GOOD

Five Bucks Well Spent: Soup, Salad, and Support for Creative Social Change

Every month, about 300 Detroiters each pay $5 for soup, salad, bread, and a vote to support a creative local project for social change. The music is light, the lights are dim, and people sit on the floor around old doors and boards that are converted into temporary tables.

Every month, about 300 Detroiters each pay $5 for soup, salad, bread, and a vote to support a creative local project for social change. The music is light, the lights are dim, and people sit on the floor around old doors and boards that are converted into temporary tables. We are ready to listen and to collaborate with people who want to make Detroit better. They might be a 12-year-old who wants a clean park next to his school or a 40-year-old woman who wants to help others learn financial literacy.


Detroit SOUP has been a part of neighbors giving neighbors over $27,000 towards projects related to urban agriculture, art, social justice, entrepreneurs, land use, and education initiatives. It’s pretty amazing to watch people gather together, listen to these presenters in total silence, and then eat and share together.

SOUP continues to grow because it has a natural way of connecting people. We have a shared experience. People can bump elbows, stand in line together, and talk about what project you think would best benefit from your $5. We have watched a couple meet and marry, friendships made, jobs found, resources shared, and projects find new collaborators.

We share works of art from fellow Detroiters to explore and engage others. We want the ideas of participation, art in the everyday, and engagement of civic participation to resonate in our work. The people are the power and the dinner is the act of what we know is good: giving to one another, listening, asking questions, participating together, engaging in the conversation of making things better, and practicing our role in democracy. Multiple races, ethnicities, religions, and philosophies gather together. We get to vote our ideals, and might end up changed or challenged in the process.

The project is simple. In a world where many things seem polished and perfect we aim to create a space where we acknowledge the imperfect. We are exploring and navigating what a new Detroit can look like, and SOUP acts as a catalyst to provide an opportunity to know what people are thinking on the ground level. There is something magical about Detroiters that breeds friendliness and challenges those who have their ego ahead of the progress of the city. We're all in this thing together and we seem to know that on a very real level.

Starting your own dinner in your own city can be easy. There are a few resources available. First, head to sundaysoup.org and see if there is a dinner already happening within your city. I also created a ‘How to SOUP’ guide that lends questions and lessons that we have learned in the process. Download the guide here.

Hang out with your neighbors on the last Saturday of April (a day we're calling "Neighborday"). Click here to say you'll Do It, and here to download GOOD's Neighborday Toolkit and a bunch of other fun stuff.

Original photos by David Lewinski courtesy of Detroit SOUP

Articles
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics