The Divan Center co-sponsored the inagural ACT Dinner on April 20th with the UNCG LISSA

The Divan Center (Piedmont Triad Chapter) and the UNCG LISSA (Library and Information Studies Student Association) co-sponsored the inaugural ACT (Aspiring Change Together) Dinner on April 20. This fundraising dinner was a collaborative and community-engaged initiative to benefit the Glenwood Branch Library in Greensboro. Dr. Omar Ali, an Associate Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History at UNCG, served as master of ceremonies.

Steve Sumerford, retired assistant director of the Greensboro Public Library, talked in his keynote address about how Mahatma Gandhi’s “Constructive Program” motivated him to work in libraries and highlighted libraries’ role in furthering social justice and enhancing equity in access to information. Mr. Sumerford has served his community for 25 years managing two branches and procuring grants to support literacy and diversity programs. He started the One City One Book initiative which reached thousands of readers across Greensboro.

ACT Dinner FAQ:

1. Why an ACT Dinner? For seven years the Divan Center of the Piedmont Triad held Dialogue and Friendship Dinners, a forum drawing together diverse communities to discuss critical issues and engage in cooperative social action. The aim of these dinners was to tie together the vision, values, and cooperative spirit of different communities working together toward a common ground. The Divan Center wishes to continue its community table conversations, by collaborating with community organizations and fundraising to benefit selected community organizations to support their work that advances social change, in other words, aspiring change together (ACT).

2. Who can collaborate? The Divan Center (Piedmont Triad) is open to collaborating with one or more community organizations interested in the purpose of the ACT Dinner.

3. Who can participate? The Dinner is open to anyone who is interested in attending or wishes to sponsor/donate a dinner ticket or table, with no requirement to attend.

4. How is the beneficiary community organization selected? The collaborating Dinner-planning organizations select the beneficiary community organization through its own identification efforts or in response to a potential beneficiary community organization contacting the Divan Center about its interest in being selected based on their financial need and mission/project/program to serve the diverse community of the Piedmont Triad, address social change, and enhance community engagement (well-being, civic participation).

5. How much did the beneficiary community organization receive? The beneficiary community organization received $500 from the Divan Center and the net proceeds of the Dinner.