Panelists delve into protest coverage, upcoming election during virtual speaker series


The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture kicked off its speaker series Tuesday with a discussion on race, media, and the 2020 election. Five panelists spoke in the event, moderated by VCU associate professor of journalism Aloni Hill and Robb Crocker, a podcaster, digital journalist and doctoral student in VCU’s Media, Art and Text Program.


A Bond That Ties


Seared okra and spiced lady apples, mac and cheese and pillowy cornbread, and ham biscuits and black-eyed pea salad top tables around the room. The recipes for the African American Fusion fundraiser event are pulled from the pages of cookbooks written by grand dame of Southern cooking Edna Lewis, singer Patti LaBelle and chef Carla Hall, along with cooks’ personal favorites.

Held last November, the gathering of 80-plus was the largest to date for the Richmond affiliate of Coming to the Table (CTTT), a national organization that works to promote racial healing. Months later, the coronavirus pandemic halted in-person dinners. Then in late May, George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by police during an arrest in Minneapolis, his death sparking global outrage and protests.


The Dream Remains


"We have to fix some things that are terribly broken, not only in our system, but in our own spiritual and moral selves," said Danita Rountree, a co-founder of the group. "We need to figure out why we've been living the narrative of racism for generations. What Coming to the Table does is help people share what they've personally been through."


Unity Walk 2020


Walk in solidarity with those standing up for Social Justice and racial healing Coming To The Table - RVA invites you to join us for Unity Walk of 2020, to acknowledge the end of our first 400 years and the vision of the next 400 years!

Please join us for a short contemplative walk on Arthur Ashe Blvd. beginning in the back parking lot of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Our goal is to have 5 -10 members of several organizations represented at the podium and take the Richmond Pledge together. After the presentation, we want people to meet folks from YOUR organizations and make connections. CTTT-RVA wants the general public to be able to connect with members of Coming To The Table, BLM, Broken Men Foundation, RISC, VCIC, IofC and many more local groups who are doing THE WORK! We want Richmonders to discover ACTIONS they can take to make a difference NOW! 

Your Place At The Table


“At the heart of all the dialogue, dinners, virtual meetings, pilgrimages, tours and presentations we come to the table for one thing: to heal ourselves and to be a healing presence in the pursuit of social justice.” – Danita Rountree Green Co-CEO of Coming to the Table-RVA


Spotlight on board chair of Coming To The Table RVA


From growing up on Plantation Road in segregated Martinsville to co-founding a nonprofit striving to confront and heal the legacy of slavery and racism, the life of Martha Franck Rollins has been long, eventful and transformative — and it’s far from its final chapter.


Support Expansion of Brown v. Board of Education Scholarships


CTTT-RVA’s Reparation’s Circle has joined the frontlines of the fight for racial equality and repairing what has been broken as a result of the lasting impact of the legacy of slavery. Our first action; providing support to the descendants of the students impacted by the closing of schools in Prince Edward, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Warren and Arlington County, where state public education funds were rescinded due to desegregation between 1954 and 1964.


America, It’s Time for Racial Reckoning


In his famous I Have a Dream speech, Dr. Martin Luther King said, “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.” Dr. King was calling for racial reckoning in America. Sixty years later, that day is finally here.


Replace Lee with a memorial of reconciliation


To those who persist in believing the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee had nothing to do with slavery and only was about history, I say, OK, then, it was. This history:

Lee commanded the army that fought a war against the United States of America. If he had been successful, his victory would have perpetuated slavery.


Resilience Defined


With the recent events of the past few days, weeks, months, even; I have given a lot of thought to what it means to be resilient. Why I must be resilient today, tomorrow and every day until my last. In this country it is the only way to survive; at least from my experiences, being an African American man growing up in the South. 

Resilience is going outside to hang out with your family, your friends, your neighbors on a stoop or the corner, knowing that you will probably have an unpleasant interaction with the police. 

With the recent events of the past few days, weeks, months, even; I have given a lot of thought to what it means to be resilient. Why I must be resilient today, tomorrow and every day until my last. In this country it is the only way to survive; at least from my experiences, being an African American man growing up in the South. 

Resilience is going outside to hang out with your family, your friends, your neighbors on a stoop or the corner, knowing that you will probably have an unpleasant interaction with the police. 

Resilience is my mother sending her son outside to play with full understanding that the neighborhood may not be safe, for any number of reasons. Knowing that no matter with all she's taught him, it may very well be the last time she sees him again. 

Being resilient is knowing that you may not have enough money for bills, food, clothes or to take care of your parents when they are sick; and yet you still greet your friends with a smile and reply with "I'm doing well; all things considered."

Resilience is working two jobs just to survive. It’s learning a side hustle; whether it’s doing hair, or lawn care, selling CDs, oils, catering, or charging to host social events with loud music as a temporary distraction and serving alcohol to numb the pain of the harsh reality which is your life. 

Resilience is getting up every morning going to work for a company that undervalues you and underpays you but expects you to be on time every day as scheduled; to give them 100% effort. Knowing that you don't have the luxury to quit and pursue your passions or your dreams; but you get up the next day anyway. Suck it up; and do it all over again because that’s the only way you know how to make an honest living.  

Resilience is having the audacity to buy a luxury vehicle even a used one knowing that you will be stopped, questioned and often search without any other probable cause other than driving while black. 
Being resilient is being told indirectly or directly that you’re not qualified, you don’t have the credentials, that you’re not good enough, and that your black life doesn’t matter. Despite that, you improvise, survive and still find a way to rise.

Resilience is trying to climb from the bottomless pit of poverty, grasping at every clump of dirt or rock no matter how jagged its edge while desperately trying to pull yourself up. Slowly, carefully, with unsteady footing; mindful that one misstep could sending you tumbling back to where you started or even worse; lower than before. Resilience is knowing that you've fallen before, survived and are willing do it again and again if you must, just to escape. 

Resilience is looking up from just below the edge and seeing mostly white faces looking back down on you with disdain for your soiled shoes, the grit lodged between your fingernails from your impossible climb, as they continue to walk by with willful ignorance.  

Resilience is knowing that if you're ever fortunate enough to make it out, that you're still standing too close to the edge to feel safe; that this was only the first level and what awaits you is yet another uphill climb. That those glaring eyes you saw before looking down upon you are joined by many more, perched even higher than theirs; eyes that peer through shaded lenses that only see you as black, brown, or other.

Resilience is knowing all that and you still keep going, keep climbing; knowing that even if you graduate at the top of your class with a Harvard law degree and go on to become President of the United States, you're still not good enough to be seen as equal, but instead… still, as other. It's seeing your brothers and sisters, your people, your culture, savaged, exploited, discredited by a nation that continues to deny that slavery had any impact on today's present conditions. Helplessly watching as they are slain, assassinated, murdered and lynched by racist police, only to be told to be peaceful, respectful of the law, our social pact; or run the risk as being seen as an angry black man or disgruntled. 

Resilience is knowing I might be next, and you still take a stand, speak out, march, protest during a global pandemic to resist the forces that seek to keep you oppressed.  

Resilience is working together to empower those who choose not to look away with the knowledge, insight and the communication skills to have these courageous conversations with their European brothers and sisters; about the truth of the systemic racial, criminal injustice and economic inequality that thrives in this country today.

Resilience is not just refusing to look away but challenging all that don't look like us to truly see us, hear us, join in our outcries for justice and equality. It's refusing to return to the status quo. 

Resilience is knowing that these conversations are clumsy and uncomfortable, that the process is often ugly and volatile. That it is an inconvenient truth that in this country, this is the only way change ever happens. But change will come... and WE are how! 

Stay vigilante; be resilient and we shall overcome! 

The Moment Is Now For Acknowledgement, Apology and Action


Dear Friends,

Our hearts are breaking with the daily news of racial hatred and violence - the death of another black man murdered for no reason. Our hearts are heavy alongside brothers and sisters who have lived this trauma for 400 years. Our anger is triggered at the disproportionate cost Covid-19 heaps on black bodies and families. Our fear rises for the futures of children who will fall behind in school as they have no access to technology for continued learning. If there was ever a time to be about truth-telling, building relationships, healing from wounds, and working for systemic change, we are in that time.


Love And Care For Others Across Barriers


Check out these questions to help you consider ways in which you can love and care for others during this time of quarantine.

As our Coming To The Table family strives to find ways to continue the work for racial healing, let's remember that we are working to heal the human race, becoming a bridge to love and care for others across barriers, real and imaginary, ironically evident in this time of quarantine. Like always, bridging with others will require patience , understanding and above all, creativity . Think (and color) outside the lines.???? Lead with gratitude, a healthy concern for those you cannot see and hold a vision of connectedness for us all. Be well and be safe. ?? - Danita Rountree Green?

Coronavirus Impact On Upcoming CTTT-RVA Events


After much debate on how we could safely gather while being mindful of the current public health challenge, Coming To The Table-RVA will be cancelling all public gatherings and events slated for next week and the month of March.


CTTT-RVA National Day of Racial Healing Observance 2020 Reflections


A Clear Vision in a New Decade of Change

Let me start with these two small words - THANK YOU for being a part of our National Day
of Racial Healing Observance for 2020. On Day 1, you joined us at the Virginia Museum of
History and Culture for Repairing the Breach: History, Religion and the Racial Divide featuring
Richmond’s own Dr. Ed Ayers and Dr. Brian Blount with special guest Dr. David Ragland of the
Truth-Telling Protect, moderated by Dr. Corey Walker.ew Decade of Change

"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together."
- Desmond Mpilo Tutu
CTTT-RVA is a Local Affiliate Group of Coming to the Table.
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