A new initiative for the city of Erie called The People's Supper will get underway next week.

After a series of intimate conversations over suppers, it will culminate in a big community meeting in May.

The People's Supper is a national organization founded by two women after the 2016 election and endorsed by former President Barack Obama.

Since last January, the organization has teamed up with ordinary people, schools, people of faith, and neighborhood organizations to host over 1,200 conversations in cities across the nation.

In Erie, Mayor Joe Schember and his administration want the suppers to bridge the gap between diverse ethnic groups, and start challenging conversations aimed at moving our community forward.

Community Liaison Michael Outlaw said The People's Supper is in line with the states mission of the mayor to restore hope, build opportunity and transform Erie.  "In order for that to happen you must have conversation," Outlaw said, "the mayor is adamant about diversity, he is adamant about seeing inclusion, he is adamant about equity as well, so this initiative is in full line with his vision and The People's Supper again is going to be that platform for us to to launch off this conversation."

Three Bridging Suppers are planned, starting January 17.  Then there are a series of Affinity Suppers for groups organizers list as African-Americans, the Hispanic and Latino Communities, New Americans and White Allies.  Trained facilitators will lead the suppers.  Attendance is by invitation only.

On the WSEE/WICU public affairs show, the Insider, Michael Outlaw sits down with Erie News Now Lisa Adams to explain more about how The People's Supper initiative will work in Erie.