Make America Dinner Again

Nationwide, small group conversations bridging the divide since 2016. Now online or across your dinner table.

Can Dinner Heal a Divided Country?

Make America Dinner Again wants to bring the country back together, one dinner at a time

Posted by Freethink on Monday, July 3, 2017
Eat up

What's a MADA?

It is no secret that the results of the 2016 election highlighted great divides in opinion, whether between family, neighbors, or perfect strangers. In an attempt to build understanding and move forward together, we invited people to sit down and have dinner. There are many avenues to protest, to donate, to fight, to be heard; Make America Dinner Again is an avenue to listen.

These small dinners consist of respectful conversation, guided activities, and delicious food shared among 6-10 guests who have differing political viewpoints, and our country's best interests at heart. During COVID-19, we've also been conducting conversations online with our partner Living Room Conversations.

We also have a vibrant online community that is moderated by a team of right- and left-leaning volunteers. If you're interested in connecting with people across the political spectrum and country right away, Join our Facebook Discussion Group.

Host Your Own Dinner

Host Your Own Dinner

The first MADA event took three months of planning and plenty of trial and error. Organizers Justine and Tria put together a step-by-step guide to make hosting your own MADA event easy as pie. View the guide here.

They’ve also put together a “host kit”, containing the logo in various formats, and printable items like letterhead to use for menus, icebreaker activities, and cards with inspiring quotes to place around the dinner table. Download host kit here.

To host an online event, see our Online Events page.

Host Your Own Dinner

About the Creators

Justine Lee and Tria Chang are two Americans who felt disheartened by the often polarizing and vilifying language during and after the 2016 election. Make America Dinner Again (MADA) was a four-year, nationwide project of theirs building empathy in their community, one conversation at a time.

By the end of its moderated four-year run, MADA had hundreds of events involving thousands of citizens — and was run in over 20 cities and with 12 chapters. Today they’ve set up MADA to run independently; folks are encouraged to take the format and host on their own!

Justine served as head of partnerships for four years developing relationships with like-missioned organizations and working with the media to tell the MADA story. She continues bridging work as the executive director at Living Room Conversations and is committed to centering and telling stories of marginalized people. You can follow her on Twitter.

Tria served as head of engagement for four years, helping to train and support hosts and Chapter Heads of MADA. Currently, she is working as a freelance writer, editing the Black Allyship column at Mochi Magazine and working on a manuscript. You can follow her on Instagram.

J.T. Trollman created our website, documented our dinners, and provided support for local events.

Justine and Tria MADA Map
Justine and Tria Speaking

Want Justine and Tria to speak at your company?

They've led workshops and given talks about MADA and building understanding across differences at companies like Facebook, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, IDEO and SXSW.

Email Inquiry



“I really enjoyed the conversation and company... I’m a firm believer in the adage that there's no action too small that it can't make a difference. People talking to each other rather than at each other, and listening not yelling, is worth a lot.”

Joe W.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and would love to attend a future dinner.”



“We focused on how we might better understand each other and get along. Even those who said they’d never change were positively affected by hearing other viewpoints.”

Walter S.


“Love, love, love the concept.”

Rachel W.


“It was thought provoking, insightful, and truly remarkable to see such vastly different perspectives come together to support a better way.”

Min M.


“Everyone was engaged and seemed to leave feeling like bridges had been built and insights gained.”

Jan C.

Come to Dinner

Thank You!

To those who have supported us with their time, money, ideas, and encouragement: we wouldn’t have been able to build this without you! Special thanks goes out to:

Wendy Q.
Lu Zhang
Meesha Chang
Lucia Roderique
Leimomi Apoliona-Brown
My Nguyen
Heidi Woo
Brian Belardi
Patricia Glennon
Jacki Brown Baxter
Inbar Koppel
Jeffrey Shiau
Alicia Lu
George Hayles
Hailey Stewart
Maykel Loomans
Jeremy Yap
Dori Gerlesits
Jerrold Gilbert
Chris Yim
Alex Chen
Catherine Steinher

Helen & John Trollman
Vanessa Chang
Jeff Johns
Samina Akbari
Joanne Lue
Tim Cheung
Lynn Lee
Joyce Wong
Christine Lee
Diana Cheng
Diana Chiu
Lizzie Oh
Amy Cho
Hanson Li
Virginia Leskowski
Leslie Nipps
Amber Miles
Margaret Anderson
Lisa Chakrabarti
Dean Stramer
Marielle D'Onofrio
Laurel Cook
Laurie Ames

Max Marty
Afam Agbodike
Adam Kinsey
Allen Dean
Kathryn Kalas
Neha Raghavan
Ivy Lee
Phyllis Huang
Mike G.
Nicol Perez
J.J. Dillon
Lisa Conn
Sahana Kumar
James Song
Chels Haley
Lilian Wang
Chen Lee
Chris McNary
Atemu Aton
Mirna Barker
Radene Cook
Anahita Yazdi

We have tremendous gratitude for our amazing volunteers. They've helped us grow MADA by starting and running chapters in their cities, organizing dinners, and/or moderating our online discussion group. Your commitment to this work makes MADA possible:

Tom Speaker
Kasey Randall
Phil Surgent
Dave Field
Patrick Yu
Michael Kim-Stevens
Jon Neville
Drew Davis
Dario Mutabdzija

Sara Barry
Ari Gabrek
Katharine Croke
Andrew Avanessians
Kathy Blackburn
Emily Nelson
Ben Gray
Jan Coplick
Ran Liu
Walt Shjeflo

Mark Fosdal
Vince Carson
Ken Horner
Matthew Hurtt
Andrew Forlines
Jessica Baen
Connie Steadman
Britt Stevenson
Jessica Craft

Partners and Sponsors

Understanding can't be built alone. Here are the partners and sponsors who worked with us to break bread and barriers: