Click to watch Social Capital short film presented by Institute for Family

Social Capital

Through the experiences of Colby and Dory, we see the role that supportive relationships, or social capital, can play in a family’s path to well-being. Both mothers witness self-transformation when they join a community-based program that offers young people networks of social support.

About the film

Through Colby and her experience with the Open Table program, we learn about the importance of social capital in helping families thrive. Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular community, enabling that community to flourish.

Colby is a young mom experiencing economic challenges who, due to her past experiences, is hesitant to build new relationships. She becomes connected to the Open Table program which helps people experiencing social isolation and other barriers to well-being connect with community resources and develop a network of social support around them. The program connects her with mentors and through trusting and caring relationships, she gains the confidence to advocate for herself and her family and is inspired to help other families like hers.

We also meet Dory, one of the mentors, whose reflections on how the program has positively impacted her life, show us why creating programs that prioritize relationships and see value in every family benefits the whole community.

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Critical Questions

We hope that the following critical questions will inspire you to work towards building more relationship-based supports in your community.
  • From watching the film, what are the different ways you think having a supportive community are helping Colby and her family? Why do you think she was hesitant in the beginning and what helped her trust the women in the Open Table program? What lessons can other communities take from a program like Open Table that prioritizes relationship building as part of supporting families?
  • Relationships can provide families with a sense of self-worth, trust, and compassion. They can also motivate them and provide them with the confidence they need to enhance conditions for themselves and their families. Think about these types of affirming relationships in the lives of the families you are working with. What were the situations or experiences that allowed these relationships to form? What do you think needs to happen in your community to facilitate connections and trusting, supportive relationships between families that will bring value to more families and the community as a whole?
  • Reflecting on Colby’s journey, how do you think her connection to the Open Table program and the relationships she has built there have benefitted her community? Now think more broadly. What is the collective benefit for society when we have programs and conditions that provide networks of support for families? How do we bring awareness to this collective benefit and inspire more people to want to engage in these programs?

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Colby on building community

“It’s been hard during covid to fully utilize all that Open Table has to offer. However, me and my table have stuck through it and have been very enriched by each other and will continue to meet and form stronger bonds, which, for me, has been hard in the past. I hope to give my kids a brighter future with more opportunity with all the connections I have made through Open Table and the community.”

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Watch the film

Meet Director Lynn-Wood Fields

Headshot of Lynn-Wood Fields, Social Capital Director

“As a mother and a human being living in a world that at times feels crushingly divisive, I found so much hope and solution in telling Colby and Dori’s story of friendship. We may come from different economic backgrounds but I found the idea of social capital as a support model so powerful. The Open Table program creates a space for us to bridge the gap of who we connect with in our communities and puts us shoulder to shoulder with each other. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to tell this story and my hope is that this concept of Social Capital becomes a template in our communities, workplaces and programs for all members who participate to ‘not only survive but to thrive’.”


About Lynn-Wood Fields

Award-winning filmmaker, producer, and editor Lynn-Wood Fields graduated with her MFA in digital filmmaking from the University of Montana. Her work has since gone on to screen at over 100 film events globally including “Are we There Yet” screening at Indie Memphis Film Festival, 2016; Western History Association Conference, 2015; Frozen River Film Festival, 2014.

Her current projects include television series “Perma Red” at a major network, “House Calls”, premiering on PBS in 2022, “VIP” documentary in pre-production and “Snqʷeyɫmistn: Salish Group Home” being shopped at networks.

She owns Montana Film Tax Credits and is also a member of the MEDIA Coalition on Montana working on legislation for film tax credits and cap raises to enhance the industry throughout Montana. She is passionate about training filmmakers so they can benefit from the Industry.

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Interested in bringing Open Table to your community or serving on a Table?

Visit their website or email their team today to get started.

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