Tuesday, March 5, 2024 @ 6PM | St. John's Episcopal Church
Repairing American Society
One Zip Code at a Time.

“Fragile Neighborhoods is an essential and engaging read for everyone who wants to better understand the challenges facing our cities, towns and our nation at large.” Richard Florida – Bestselling Author of “The Rise of the Creative Class”

As we continue our “Join or Die” year—exploring how we build lives of connection and belonging inside a polarized America—we’d be remiss if we didn’t turn our attention to the neighborhoods and the city where we live our lives.

Too many of us live in neighborhoods plagued by rising crime, school violence, family disintegration, addiction, alienation, and despair. Even the wealthiest neighborhoods are not immune; while poverty exacerbates these challenges, they exist in zip codes rich and poor, rural and urban, and everything in between.

Our special guest Seth D. Kaplan is an expert on fragile states across the world, consulting for the World Bank, U.S. State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as developing country governments and NGOs. His new book “Fragile Neighborhoods: Repairing American Society One Zip Code at a Time” brings  Seth’s experience overseas to our social decline in America—and Tallahassee— to revitalize our local institutions and the social ties that knit them together. The program is facilitated by John Baker of Neighborhood Affairs with the City of Tallahassee. We are grateful for the support of James Madison Institute to make this program possible. Learn more about their work online here.

Pick up a copy of Fragile Neighborhoods by swinging by Midtown Reader (or you can click here ).


Seth D. Kaplan is a leading expert on fragile states. He is a Professorial Lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Senior Adviser for the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), and consultant to multilateral organizations around the world.

John  Baker is the manager for the City’s Neighborhood Affairs Division. In this position, he manages a team of six neighborhood professionals and oversees services to 270+ neighborhoods.  John has extensive experience in community engagement, helping neighborhoods to find their voices and to tell their stories.

We want to heartily thank our generous Dinner at the Square season sponsor Americans for Prosperity Foundation in Florida! Their support helps make it possible to bring you a season of delicious dinner with fantastic guests. Learn more about them here!


Seth Kaplan
Johns Hopkins
John Baker
Neighborhood Affairs, City of Tallahassee