National Mix It Up at Lunch Day was a huge success last year—and this year is going to be even better!
For over a decade, Teaching Tolerance’s Mix It Up at Lunch campaign has encouraged students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. In our surveys, students have identified the cafeteria as the place in their schools where group divisions are most clearly drawn. So on one day—October 29 this school year—we ask students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch.
It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice; when students interact with those who are different than they are, biases and misperceptions can fall away.
It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning!
Our checklist will keep you on track throughout the planning process.
Create a planning group
• Identify members of the planning group.
Review “lessons learned” from previous years
• Create an email distribution list for easy communication.
• Meet every other week in August and September, then weekly in October.
• List key people to keep informed about the event.
• Identify influential people to bring on board.
Determine a lunchtime activity
• Decide on a theme.
• Plan how to mix up the students.
• Brainstorm and complete conversation starters.
• Select and confirm facilitators.
Make it festive
• Ending activity?
Publicize the event
• Create posters and fliers.
• Create a list of publicity outlets, and determine which ones you can use.
• Prepare a press release using our template.
• Consider a skit or video presentation in advance of the event.
Capture the day with pictures and video
• Identify a photographer and videographer for the event.
• Contact local media to request coverage.
Evaluate, debrief and follow up
• Determine a method of evaluation.
• Set a date for the debrief meeting.
• Create a list of “lessons learned” for future planning.
• Identify at least two follow-up events for the year.
• Use this checklist to start planning those events!