Sometimes dinner with friends is more than just dinner with friends.
To the casual observer, an intimate gathering among 10 individuals – five couples – at Brick x Mortar in downtown Minneapolis could be seen as a simple celebration of the New Year but said observer would be mistaken. Yes, the New Year’s Day dinner was about ringing in 2020, but more importantly, it was about bringing in the year with love … Black love.
Convened by Michelle Benson, national director of Marketing and Communication for College Possible, the gathering provided the couples – all transplants to the Twin Cities – an opportunity to dine, converse, (each couple sharing stories of how they met, yet somehow neither partner of the relationship could agree on the particulars), to laugh and celebrate the beauty of one another’s genuine and warm spirit.
Dinner guests included co-host Karl Benson, president of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, Malissa Adams, executive director of The Diversity Institute, Cecilia Stanton Adams, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Allianz Life Insurance Company, Gerald Edwards, coordinator of Information Systems with Osseo School District, Toni Edwards, lead instructor for Maple Grove Middle School, Alfonzo “Fonzie” Mayfield, founder of Allure Cigars and of the nonprofit mentoring program, SAFE, Katherine Mayfield, human resources information system analyst at UnitedHealth Group, Devonda Scott, realtor with Keller Williams Integrity Lakes and Harry Colbert, Jr., managing editor for Insight News.
What started as a 5 p.m. dinner turned into a late-night laugh-fest, impromptu photoshoot and celebration of Black love.
Photos by Harry Colbert, Jr. Photo of Colbert and Devonda Scott by Malissa Adams.