, said: “I try to get a seat at the table every year to enjoy the meal and politic about what ways we can improve our community.”
Edmonds has been attending the table talk over the past three years.
The Longest Table sometimes travels to different locations to bring the problem-solving platform to local places. In 2018 The Longest Table visited Godby High, gathering 250 students to participate in healthy dialog about problems among students. Joshua Hayes a junior at the high school, said: “It was a fun productive experience, I felt like I learned a lot about other students’ backgrounds and situations they deal with.”
The discussion usually starts at 5 p.m. and goes till about 8 p.m., giving participating members plenty of time to socialize and find ways to identify with one another. This panel takes place every year during the same fall season, usually in late October. Along Duval Street is the most suitable place to have the event without blocking traffic, and it is a strategical setting meant to allow people to see what’s taking place in the area.
Michael Gordon said: “I never was aware of what was going on. I drove past it to check out what was happening and here we are, 2020 will be my third time attending.”
For updates and to register for your seat at the table visit https://tlh.villagesquare.us/event/the-longest-table/