About Table Talk

What is Table Talk?

The Table is a community, resource, and point of connection for self-identifying people of color. The events take place in public places, (co-working, or event spaces). The goal of these gatherings is for folks to network and share lived experiences.

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Indigenous Roots

The mechanism of the Table is indigenous. In this way, many attendees can connect to their own indigeneity, whilst also exploring teachings of First Peoples. This serves as an important reminder that everyone has a different lived experience, and communal exchange is foundational for support. There is no pressure to speak, only a requirement of promoting safety and encouraging those around us to do the same.

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The Faces Behind Table Talk

Table Talk Creator

Parker Johnson is an African American adoptee from Savannah Georgia, who has grown up on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen People. 

Recently Parker graduated from the University of Victoria with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Education. However, for the past for several years, Parker has frontline experience doing community inclusion and working as a Youth Support Worker within group homes. 

It was in 2019 Parker came up with the idea for Talk Talk as a way to decolonize conversations within his local community. Parker had a goal of reminding people that they have a voice and that it is worth hearing. 

Using his education and past experience, Parker has created a platform that creates a safe space that promotes relational acts of kindness, while utilizing trauma informed practices.

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The simple act of breaking bread and sharing stories is what has historically brought us together. So, my hope is to help foster deep relationships with each other and the lands that we are visitors on. This is my motivation.

Parker Johnson

Table Talk Creator

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Table Talk Key Facilitator

Vishnu Punwani is a biracial individual, on his maternal side he is Jamaican and on his paternal side her is East Indian. Born in Jamaica, Vishnu had been predominately raised in Victoria, BC. 

Recently Vishnu graduated from the University of Victoria with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Education. Vishnu plans now to further his education by pursuing a Masters of Psychology with a focus on clinical counselling. 

Back in 2019, when Parker first brought up the idea for Table Talk, Vishnu knew that this was a platform that he had to be apart of. Since then Vishnu has taken on the role of being Key Facilitator for all Table Talk events. 

Table Talk has opened up Vishnu to a new community, one that shared similar experiences as him and has broadened his knowledge about himself and the community.

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Table Talk is a platform that reminds people that they have a voice and that their voice is important. Everyone deserves to be heard. Here at Table Talk we want to hear everyone’s voice and give them a safe space to do so.

Vishnu Punwani

Table Talk Key Facilitator

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How It Works

We utilize an Indigenous conversational mechanism called, The Kitchen Table. 

Each event is thematic in nature, whether we are discussing anti-racism in schools or in our workplace. Climate change, or barriers in the arts. Marginalized voices are always prioritized those who don’t identify as BIPOC (black, Indigenous, person of colour). 

These conversations are informal and gives everyone a chance to participate in decolonization. What does it feel like to share space? And recognize our levels of privilege? What does conversation sound like when we leave our baggage at the door, and encourage each other to validate everyone's experience.

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Table Talk Online

We use Zoom as a medium, with our registration being done through Eventbrite. Conversations last an hour, with a debrief afterward, for everyone to network, listen to music, dance, and eat what food is left!

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Table Talk In-Person

A Table in the center, and a witnessing circle around the perimeter. Key speakers start off the conversation. As the discussion progresses, speakers fall back to the witnessing circle, and listeners take a seat at the Table to join in.

Table Talk On Instagram