On The Table 2020

Due to COVID-19, On the Table 2020 has been postponed until further notice. 

On the Table is hosted by CivicLex, a nonprofit that works to make Lexington a more civically engaged community by providing better access to information, and building relationships between residents, those who serve them, and the processes that impact them. 

CivicLex is announcing a change to this year’s On the Table format. Due to a recommendation from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department (LFCHD) regarding the potential hazards of COVID-19 for high-risk populations, we are changing the format of this year’s On the Table to preserve the survey process in March, but delay in-person conversations until the virus no longer poses a threat in the community.

On March 25th, we will launch the On the Table Community Survey, designed to gather the opinions and perspectives of neighborhood residents all across Lexington. These surveys will be open until April 25th and will be available online at ottlex.org, or in print format at public library locations in Fayette County as well as the Lexington Senior Center. After the survey period closes, the On the Table team will work with the University of Kentucky to analyze the data gathered through this process. Extending the survey period to one month will allow us to reach more people and dynamically respond to what communities are completing the survey and adjust accordingly.

In the early summer, we will release between 20 and 40 neighborhood-specific reports that detail the survey’s findings. The reports will also provide resources for residents to get more involved in the issues they care about.

The public conversation aspect of On the Table will occur when COVID-19 no longer poses a public health risk. Once LFCHD has determined that this risk has passed, we will set a period of 30-45 days to recruit table hosts for conversations, which will take place on one day. All conversations will be designed to facilitate discussion centered around the On the Table neighborhood reports, what was missed, and how residents can work toward further civic action in their communities.

Several factors have influenced this decision. On the Table centers the idea of gathering together and sharing meals as a core value. While this may not be an issue for all, the program has historically seen significant engagement by communities that are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19, including senior adults. CivicLex and the On the Table Engagement Team have focused on increasing accessibility as a core part of the program this year, and we believe that having in-person gatherings that could put vulnerable communities at potential risk runs counter to On the Table’s mission.

The CivicLex Staff and On the Table Engagement Team will remain in close contact with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department over the coming weeks and months to assess when it is safe and appropriate to host in-person convening as a part of On the Table. 

Contact Info: Todd Stoltzfus, Todd.Stoltzfus@uky.edu