This local group was inspired by a screening of the film Traces of the Trade and an appearance by the authors of Gather at the Table, both of which took place in Pasadena. The initial group of seven members had attended one or both events. The first group meeting was held in July 2013 and has been meeting monthly since September 2013.
Although all seven members of the initial core group knew at least one other person in the group, the events are what brought the seven of them together. The events allowed the seven of them to look at each other, African American and European American, and see that they all shared a commitment to the mission and vision of Coming to the Table. They were willing to commit the time to get to know each other and to work alongside each other to implement that mission and that vision. This dynamic has helped the group stay true to Coming to the Table’s second approach – making connections and building relationships.
The group meets monthly at the La Pintoresca branch of the Pasadena Public Library; located in the heart of the traditionally African American neighborhood of Northwest Pasadena. Meetings are informally structured. Many times it has been an open discussion, often prompted by current events. The group has participated in several activities together. The day the group really began to build trust and become cohesive was the day they saw the film 12 Years a Slave, followed by a shared meal and discussion.