Press Releases


January 17, 2024 (Atlanta, GA) - The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) in partnership with L’Arche Atlanta, Equitable Dinners, and Out of Hand Theater announces A Seat at the Table: A Transformative Conversation Around Equity, Disability and Support February 6th and February 27th, 2024, to encourage conversations with Georgia’s disability community and their state representatives. The event will take place at the Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta Georgia on the evening of Tuesday, February 6 and virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, February 27th.

The latest work of GCDD’s Storytelling Project, these two gatherings will bring together art, dinner, and discussion about the value of equitable opportunities and supports in the lives of Georgians with developmental disabilities and their families. During these two events, participants will view three short films on disability (three to four minutes long). After viewing the three films and enjoying a light dinner, the conversations will begin where participants will be in small groups to discuss topics important to the disability community, including employment, access, housing, waivers, better wages for direct support professionals (DSPs), community and support. Additionally, these two events are scheduled one day before GCDD’s in-person Advocacy Days events at the Georgia state capitol scheduled for February 7th and February 28th. Advocacy Days is GCDD’s annual event where the agency, Developmental Disability Network partners, self-advocates, family members, and providers go to the Georgia state capitol during the legislative session to advocate on issues important to Georgia’s disability community. GCDD will advocate for waivers, wages, and employment during its February Advocacy Days events.

“Our Storytelling Project has taken many forms since it was first launched in 2018. Connecting real people to the issues by sharing personal stories has proven to be a powerful way to explain complex issues that the disability community faces.  Storytelling is central to the work that Equitable Dinners and Out of Hand Theatre has done around courageous community centered conversations, and we are excited about this ability to collaborate,” said GCDD Public Relations Director Maria Pinkelton.

Equitable Dinners, which began in 2019 as Decatur Dinners in Decatur, Georgia, has partnered with Out of Hand Theatre for years, creating meaningful conversations and change around disparity issues through the combination of art and dialogue and bring people of diverse backgrounds together in a facilitated conversation about complex issues. Dinners, which take place online and in workspaces throughout the state of Georgia, are designed to help participants engage in conversation with depth, honesty, and mutual respect and guests include community residents, leaders, and additional stakeholders. During these two February events, equitable opportunities and supports will be covered, the first dinners on disability since Equitable Dinners began.

The Storytelling Project was created six years ago in partnership between GCDD and L’Arche Atlanta to increase public awareness and motivate Georgia legislators to act now for this remarkably underserved community. The project’s goal was to use the power of storytelling to expand cross-sector allies and garner voices in support of increased opportunities for Georgia’s developmental disability community. Since its inception in 2018, more than 170 stories have been shared via mini- documentary film, short films, creative prose, podcasts, written stories, and photographs.

"My greatest hope for A Seat at the Table, both the in-person gathering in Atlanta and the virtual, statewide event, is that they will be opportunities to use these three unique stories we've filmed as a launchpad into intentional conversations that will both connect us to each other more deeply and lead us to transformative action where we desperately need it," said Storytelling Project Lead Storyteller Shannon Turner.

State representatives who will attend the dinners have not yet been announced. ASL and CART services will also be available for participants who need these services during both events.

Event organizers are currently looking for Direct Support Professionals or people with disabilities who would like to share their experience as a storyteller/table lead at one of the Seat at The Table dinners. Table leads will be paid $120 for their participation. To register to be a storyteller or table lead, click the following link:

If you are a member of the disability community and would like to attend the in-person event on February 6th, registration at the following link below:

If you are a member of the disability community and would like to attend the virtual event on February 27th, registration at the following link below:

To register for GCDD’s Advocacy Days, click here. For more information about Equitable Dinners, visit Equitable Dinners.

About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for the wide spectrum of diverse people/persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play, and worship in their communities.

About Equitable Dinners Atlanta: Equitable Dinners Atlanta is a collaborative partnership of Out of Hand Theater, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Fulton County Remembrance Coalition, and many other community partners. Equitable Dinners is a transformative event that combines art and conversation about Atlanta’s racial history to inspire collaborative action for a better today. For more information about Equitable Dinners, visit

About L'Arche Atlanta: The mission of L’Arche Atlanta is to transform lives by building community among people with and without disabilities.

About Out of Hand Theater: Out of Hand Theater works at the intersection of art, social justice, and civic engagement. We spark conversations to build a better world by using the tools of theater to support and enhance the work of community partners. Out of Hand has four programming areas: Shows in Homes, Community Collaborations, Education, and Equitable Dinners. Out of Hand is a noted and respected provider of theatrical experiences that address key issues of equity, representation, empathy, and justice. For more information about Out of Hand, visit