Join us in creating more civil discourse in Santa Monica.

Santa Monica is a city unlike any other. It’s full of such beauty – both in nature and in the way people coexist.  Every day, there are instances of civility. As a member of the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council Board, I make it a point to look for examples of courtesy and generosity and share them with others. I’ve seen people help our unhoused community members by giving them food, offering them support and volunteering with social service organizations. I’ve seen people go out of their way to pick up trash, clean off graffiti and beautify their neighborhoods to keep Santa Monica cleaner for everyone. I’ve seen community meetings address issues that might ruffle feathers in other cities. But here, people focus on creating positive change, speaking courteously and respectfully and really listening to one another. These little acts of civility make life better in Santa Monica and everywhere. And the world needs more of them.

To make that happen, the Human Relations Council is starting a dinner series called “Dinner and Dialogue.” These dinners will be hosted in someone’s home and will feature a free catered dinner, and lively conversation about how to create a community that makes life better for everyone. No judgment or presuppositions, just conversation and bridge-building. Our first dinner will take place May 8th, and we are excited to invite you to join us!  We are specifically interested in inviting community members who lack opportunities to share their perspective on how to improve our city. So, while we’d love to sit down with elected or those on commissions or neighborhood group boards, this dinner is designed for everyday citizens of Santa Monica looking to make their neighborhood a better place. If you’re interested in participating, please email, and we will let you know if space is available. The only requirement is that you come to the dinner with an open mind and a willingness to participate in civil discourse. Our goal is to foster a more civil and respectful community we can all enjoy.

The Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council was established in 2004 as a nonprofit organization that promotes a culture of fair treatment, inclusion and equal access to opportunities. For more information, please visit us on or on our Facebook page.

Tara Barauskas is the Executive Director of Community Corporation of Santa Monica and serves on the board of The Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council.

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