How have restaurants brought communities together in the past and today? How does food facilitate contact between neighbors and help to integrate newcomers into our city? This panel features restaurant and catering company owners and considers their role in making and re-making our community. Vivián Joiner, co-owner of Sweet Potatoes recalls an earlier era when African-American-owned restaurants downtown catered to factory workers and have recently played a valuable role in returning vibrancy and diversity to Trade Street over the last decade. Joiner will be on the panel, along with Chef Gordon Simpson, the owner and operator of a catering company that employs former offenders; and Shereen Abdelfattah, and Egyptian immigrant and owner of the catering company, Delicious by Shereen, which employs resettled refugees in our area to help them support themselves and their families and become part of our communities. These panelists will speak to the way restaurants and catering can encourage us to reach across barriers and facilitate community integration.