Our vision for the United States is of a just and truthful society that acknowledges and seeks to heal from the racial wounds of the past—from slavery and the many forms of racism it spawned.
Coming to the Table provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery.
The CTTT approach to achieving our vision and mission is grounded in theories and practices of Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience (STAR), with a particular focus on Transorming Historical Harms and their trans-generational transmission, working toward racial justice and equity through a Restorative lens, and utilizing Circle Process and Touchstones to create space in which participants feel safe enough, and motivated, to do the work. Then, the CTTT Approach involves four interrelated practices:
- Uncovering History: researching, acknowledging, and sharing personal, family, community, state, and national histories of race with openness and honesty
- Making Connections: connecting to others within and across racial lines in order to develop and deepen relationships
- Working Toward Healing: exploring how we can heal together through dialogue, reunion, ritual, meditation, prayer, ceremony, the arts, apology and other methods
- Taking Action: actively seeking to dismantle systems of racial inequality, injustice, and oppression; to work for the transformation of our nation.
- Inclusion. We welcome all who wish to join the Coming to the Table conversation and who join us in honoring and committing to these principles.
- Respect and Tolerance. We respect the integrity and value of all people as they seek to understand and respond to their experience of the world and the history and impact of slavery, even if we might disagree with them. To this end, we listen respectfully to each other, practice non-judgmental listening, and refrain from personal attack.
- Honesty, Truthfulness and Transparency. We strive to uncover truth and to speak it with openness and transparency.
- Justice. We accept that there has been significant harm as a result of the legacies and aftermaths of slavery. We strive to identify those harms and to take responsibility for making things right.
- Compassion, Mercy, and Forgiveness. Through compassion and love we strive to show mercy and to forgive ourselves, those who may have done us harm and those who have harmed others.
- Love. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called his followers to love even those who would do them harm. This love transformed both victim and offender and created a powerful foundation for doing justice and building a beloved community. We strive to do likewise.
- Peace and Nonviolence. We seek to transform conflict through non-violent, non-coercive means so as to achieve a peaceful community.
- Reconciliation. We strive for racial reconciliation through a journey of seeking peace, justice, mercy and truth.
Facebook Group Community Guideline
One example of people “Coming to the Table” is through our Facebook Group. This is often the first exposure people have to CTTT. Administrators of the FB Group work together to uphold the following Community Guideline:
- We are a community of people who seek to heal from the ravages of slavery and the ensuing racism that is endemic to American society.
- In joining our community, be ever mindful of our Vision, Mission, Approach, and Values as you share your stories and the constructive dialogue we encourage. Although we strive for “safe spaces,” Facebook (like any online site) should not be considered “safe” in the same way that a private conversation among friends may be.
- Posts in the CTTT Facebook Group should be relevant to the Mission, Vision and/or Approach of Coming to the Table, and in keeping with the Values. Members are encouraged to “speak your truth.” Because someone’s “truth” may be frank and blunt, comments may sometimes be shared that you might not agree with. Please express your responses, thoughts and feelings truthfully but with respect for the original poster, and everyone else in the group, with an intent to enlighten and to share various perspectives. We are here to learn from each other and, to the degree possible, heal together.
- To remain in our community, you must be respectful and avoid name-calling, inflammatory comments, aggressive arguing, profanity, personal attacks, and hostility.
- Any posts, including political posts, that are not linked to CTTT’s Mission and Vision will be removed at Administrators’ discretion.