DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Lisa Lozano DePoy opened her door to strangers Tuesday to start a conversation in her community about race.
“Somewhat terrified,” she admitted, laughing, as she prepared to host the group.
Inspired by a recent protest, she’d posted online asking if moms in her Lake Highlands neighborhood would be interested in meeting for a candid talk on race relations.
She heard back from hundreds.
Of those, several dozen agreed to get together Tuesday at four different dinners, including one held over video conference.
With help from Dallas City Councilmember Adam Mcgough, DePoy connected with Dallas Dinner Table, an organization that fosters conversations on race between strangers over dinner tables annually on Martin Luther King Jr Day.
“They wanted to be better moms. They wanted to grow a better community and they thought this process would help them,” said Peter Aguirre, who agreed to help organize Tuesday’s dinners and facilitate the conversation at DePoy’s house.
DDT’s goal is to get people to listen and better understand each other’s experiences.
“We call them ‘aha’ moments. People don’t realize what people have clearly grown up with. They don’t know the discussion that a black mother has with her son about staying alive,” said Aguirre.
DePoy says in recent weeks, she’s had many conversations with friends about the role race has played in their lives.
“It brings back stuff that you completely forgot about or that you just turned the other cheek,” she said.
DePoy shared with the group of women who came to her home her experiences as an Hispanic woman.
“When I got married, I didn’t change my name for a long time because I thought I would lose my identity, which is exactly what happened,” she said.
As uncomfortable as an honest conversation on race can get, though, DePoy says her biggest fear is what may not come from it.
“That we do this and nothing changes,” she said.
For more information on Dallas Dinner Table or how to take part in its annual event, click here.