Introducing GenConnect

Itasca Project is partnering with Marnita’s Table to seek 100 home hosts or co-hosts who want to engage in radical hospitality through our model of Intentional Social Interaction (IZIs)! So far 129 hosts have been trained and 16 GenConnect dinner parties have been tracked.

GenConnect is uniting people across generations who may never have met before but who share similar interests and concerns in our community inspiring deeper conversations and enduring relationships. Hosts and Co-Hosts are holding dinner parties with support from Marnita’s Table and the Itasca Project and together with their guests and community members, over great food, we are building capacity for collaborative undertakings, ultimately creating and supporting ongoing relationships that catalyze participants to work together more effectively toward actionable equity-building efforts within our community.

At GenConnect training, dinner party hosts choose from seven engaging dinner party topics and learn tips and tricks for hosting a fun and inclusive dinner party. Each training guest receives their own materials for throwing an exciting and transformational dinner party for diverse guests across generations!

How to get involved:

  • Please check back for more training dates or email for more information on how to get involved
  • Pair up with someone that has been trained and co-host a dinner party together
  • Volunteer at a dinner party

Have you been involved with GenConnect? Share your GenConnect stories on social media with the hashtag #iGenConnect!

What is Marnita’s Table?
A Minneapolis based non-profit founded in 2005, Marnita’s Table seeks to measurably increase social capital across race, class, culture, gender and other means of self-identity in order to catalyze transformational change where racial and cultural differences are not viewed as deficits or merely tolerated, but instead viewed as assets. Experts at social capital building, in the past ten years we’ve welcomed over 54,000 people from around the world and the around the way to find common ground while breaking bread. Check out for more information on our model and the work we do.

What is the Itasca Project?
The Itasca Project is a virtual organization dedicated to collaborative efforts toward regional economic vitality, quality of life, and prosperity for all. For more information, please visit our website at



Have you recently been to GenConnect Training?

Login here using the course password. Create a Versal account and gain access to GenConnect training tools.

If you have questions, please send an e-mail to Lauren at


What GenConnect training is recquired to become a Host/Co-Host?

Attend one training to become a Host/Co-Host. More training dates to come!  RSVP for all events via e-mail at


How many dinner party hosts have been trained?

Our goal was to recruit 100 dinner party hosts or co-hosts! As of February 2019 , 129 people have been trained to deliver GenConnect parties across the Twin Cities.

How many guests attend GenConnect parties?

We recommend that those hosting a dinner party alone reach for 12-20 guests. Co-hosts and others hosting as a group can comfortably host dinners for 15-40 guests.

What if I need help paying for food and beverage?

Scholarships are available until funds run out. Please apply early.

What if I don’t want to host alone?

You can co-host with a friend or we can link you to someone else in the community!

Where should I host a dinner party?
You can host at a home, a community space or a restaurant.
I'm feeling nervous about hosting.

Marnita’s Table will provide all the materials you need to host! You do not have to host alone. We recommend co-hosting with someone across difference for your first party. This will also help to ensure you have a diverse group of guests.

How many dinner parties will there be total?

Our goal was to support 15-25 events. So far 16 dinner parties have been tracked.

How many people are we looking to connect across difference?
We are looking to connect 550 people across difference!
What is a good vegan to carnivore menu?

In the summer we recommend a vegan to carnivore salad bar or a taco bar. During colder months in the fall or winter we recommend a soup bar, pasta bar, or small bites for the holiday season that include small dishes inclusive of many cultures. We will provide guidance for the menu at the 3 hour training.

As a home host, what am I required to do?
As a home host, you must participate in a 3 hour Dinner Party Host Training. We will guide you and provide you with tools for completing the following tasks:

1. Host 2 events in the next 12 months.
2. Invite a diverse mix of people to your events.
3, Provide a feast appropriate from vegan to carnivore
4. Use provided facilitation tools & guides.
5. Track expenses using the Expensify app.
6. Participate in network mapping.
7. Share stories of impact/observations/recommendations back to us!

How can I share photos, outcomes and quotes from our events?

Use our hashtag #iGenConnect to connect with your guests and other hosts!

What conversation materials will I need to host a dinner party?
After training, you will receive the following tools to host GenConnect dinner party:

Flow of event
Question Cards
Sheets
Menu/Logistic Support
Sticky Stats
And more!

Can I get involved without hosting?

Yes! You can attend a dinner party or volunteer. Contact to learn more.

Marnita's Table is a 501(c)3. Our 18-year old organization seeks to close gaps across difference through making Intentional Social Interaction (“IZI") / Digital Intentional Social Interaction (“dIZI”) the new pattern for society where Indigenous; Black and brown people; the disenfranchised; the poor; the LGBTQ+; those from historically and currently pushed to the margins communities; the traditionally unheard and excluded are actively and intentionally included and valued at the policy-making and resource-sharing table.