From World Café steward Donald Proffit, about what the World Café has made possible for him and why he is contributing to the Harvest Fund Drive:
I first met Juanita and David in 2004 at the Marconi Conference Center in Marshall, California on Tomales Bay. Rolling December storms coming across the Pacific triggered a number of power outages, leaving our group in the dark. Hurricane lamps were placed around the room and candles on small tables. In this setting surrounded by “intimate strangers,” I was introduced to the World Cafe, which prior to this moment I had thought was a radio show originating on WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. Juanita welcomed us, in a very true sense, “out of the darkness.” And Finn was there and Tom and Meg and Peter and so many more…
This one experience changed how I would work with others from then on. A principal at a large New Jersey public high school, I returned with a gift for my community. Faculty meetings shifted to cafe conversations on what students needed to be successful; diverse groups of students gathered to consider ethics and the school’s core values. It was transforming, magical.
The World Cafe Community Foundation has provided me with the generosity of tools and skills to transform a school community. It’s time to pay it forward.