Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts with University Honors


Africana, Gender, and Identity Studies


Richelle Schrock

Additional Advisor(s)

Anne Sokolsky


Participant-led discussion, Identity, Community Building, Religion, Interfaith, Spirituality, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality, College, Minority-owned Restaurant, Conversation, Feminist Education, Empathy, Countering Dehumanization


This paper is a summary of a Social Justice Senior Mentored Activism and honors thesis project. For the project, the student hosted three dinners over the course of the Fall 2021 semester, each focusing on a different major social justice topic and identity category. The dinners were collectively called: Let’s Talk About Social Justice, and the individual dinners were called: Let’s Talk About: Religion & Spirituality, Let’s Talk About: Race & Ethnicity, and Let’s Talk About: Gender & Sexuality. The dinners were catered by local restaurants and caterers and fed about 30 participants per dinner. Each business was Black or Minorityowned and the dinners were funded by a Baran Fellowship with one dinner partially financially supported by Ohio Wesleyan University’s Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs. The dinners were preceded by an entry survey and an exit survey was sent out following each dinner. The intention of the project was to increase community connectedness and awareness of how major identity categories and social issues impact members of the campus community. Participants were students, faculty, and staff of OWU, and represented a wide range of academic disciplines and departments, as well as gender, racial, sexuality, religious, and national identities. The survey data finds that a majority of participants felt that the dinners and discussions were helpful in increasing their sense of community on campus and in increasing their comfort level in discussing topics discussed at the dinners.



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