New cookbook offers recipes, resources on strengthening community across differences
As world-renowned chef Josė Andrės once said, food has the power to evoke memories, bring people together, and transport you to other places. We eat for sustenance, but also to experience community and a sense of belonging by dining together.
This universal sentiment is captured in Taste of Belonging: A Collection of Recipes and Ways to Strengthen Community Across Differences published by Welcoming America this week. Created as a toolkit and resource guide, the cookbook is intended for individuals and organizations seeking fresh inspiration and tips for building connections and decreasing prejudice in communities.
Recipes were submitted by members, staff, and friends of the Welcoming Network, which comprises more than 200 nonprofit organizations and local governments. Each recipe is accompanied by a story of family, community, or heritage. In between recipes, theories and models of intergroup bridging best practices — or ways to strengthen community across ethnic, geographic, or other differences — are presented as tools for readers to put theory into practice.
Readers are encouraged to try making dishes from the recipes and sharing the results on social media through the hashtag #TasteOfBelonging. A communications toolkit is available for anyone to use in promoting and sharing the cookbook.
As psychologist Gordon Allport said, “Only the type of contact that leads people to do things together is likely to result in changed attitudes.” This cookbook aspires to serve as a tool for anyone seeking to change attitudes, hearts, and minds to foster greater belonging for the community around them.
Welcoming America would like to thank members of the Welcoming Network, staff, partners, and other individuals for contributing recipes, family stories, thought partnership on intergroup bridging models and contact theory, best practices, and additional resources for building stronger communities and spaces for hard conversations.
Jordyne Krumroy, Southern Regional Manager of Welcoming America, served as the project lead for this cookbook, with support from the Welcoming America communications and network teams.
Finally, sincere gratitude to Kristen Argenio and Yifan Luo for their creative vision in designing and illustrating, respectively, all components of this publication.