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Can Dinner Heal a Divided Country?

Make America Dinner Again wants to bring the country back together, one dinner at a time

Posted by Freethink on Monday, July 3, 2017
Eat up

What's a MADA?

It is no secret that the results of the 2016 election have highlighted great divides in opinion, whether between family, neighbors, or perfect strangers. In an attempt to build understanding and move forward together, we'd like to invite people to sit down and have dinner. There are many avenues to protest, to donate, to fight, to be heard; Make America Dinner Again is an avenue to listen.

These small dinners consist of respectful conversation, guided activities, and delicious food shared among 6-10 guests who have differing political viewpoints, and our country's best interests at heart.

Host Your Own Dinner

Host Your Own Dinner

The first MADA event took three months of planning and plenty of trial and error. Organizers Justine and Tria put together a step-by-step guide to make hosting your own MADA event easy as pie. View the guide here.

They’ve also put together a “host kit”, containing the logo in various formats, and printable items like letterhead to use for menus, icebreaker activities, and cards with inspiring quotes to place around the dinner table. Download host kit here.

Thanks to the GoFundMe campaign, MADA is able to reimburse costs for a limited number of dinners. If you'd like a helping hand covering costs for your MADA event, apply here. We'd love to hear from you!

Host Your Own Dinner

Chapter Heads

Our chapter heads are hosts who have successfully held MADA dinners in their areas of the country. They’ve generously agreed to help get you started as well! If you live in any of these cities and would like guidance with your first MADA event, reach out:

About the Core Team

Justine and Tria are two Americans who felt disheartened by the often polarizing and vilifying language during and after the 2016 election. Make America Dinner Again (MADA) is their way of building empathy in their community, one conversation at a time.

Justine serves as Head of Partnerships, developing relationships with like-missioned organizations and working with the media to tell our story.

Tria serves as Head of Engagement, training and supporting those who would like to be hosts of their own MADA dinners.

J.T. Trollman is our left-hand man in the Bay Area – he created our website, documents our dinners, and provides support for local events.

Jessica Baen is a native New Yorker and conflict resolution specialist with expertise in facilitation and cross-cultural communication. She serves as a facilitator for our New York dinners.

Justine and Tria
Justine and Tria Speaking

Want Justine and Tria to speak at your company?

They've led workshops and given talks about MADA and building understanding across differences at companies like Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, IDEO and SXSW.

Email Inquiry



“I really enjoyed the conversation and company... I’m a firm believer in the adage that there's no action too small that it can't make a difference. People talking to each other rather than at each other, and listening not yelling, is worth a lot.”

Joe W.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and would love to attend a future dinner.”



“We focused on how we might better understand each other and get along. Even those who said they’d never change were positively affected by hearing other viewpoints.”

Walter S.


“Love, love, love the concept.”

Rachel W.


“It was thought provoking, insightful, and truly remarkable to see such vastly different perspectives come together to support a better way.”

Min M.


“Everyone was engaged and seemed to leave feeling like bridges had been built and insights gained.”

Jan C.

Come to Dinner

Thank You!

To those who have supported us with their time, money, ideas, and encouragement: we wouldn’t be where we are without you! Special thanks goes out to:

Wendy Q.
Lu Zhang
Meesha Chang
Lucia Roderique
Leimomi Apoliona-Brown
My Nguyen
Heidi Woo
Brian Belardi
Patricia Glennon
Jacki Brown Baxter
Inbar Koppel
Jeffrey Shiau
Alicia Lu
George Hayles
Hailey Stewart
Maykel Loomans
Jeremy Yap
Dori Gerlesits
Jerrold Gilbert
Chris Yim
Alex Chen
Catherine Steinher
Laurie Ames

Helen & John Trollman
Vanessa Chang
Jeff Johns
Samina Akbari
Joanne Lue
Ran Liu
Tim Cheung
Lynn Lee
Joyce Wong
Christine Lee
Diana Cheng
Walt Shjeflo
Jan Coplick
Diana Chiu
Lizzie Oh
Amy Cho
Hanson Li
Virginia Leskowski
Leslie Nipps
Amber Miles
Margaret Anderson
Lisa Chakrabarti
Dean Stramer
Tom Speaker

Max Marty
Afam Agbodike
Adam Kinsey
Allen Dean
Kathryn Kalas
Neha Raghavan
Ivy Lee
Phyllis Huang
Mike G.
Nicol Perez
J.J. Dillon
Lisa Conn
Dario Mutabdzija
Sahana Kumar
James Song
Chels Haley
Lilian Wang
Chen Lee
Chris McNary
Atemu Aton
Mirna Barker
Radene Cook
Anahita Yazdi

Partners and Sponsors

Understanding can't be built alone. Here are the partners and sponsors already working with us to break bread and barriers: