Hayat Bain has been on fire about Coming To The Table since the Fall of 2016. After the first CTTT dinner gathering she attended, she volunteered to facilitate conversations from the next meeting onward. Hayat is now co-convener of Richmond’s third Tuesday dinner and a member of CTTT’s Leaders and Facilitators Circles. In 2017, she initiated a 6-month CTTT Healing Circle. Hayat is currently supporting CTTT-RVA in the areas of communications, outreach, hospitality, event planning, and coordination. She is developing a Deepening Circle series to co-facilitate in the Fall of 2019.
For the past 40-plus years Dr. Bonnie Dowdy has worked as a consultant, educator, group facilitator, researcher, and program designer/evaluator. She has advocated for honest conversation about difficult social and cultural issues, for an increased awareness of the essential role of diversity in organizations and communities, and for the importance of evaluation in advancing program development and mission integrity.
I am Cheryl Goode and I am from Richmond, Virginia. My first Coming to the Table encounter was on the third Tuesday of December 2016. Trump had just been elected president, black men were continuously being murdered by police, there were daily debates over flags, statues, Klansmen, and also over who could truly be considered a racist. And in the mist of these dark days CTTT-RVA offers a safe place for all who are interested in acknowledging and healing from the harms of our racial past.
Marsha Summers grew up in Southern California, but has lived in the Southeast for her entire adult life, with the last 19 years being in Richmond, VA. She has degrees in German, Education, and Vocal Performance, and has been employed as a singer, voice teacher, and pre-school director and teacher. Marsha is married to the Rev. Dr. Charles Summers, has three grown children and three grandchildren. She has been associated with Coming To TheTable-RVA almost from the beginning and served as Food Team Coordinator, Facilitator, and Book Circle co-leader before coming on as Co-CEO, Operations. She shares her CTTT journey below.
I have lived in Richmond, VA for the past 70 years . Was born in Farmville, Virginia VA, where schools were closed rather than integrate. Currently serves as the Movie Circle Coordinator , a Facilitator and a Member of the Leadership Team. I saw an article in a newspaper about a meeting of CTTT at a Church close to where I live and decided to attend my first meeting on December 16th, 2016. At my first meeting I was impressed with and was in accord with the mission of the organization and the four legs of the organization. As a member of CTTT for the past 3 years , I feel that I have developed some very lasting relationships and developed a sense of trust with persons of very diverse backgrounds. My motto at this age is "Learn today , like you are going to live forever". I continue to participate in CTTT activities, events and trips because in addition to learning, I am also able to experience a wider circle of family love from my new relationships.
Rev. Darren Utley is a minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. He lived with his wife and two children in Hanover County, VA until the family's recent move to Racine, WI. Darren’s early experience with the Jesus of the Christian Gospels, set him on a path toward seeking all the goodness of God for all people. While living in Grand Rapids, MI, he became active in community organizing in both the Black and Latino communities. Darren spent two years as the Executive Director of The Coalition for Community Reinvestment, working with the city, banks, churches and other organizations to help revitalize communities primarily through homeownership and the rehabilitation of housing. He is continuing to serve as Co-Convener of Education for Action Book Circle, which will continue to happen virtually on Zoom.