Invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner

Invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner

November 9, 2019 Reflections from Changemakers 40

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is a great time to reflect on what is important to you, including the social justice movements you are most passionate about. If you could invite any social justice warrior (past or present) to join your Thanksgiving dinner who would you choose? Why? What would you ask them about?

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40 Responses

  1. Cody Romani says:

    There are many things in my life that are extremely important to me. My faith, family, and friends mean the world to me. I am so thankful for all the blessings in my life. I am passionate about ensuring equal rights for all people. If I could invite any social justice warrior (past or present) to join our Thanksgiving dinner, I would choose Martin Luther King Jr. I would choose Martin Luther King Jr. because he went against the norms of society at that time and fought for equal rights of African American people. All people deserve each rights. I would ask him, “How were you able to create so much social change? How were you so courageous”. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

  2. Jamie del Rosario says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to join in my thanksgiving dinner this year it would have to be Jane Addams of Hull House. She was the first American woman to ever win a nobel peace prize, and is noted in the social work sphere for her activism in the settlement house movement. I would ask her what it took to be a female pioneer in her time, and how she spearheaded such a successful organization with the odds stacked against her.

  3. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to join my Thanksgiving dinner I would choose all my fellow Bonners 🙂 Thanksgiving is a time to surround yourself with the people you are thankful for, and I am thankful for my Bonner Family! Each and every one of us is a social justice warrior in our own unique ways. We do various projects at our sites and change the community around us everyday for the better. Whether it be big changes or small acts of kindness, these actions can snowball into a better world for everyone. I would ask my fellow Bonners about themselves, and why they love working at their individual sites.

  4. Jack McKenna says:

    I would invite Greta Thunberg to my Thanksgiving dinner. At just 16 years old she got the attention of the world and shed a light on the severity of climate change, while standing firm against the backlash from adults who were threatened by her. From anything from judging her for having Asperger to belittling her arguments because she’s “just a kid”, yet still fighting for what she believes in, for the good of the world, is something that I really admire. She has successfully challenged several governments into making a change in favor of the environment, even it means the economy has to make a shift, but a small price to pay. I would ask her how she managed to handle all the push back she received and what she plans to do moving forward to educate and reach as many people as she can.

    • Dana Wakeman says:

      Greta is amazing! And, it is very interesting the discussion she has started about age and activism too. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Abeer Jafri says:

    I would invite Malala Yousafzai to my Thanksgiving dinner, because I admire her fight for female education despite being shot for raising her voice about the issue. It takes immense bravery to do what she did, rising against a system that she knew was corrupt, all while maintaining poise and grace. She is an incredible role model for both girls and boys all over the world who want to speak out about issues they care about. I would ask her: what motivated her to keep going when she was put in terrifying situations for doing the right thing?

  6. Alexis D'Aloia says:

    I would invite Rosa Parks to join my Thanksgiving dinner! I feel like we learned a lot about her when I was much younger, and then not much more as I got older. I think it would be cool to get her first hand perspective on the bus boycott. I’d ask her about her personal experiences and struggles with it. I think it would also be interesting to hear her thoughts on our country today with all of the events and movements happening in regard to racism. Like Nancy said, I would invite my Bonner family as we are all social justice warriors too!

  7. Andraya Perez says:

    If I could choose any social justice warrior to invite to my thanksgiving party it would have to be Jameela Jamil. Some of you might know her as Tahini on the Good Place, but she is much more than that. Jameela uses the platform she as created to have conversations about feminism, mental health, and more in ways that multiple generations can relate too. I specifically love her talk about sex education. Jameela seems to be a person that I feel like I would get along with well, so I’d be inviting her to my dinner party! As well as what Nancy and Alexis said my Bonner family who is all social justice warriors in our own ways!

  8. Kylie Gilbride says:

    I would invite Dr. Maria Montessori! My entire semester has had me completely immersed in learning all about her life’s work and her philosophy. I would be very interested to ask her some questions that I have developed throughout my research thus far. Dr. Montessori’s developed method of education is one that is often misunderstood and viewed from an elitist’s perspective; the original goal was to make a world-class education as accessible to all children. The purpose of this educational model is to provide children with the tools they need to work independently, at their own pace, and to develop important skills that they will then take with them throughout their lives. Having dinner with Dr. Montessori would also be a great opportunity for me to use my Italian 🙂

  9. Nicole Pazarecki says:

    I am very grateful for all the blessings I have in my life. I am passionate about affordable housing. The person I would invite to my Thanksgiving dinner would be the President of the Neighborhood Works America. They are a national organization that helps funds and advocates for affordable housing. Having the Executive Director or President at my table would be awesome because I could ask questions regarding this social justice issue and how there are planning for the future.

  10. Michael Averill says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving dinner table, it would be Roberto Clemente. Not only was Clemente an incredible baseball player throughout his 18 season in the major leagues, but he was also a dedicated humanitarian. His background as a Afro-Caribbean ballplayer from Puerto Rico gave him the vision to fight for minority rights, while his platform as an All-Star level professional athlete gave him the platform for a voice. Clemente died in a plane crash during a trip to bring essential supplies to the survivors of a destructive earthquake in Nicaragua in 1972. His 38 year life was one full of purpose, as he used his talents for the greater good.
    I would ask Clemente about his life story, including what it was like to play in the recently-desegregated major leagues thanks to the courage of fellow baseball social justice warrior Jackie Robinson. I would also ask him about his feelings on becoming the first Latino player inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, a feat that opened the door to a new generation of Latino ballplayers.

  11. Dana Wakeman says:

    This time of year reminds us all about the many things that we have to be thankful for. I am thankful for my family, friends, the ability to receive higher education, the ability to study politics and discuss them without fear of reprisal, the ability to learn about social justice and participate in social justice movements, and many other things.

    At our Thanksgiving dinner, I would like to invite a number of inspirational women who have challenged the constraints put on them by society including Dr. Christine Blasey Ford who inspired many to believe women, Megan Rapinoe who encouraged the discussion of equal pay in sports, Gloria Steinem who championed for the equality of women, and of course, Hillary Clinton who is the first women to be the presidential nominee for a major political party and motivated many other women to run for office.

    All of these women have encouraged me to work in politics and continue to challenge the limitations put on women. And, I would like to talk to these exceptional women leaders about their strength and perseverance in spite of the opposition against them. Furthermore, no matter our political beliefs, we live in a country where we can have a discussion about what we believe without fear of consequences, and this is a remarkable gift.

  12. Amelia Butler says:

    Thinking about Thanksgiving and the concept of being thankful, I truly cannot express how thankful I am to be a part of this Bonner family with so many amazing people standing behind and with me all the time. I am also able to reflect on the people and issues that I am really passionate about during this time of great reflection. If I could invite one person that I consider to be a social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving dinner, it would be a really easy choice. My mother was one of the most influential people I have ever met. She may not have ever started a movement or developed an organization, but she did make a difference for so many individual people. She helped people on such a personal level, and she truly serves as my inspiration for my own service experience. Having her at my Thanksgiving dinner would be amazing, for obvious reasons, but I would also love to ask her about what she learned throughout her experiences with service in the hopes of learning some lessons for my own experiences.

  13. Samantha Lunt says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving dinner, it would be Harriet Tubman. I would invite Harriet Tubman because she was had an instrumental part in the Underground Railroad, helping lead many slaves to freedom. After once being a slave herself and continuously going back down to help other escape even when it was extremely dangerous. I would ask her about her story. I would also ask her how she was able to do what she did even when it was so dangerous and how she was able to do it so many times. I think having Harriet Tubman at my thanksgiving dinner would be amazing because she is such a great role model in how we always need to fight for what we believe is right.

  14. Aedan says:

    I am very grateful every Thanksgiving for the many social justice advocates who have improved the livelihoods of so many people today. It is the efforts and bravery of the social justice warriors who you all have mentioned, that inspire me daily.

    With that being said, if I could invite any social justice warrior to Thanksgiving dinner, I would choose Oscar Wilde. In addition to being an absolutely incredible author and playwright, Wilde was wrote of daring and extremely controversial themes, primarily about homosexuality in a time when it was still illegal in the UK. He was even imprisoned for being gay, but he refused to hide something that was such a crucial part of him and so many others, creating a platform for so many LGBTQ+ individuals long before it was even remotely accepted in society. He also wrote a great deal of literature on self-image and confidence that I believe has remained relevant to an entire generation today.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Marlie says:

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, I am very thankful for my ability to go to Siena, for my family, and my friends. I am very passionate about the right to healthcare as it should be accessible for all. If I could invite any social justice warrior to join my Thanksgiving dinner, I would choose to invite Whitney M. Young. He was the executive director of the National Urban League and is who WMY Health Center is named after. I would love to learn more about him and his work regarding ending segregation and discrimination.

  16. Hayley Pij says:

    The holiday season always reminds me of how privileged I am. This Thanksgiving I would like to recognize how lucky I am to share a meal with my family members and loved ones, gathering together in community. If I could, I would invite all the social justice warriors who dedicate their Thanksgiving to those in need who might not have a family to share the meal with. Equinox in Albany puts on a Thanksgiving dinner every year that is open to the public. Also, one of my favorite restaurants in Burlington does a Thanksgiving meal for the community. I am so grateful for community members who volunteer time and money for programs like this.

  17. Abby Hoekman says:

    We have so much to be thankful for each and every day, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to focus and ground ourselves in all that we are thankful for and embrace an attitude of gratitude. I am thankful for my family, biological and chosen, my friends, the opportunity to receive a higher education, and my faith.

    If I could invite anyone to Thanksgiving dinner, I would bring Oprah Winfrey. Oprah is a human rights activist and has given a voice to many voiceless women and children, she embodies inclusivity and embraces diversity in all that she does. She is a businesswoman, television pioneer, actress, producer, philanthropist, and leader in many avenues. I would ask her about why she began all of the work she has and ask what adversities she has faced along the way. I would chose Oprah because there is so much I would want to learn from her, also who doesn’t love Oprah?!

  18. Liliana Sanchez Adames says:

    If I could invite one social justice warrior to thanksgiving dinner, it would be the many doctors and healthcare professionals that dedicate their holidays to working in low income hospitals and clinical facilities instead of spending time with their families. A lot of these people long to spend time with their small children, husbands and wives but have chose to work and serve the community on the holidays. Everyone knows I am very passionate about healthcare and my goal is to one day practice in a way that I can treat all my patients equally with respect and compassion, something that we lack in society today.

  19. Tristan Hunzinger says:

    If I could invite any social justice leader to join my Thanksgiving dinner, it would by MLK. I would love the opportunity to ask him questions about his experiences in life and what motivated him to be so reliant throughout his time as a social justice leader. His life serves as a great example of the fact that it is never impossible to acheive something if you go about doing it the right way. He is undoubtedly one of the primary leaders in the fight for equality and I would enjoy being able to share a meal with him.

  20. Tori Mangelli says:

    If I could invite any social justice leader to dinner, it would be Martin Luther King Jr. He defied societal norms at the time to fight what he believed in and to fight for the rights of his children and generations to come. He was fearless, he did not care about what happened to him individually, but focused on the progression of his goals. If I got the chance to ask him a question it would probably be “how did you defy all odds and continue to have motivation when everything was against you?” He is without a doubt a fearless social justice leader that millions look up to.

  21. If I could invite any social justice leader it would be Elizabeth Candy Stanton. With her and a small group of others, women would not have been given the right to vote at the time they did. Despite all the negative comments she received and thousands who constantly told her she would never succeed, women were granted the right to vote . Of course this didn’t occur immediately, but that is what’s amazing. She persevered and not just for herself. There was a country full of women who did not have the courage to fight against men and whom looked up to her for a change. After constantly getting told “no”, she did not walk away or wait for another generation of women to make a change. Stanton knew what she wanted to see in the world and did everything in her power to make sure it occurred. She did not succumb to what was seen as normal at the time. She truly is an inspiration because of the courage she showed. Courage isn’t about not having fear; it is about continuing on despite that fear and Stanton is a true embodiment of what courage and being a social justice warrior is about. If I had the honor of asking Stanton a question, it would be “who was the biggest inspiration in your life?”

  22. Sydney Maughan says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to join my Thanksgiving dinner, I would choose Malala Yousafzai. I would chose her because after reading her book “I am Malala” I was truly inspired by everything she did despite all the reasons to not do it. I would want to ask her about her experiences as a child and want to know why education was so important to her. I would also want to know what gave her the courage to continue what she was doing despite the threat it was putting on her and her family. Lastly I would ask if she ever thought she would be able to accomplish the things she has.

  23. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    This Thanksgiving I am grateful for my family, our health and the opportunity to go to Siena and meet so many people.
    If I could invite any social justice warrior to join my Thanksgiving dinner, I would choose the many people who work at Churches and homeless shelters who provide meals for the less fortunate on this cold and lonely day for the people who don’t have a home to go to, because they provide something for them to grateful on that day, given we have so much to be grateful already. I would ask them how it feels to help so many people and choose to be away from their families that day.

  24. Justin Kenyon says:

    The most important movements to me are education and affordable housing. These are important to me because everyone should have the same opportunities to succeed

  25. Marykate Del Gais says:

    This Thanksgiving I have many things that I am thankful for. One thing I am most thankful for is the opportunity to be apart of our B-Love family! I could not choose just one social justice warrior to attend my Thanksgiving dinner. Nancy’s response really gave me some inspiration, so I would too have all my fellow Bonners! You all inspire me everyday to pursue my passion for social justice. I would not have been able to do this without all of you! We all are unique social justice warriors in our everyday lives. I would ask each of my peers about all of their work at their sites because it is amazing to see what each of us has accomplished!

  26. Erin Spence says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving dinner, I would invite Mahatma Ghandi. One of the biggest questions I would have for him is how he had the strength and courage to take a stand as a leader for his people and their freedom. Although his acts of protest were nonviolent, he was still putting himself and possibly others in danger. I would also ask him when he found the passion and dedication to devote his life to this cause. Was it a memory from his childhood or early life that led him to become so involved in the fight for freedom of his people? I would also like to know how fearful he was of the consequences he would face protesting against these governments and how he overcame these fears.

  27. Mara Golden says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving dinner would be Ruby Bridges. I have always admired her bravery and how she fought for what she believed in. One of the biggest questions I would want to ask Ms. Bridges is how she found the strength to continue her education during such a trying time. Being the only African American to attend an all-white school, in the south, at such a young age had to be terrifying. She found the strength to walk through crowds of people yell awful things and threatening to kill her. I always have admired the person she was and has become.

  28. Chandler Edbauer says:

    If you could invite any social justice warrior (past or present) to join your Thanksgiving dinner who would you choose? Why? What would you ask them about?
    I would invite Mother Teresa because of my faith and the respect I have for her. She helped so many people and founded orphanages, hospitals, school, and places for all to be cared for. I would ask her how she remained so vigilant after so many years. Through all the times of hardship and seeing death and poverty how did she remain so happy with these people. What was the power inside herself that kept her going. She lived as all people want to live, helping others and doing it with a smile.

  29. Maura Lynch says:

    If I could invite one social justice warrior to my Thanksgiving, it would be Martin Luther King Jr. Obviously, the fight for equality that he led during the Civil Rights Movement showed the world the importance of equality for all, but I would be interested in hearing from him how much he thinks the world has strayed from racism in 2019. Besides the fact that we now have laws in place to prevent discrimination in many ways, there are still stereotypes that need to be dismantled and I would love to discuss with him how he thinks that can be accomplished.

  30. Kayla says:

    I would invite Malala Yousafzai to meet with me! She is incredible representation of working towards equal access to education for all children. She has and continues to stand up to her opposition. Her intelligence is something that makes her even more appealing as a public figure to her followers. Malala captivates me and probably everyone else when she speaks as she carries herself so matter of fact and without a doubt in herself. I would ask Malala where people in college should start to contribute to worldly causes and campaigns.

  31. Nia Colon says:

    I would like to invite MLK Jr. to my Thanksgiving dinner. I would want to invite him to dinner because he fought against the norms during that time. I would ask him did he think we would be further along with his idea. I think having this dinner with him would be very eye opening because there are so many things that we really do not know.

  32. Kiara Woodward says:

    If I could invite any social justice warrior to the dinner table I would choose Muhammed Ali. He unapologetically stood for what he believed in even though it meant losing his career. He paved the way for athletes even today to take a political stance in sports. That has not always meant an easy journey.

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