The Dinner Group

by Savoy Staff

l to r: Emerson Foster and Paul Francisco, Co-Founders of the Dinner Group

Providing space for men and women of color to connect and build mutually beneficial relationships

For over 20 years, the Dinner Group has been convening Men of Color and separately Women of Color, with the intention of creating a space that will foster relationship building and networking. The bimonthly networking events are lite on agenda topics to ensure a strict focus on relationship building. The events are typically free or require a minimal cost to attend and unlike some other organizations and gatherings, there are no membership requirements. The gatherings in Boston for both the Men’s and Women’s groups draw upwards of 300 attendees to each event. The Dinner Group has created a unique space that is producing lasting impact on attendees and our communities of color.

Washington, D.C. Men’s Dinner Group

The Dinner Group’s history is a testament to their enduring commitment to connecting, empowering, and uniting Men and Women of Color across the nation. Originally founded as the Boston Men’s Dinner Group by Emerson Foster and Paul Francisco, the Dinner Group’s journey has been characterized by growth and transformation. The group started as a small but dedicated gathering, dedicated to creating a support network for Men of Color in Boston. Over the past few years, requests to start Dinner Group affiliates in other cities started rolling in, prompting expansion to Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, DC (Picture), Providence, San Diego and Dallas (May 2024) and the birth of the Women’s Dinner Group (Boston) in 2023.

Boston Women’s Dinner Group

The Dinner Group’s evolution will continue in the coming years. By the end of 2024, the Dinner Group is poised to launch Men’s Dinner Groups in Raleigh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Hartford. Additionally, the Dinner Group is planning to launch a Women’s Dinner Group affiliate in Atlanta, furthering the mission to unite talent of color across the country.

The Dinner Group further expanded it’s reach by coordinating annual conferences for Men of Color in Boston and Atlanta. Luminaries such as Bakari Sellars, Michael Eric Dyson and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison have been featured guests. Later this year, the Dinner Group will not only produce the 5th annual Men of Color Conference in Boston but will also deliver the inaugural Women of Color Conference. The conferences have provided a venue to spotlight talent within communities of color.

Co-Founder Emerson Foster commented “The Dinner Group is like our version of the “country club”. We know what tends to happen when a country club member saddles up to the bar at the clubhouse and begins to dialogue with another member. Those interactions tend to produce job and internship opportunities for family members and friends, access to capital, business partnerships and more”. Men of Color need to have more spaces where we can foster that same type of dynamic connection with each other. That is the core focus of the Dinner Group. We create the space, ensure that there are no barriers to entry and then watch the magic happen.

Atlanta Men’s Dinner Group

To learn more about the Dinner Group, visit

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