Get Started

All material ©2006 Initiatives of Change

Join the Open Homes Network

Want to try it? We’d be happy to provide ideas and encouragement as you plan your Open Homes event. Please let us know you plan to participate by sending us your name and the best way to contact you (phone, e-mail, or home address). You can sign up by e-mail, regular mail or phone. This information will not be shared with anyone else without your permission.

Open Homes, Listening Hearts
1156 Fifteenth St., N.W., Suite 910
Washington, DC 20005

(202) 872-9077


In the meantime, here are three questions to get you started:

1. What will we do?
a. Ask yourself:

(1). What conversations are not taking place in my community?
(2). Who needs to be at the table in order for those conversations to take place?
(3). What conversation do I need to have today?       With whom?

b. Set goals: I want to…

(1). Learn more about_________________
(2). Get to know neighbors/colleagues
(3). Build new community partnerships

c. Decide what kind of event will work best to meet your goals: a dinner in your home, a potluck, or even a community event.


2. How will we do it?

a. Is there anyone you want to work with on this? Perhaps your family or roommates. Who will help host the event with you?

b. Share your ideas with the team

c. Assign responsibilities

(1) Invitations
(2) Food preparations
(3) Transportation
(4) Leading discussion

d. Get in touch with Open Homes, Listening Hearts to get support and to share your story with others.

e. Feel free to tell other people and community organizations about Open Homes, Listening Hearts. It’s a great way to build new partnerships for building community.


3. Who will come?

a. From your program ideas, decide whom you want to invite. This may be a specific person or a person from a general cultural group (i.e. someone who is Muslim, someone who is White, or someone who is Hispanic).

b. If you don’t have a specific person(s) in mind, you can contact a local faith or community center in your area or the International Affairs Department of a nearby college. Tell them what you are doing and ask if they would connect you with someone. You can also contact Initiatives of Change and we will try to link you with one of our local teams or a partner organization.

c. Send your guest(s) an invitation or invite them personally.

d. Be sure to find out any cultural or dietary information that would affect your event. This is an important part of learning about other cultures!

e. Include your guests in the preparations if they want to be involved.