The Big Table: Greater Peoria 

The Big Table: Greater Peoria launched in 2019 as a day of regional community building through conversations designed to strengthen and connect communities. By continuing these open, thoughtful conversations that focus on how we can strengthen our region, we will spark new relationships and new ways of working together by deepening our understanding of each other and what our region needs.

Insider tip: Make sure to sign up early so you secure a spot for all four-days, your opinion is important and matters! 

The 2020 Virtual Big Table: Greater Peoria 

The Big Table: Greater Peoria took place virtually over a four-day period focused on community-building and discussed progress and new challenges facing the region. 

Discussions focused on four major areas: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Workforce & Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Quality of Life. Through small breakout groups facilitated by trained volunteers, conversations examined these topics from a regional perspective in order to generate ideas on how to create a healthy and thriving region. Results for the 2020 Virtual event revealed that nearly 800 residents from 55 zip codes participated in the event.

Due to the overwhelming response to this year’s virtual event, future Big Table events will continue to happen to further generate feedback, ideas and actions.

Between the 2019 Big Table: Greater Peoria and the 2020 event, Big Table continued having important conversations with Gather Around Justice: A Big Table Discussion series that took place three times between the months of June and September 2020 with a total of 444 participants. Gather Around Justice’s goal was aimed to foster mindful conversations around how we can use our individual power and privilege to make the change our region needs to correct historic racial, economic and social inequalities.

The full report of the 2020 Virtual Big Table: Grater Peoria can be viewed at: https://data.greaterpeoria.us/big-table/

The organizations involved in planning the event include the CEO Council, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Peoria Economic Development Council, Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peoria Hispanic Chamber, Black Business Alliance, Morton Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, Pekin Chamber of Commerce, Washington Chamber of Commerce, and the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce.


The Big Table: Gather Around Justice

The Big Table: Gather Around Justice seeks to foster mindful conversation around how we can use our individual power and privilege to make the changes our region needs to correct historic racial, economic and social inequities. 

Watch Past Big Table: Gather Around Justice Discussions

June 23 Panel Discussion

On June 23, our panelists and community gathered virtually for mindful conversations around how we can use our individual power and privilege to make the changes our region needs to correct historic racial, economic and social inequities. Watch the recording of this discussion here

Panelists:

Mariah Cooley - Young Revolution

Sheriff Brian Asbell - Peoria County

Dr. Rita Ali - ICC, Peoria City Council

Moderated by Andre Allen - Higher Education Administration 

August 6 - Criminal Justice Reform

Watch the recording of this discussion here

Panelists:

Chris McCall - Family & Criminal Defense Attorney

Johanes Maliza - Central District Assistant Federal Public Defender

Nia Mcfarland-Drye - Mitigation Specialist for Central District Federal Public Defender Office/NAACP

Car Holloway - Executive Director of MAY-I Outreach

Moderated by Brent Baker - Director of Workforce Solutions, GPEDC

September 15 - HR & Organizational Policies

Watch the recording of this discussion here

Panelists: 

Laraine Bryson - President at Tri-County Urban League 

Tom Alexander - Co-Founder & CEO at Holistic & Consultant at Distillery Labs

Eric Sutter - Senior Vice President of HR at EP!C

Moderated by: Brian Ray - Regional President at PNC Bank

Big Table: Gather Around Justice

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