CTTT in the News

Below is a sampling of articles & interviews with, by, and about members of Coming to the Table:


January 8, 2018 MEDIA RELEASE: “Grassroots Group—Tired of Waiting—Creates Reparations Guide.” In honor of Dr. King’s birthday, the CTTT Working Group widely notified media outlets, and CTTT members, of the release of the Reparations Guide, asking individuals and groups to  read the Guide and accept the challenge to do at least one of the actions.

August 9, 2017: Is the United States Ready for a Truth-Telling Process? Fania Davis, noted activist and the founding director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), and Jodie Geddes, Vice President of Coming to the Table, interviewed by the The International Center for Transitional Justice.

July 4, 2017: “Founding Fathers’ descendants unite 241 years later to re-create iconic painting,” Longtime CTTT member, and former Board member, Shannon Lanier, as part of iconic portrait brought to life with other descendants of signers of the Declaration of Independence by Ancestry.com.

March 8, 2017: “As national interest in racial healing work grows, CJP alumni join Coming To The Table leadership,” by Lauren Jefferson. Meet Fabrice Guerrier and Jodie Geddes, the new President and Vice president of the CTTT Board of Managers.

February 4, 2017:Black History Month Celebration at the Belle Grove Plantation” – the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of CTTT partnered with the Warren-Page County, VA NAACP Branch to co-sponsor this well-attended event.

January 24, 2017: “A president’s past yields a modern parable” by Jenn Smith; The Berkshire Eagle. Jefferson’s Children co-authors, and CTTT members Jane Feldman and Shannon Lanier, speak with middle school students in Massachusetts about the importance of history to the future.

November 29, 2016: “Trump’s presidency stirs up fear among African Americans in L.A.: ‘This election says there’s no place for me‘” by Joe Mozingo; Los Angeles Times, featuring interview with CTTT member Fran Sutton-Williams.

November 16, 2016: “Whitelash and Blacklash” by Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf. Blog post for Beacon Broadside (publisher of Gather at the Table). The authors’ thoughts after the U.S. Presidential Election of 2016.

October 17, 2016: “Sleeping Like a Slave at Belle Grove Helps Promote Healing, Understanding,” by Sally Voth in the Winchester Star. Story about Slave Dwelling Project, with participation from CTTT and students from Bloomsburg University.

September 18, 2016: CTTT was co-founded by descendants of Thomas Jefferson. On The Today Show on NBC, Harry Smith reports on “Descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s slaves spend the night at Monticello,” including several members of CTTT.

September 12, 2016: In response to “Offensive survey left on car in Harrisonburg” which appeared on WHSV.com on September 8, 2016, the CTTT Board of Managers approved this Media Release which was distributed to media outlets throughout the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia. Members of the CTTT Shenandoah Valley Local Group met with Harrisonburg’s mayor and a representative of the police department, the emotionally-harmed couple, and Walmart to offer support and to work collaboratively to help prevent future incidents of this nature.

MarthaDanitaJuly 13, 2016: “Linked by slavery: past lives prompt healing in Jefferson County, WV” in the West Virginia State Journal, by Christine Snyder, featuring Sarah Brown (one of the writers for CTTT’s BitterSweet Blog) Joyceann Gray, Monique Crippen-Hopkins, Nikki Landerkin, Shelley Murphy and their families, all linked descendants of slavery in West Virginia.

July 13, 2016: “Letter from the Editor: Coming to the Table” in Richmond Magazine, by Susan Winiecki. This is the heart of what Coming to the Table is all about.

May 19, 2016: “Karen Branan Discusses The Family Tree, on News One Now with Roland Martin.

April – June, 2016: “Raising the Dead: Coming to the Table,” by Sharon Morgan; National Genealogical Society magazine, Volume 42, Number 2.

photo by Paul Dunn

photo by Paul Dunn

April 13, 2016: “Finally, the U.S. Steps Closer to Racial Healing With a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” by Yessenia Funes. CTTT was one of three organizations to organize this important and powerful gathering in Richmond, Virginia in February 2016.

March 26, 2016: “A family secret that leads to revelations of racial brutality,” by Wiley Hall. Very positive review of CTTT member Karen Branan’s new book The Family Tree for The Washington Post.

January – March, 2016: “Truth Hurts, Then Heals: Coming to the Table,” by Lucia King; National Genealogical Society magazine, Volume 42, Number 1.

January 27, 2016: “Let freedom ring: An ongoing journey of reconciliation and redemption,” by David Works and Diana “Toddy” Redman, direct descendants of Thomas and Martha Jefferson and Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings; for MSNBC.

January 25, 2016, “Reconciling the Double Helix,” by Sharon Morgan, for Beacon Broadside. Interview with Alondra Nelson, and review of her new book, The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome.

January 20, 2016: “Author to speak about surprising connection to 1912 Harris County lynching,” by Mark Rice, in the TheFamilyTreeColumbus, Georgia Ledger-Enquirer. Story about Columbus native, and CTTT member, Karen Branan’s new book The Family Tree, the story of Karen’s search for the truth about her ancestors’ complicity in the lynching of four black people in 1912.

December 20, 2015: “Faith community discusses racism, Black Lives Matter,” by Christina Jedra, in Capital Gazette. Rusty Vaughan and Lynda Davis represent CTTT at workshop attended by 120+ people (including 10 clergy), representing 17 congregations. And then… “Woman charged in ‘Black Lives Matter’ vandalism.” Then, “White faith leaders address community on theft and damage of signs.”

December 2015: “Coming to the Table and me,” by Lynda Davis in Anne Arundel Genealogical Society Speaks (December 2015 issue). Scroll to page 40 for Lynda’s article. Note on page 38 the upcoming presentation to the AAGS to be given by Lynda Davis, Jane Carrigan, and Rusty Vaughan.

November 20, 2015: “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America.” Following a 2-hour concert (featuring John Legend, Miguel, Pink, Jill Scott, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Pharrell Williams, and others) kicking off A+E Networks’ campaign to confront issues of race, and promote unity and progress on racial equity, an hour-long conversation took place with a diverse group of residents in local communities at the center of the national conversation on racial inequality and violence, including Charleston, Baltimore, Chicago and Ferguson. Featured in the 2nd segment is CTTT member Felicia Furman.

October 16, 2015: “Summer seminar on slave narratives at Yale helps English professor on sabbatical delve into historic harms and trauma” by by Lauren Jefferson with Kara Lofton, in EMU News. “Her colleagues in the seminar, were most interested in EMU initiatives for trauma healing such as STAR and Coming to the Table — programs that Eads says can help people move beyond suffering to hope and healing.”

October 13, 2015: “Letters to the Editor, From the Daughter of a Slave” by Dionne Ford, Coming to the Table member and past board vice president. In Tue/Night. Story of Dionne finding letters and editorials published in a New Orleans newspaper by her great grandmother Josephine, the daughter of a former slave and her former master.

Fall 2015: “The Past is Present” by Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf. The historical trauma the United States does not want to talk about in Intersections: MCC Theory & Practice Quarterly. This entire issue focuses on Trauma and Resilience. Download the full issue here.

September 13, 2015: “Textbooks were ‘racist to the core’,” by Isaac Bailey. CTTT Board member Felicia Furman is interviewed about her grandmother, the author of history books used in South Carolina from the 1920’s to the 1980’s; in The State, South Carolina’s statewide newspaper. Read more of the interview here.

August 12, 2015: “Confronting Slavery at Long Island’s Oldest Estates,” by Jennifer Schuessler. A story about Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project in the New York Times.

YesCover (Summer 2015)May 20, 2015: “His Ancestors Were Slave Traders and Hers Were Slaves. What They Learned About Healing from a Road Trip” is the lead article in the Summer Issue of Yes! Magazine; written by Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf. The article sets the context for the issue and its theme: Make It Right, focused on the possibilities for deep societal healing, reconciliation, and reparation. Highlighted are Coming to the Table and STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience).

May 15, 2015: “Student-led restorative justice in Fairfax County, VA.” The second in a series of five webinars co-sponsored by Coming to the Table and the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice at EMU. Watch the CTTT introduction video here.

April 27, 2015: “Dear Ben Affleck, My Ancestors Were Slaveowners, Too,” by Thomas Norman DeWolf for Zocalo Public Square, also published by Huffington Post.

April 22, 2015: Coming to the Table is deeply committed to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. First effort through partnering with the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University is a series of free webinars. The first is “Restorative Justice in Education: Learning From Students.” Watch it here.

April 22, 2015: “Ben Affleck and PBS Failed at Helping Viewers Deal With the Past,” by Shannon LaNier for Time.com

February 20, 2015:CJP student and Coming to the Table Board Member] Fabrice Guerrier is one of 24 selected for prestigious fellowship, studying in D.C., Berlin and Paris” by Bonnie Price Lofton in EMU News.

February 9, 2015: “Setting the Table by Jeff Say in the Star Component, Culpeper, Virginia. Story of Betty Kilby and Phoebe Kilby Coming to the Table. Phoebe’s ancestors owned Betty’s ancestors during the 1800s, and the two women have been working on helping heal wounds connected to race since meeting in 2007.

EMU BG ClubFebruary 6, 2015:Local colleges partner to teach nonviolence at Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County” in EMU News. Story about CTTT-Valley Chapter member Jodie Geddes’ work in nonviolent conflict resolution with Boys & Girls Club teenagers in Virgina. (Image © EMU)

Fall 2014: “Coming to the Table” by Andi Cumbo-Floyd in Prism Magazine, page 4, under the section Whole: Healing a Fractured World.

September 2014: “Taking the Table to The Slave Dwelling Conference” in Savannah, Georgia, by Prinny Anderson.

June 19, 2014: Dionne Ford Kurtti and Elizabeth Sturges Llerena, members of the New York regional group of CTTT were interviewed on Arise News in connection with the commemoration of Juneteenth and the healing work of Coming to the Table.

10June 16, 2014: Coming to the Table National Gathering (held May 23-25, 2014) is featured in Mennonite World Review in “Descendants touched by slavery come to the table” by David Yoder.

May 21, 2014: Joseph McGill (founder and director of The Slave Dwelling Project) featured in The Washington Post story “Dwelling in the past, but not dwelling on it” by Julie Zauzmer.

April 5, 2014: Executive Director Tom DeWolf was interviewed about Coming to the Table and the healing journey he and Sharon Morgan embarked upon that became their book Gather at the Table for C-Span’s “Cities Tour” which aired on Book TV.

March 27, 2014, The Millions, “Filling the Silences: Race, Poetry, and the Digital-Media Megaphone” by Michael Bourne. The “coming to the table” story of Gayle Jessup White and Tess Taylor, both descendants of Thomas Jefferson. Also listen to “Finding Family Through a Dark Legacy of Slavery“, an interview with Gayle and Tess from April 10, 2014 on NPR’s The Takeaway.

November 9, 2013, NBC News, Charlottesville, VA, “Conference Sheds Light on Slavery’s Legacy at Virginia’s Colleges.” Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby are interviewed while participating in the Race Histories Conference at the University of Virginia.

October 2013, More Magazine, “My Family Tree in Black and White” by Dionne Ford, CTTT member. The descendant of a master-slave union faces an unexpected challenge: how to relate to the people whose ancestors once owned hers.

Fall 2013, Yes! Magazine, “The Spiritual Side of Photographing Mandela, Tutu, and the Dalai Lama”  by Valerie Schloredt. Photographer & CTTT member Jane Feldman on earning the trust of beloved world leaders—and capturing their laughter.

Summer 2013, Yes! Magazine, “Slave and Slaveholder Descendants Break Free of History’s Trauma—Together” by Lisa Gale Garrigues. Responding to past traumas like slavery and acts of terrorism can heal us—and future generations.

October 21, 2012: MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry Show – Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf, CTTT members, discuss their book Gather at the Table about “living” the CTTT Approach together. Watch Part One here and Part Two here.

news_SlaveDwellingProjectApril 10, 2012: Greenwich Time, Greenwich, CT, “Experiencing a Touch of Slave Life at Bush-Holley House“– Joseph McGill, CTTT member, takes his Slave Dwelling Project to the Bush-Holley House in Greenwich, CT; joined by CTTT members Grant Hayter-Menzies, Dionne Ford and Dave Pettee. (Image © Slave Dwelling Project)

March 30, 2012: The Bulletin, Norwich, CT, “Descendants of Norwich slave, owner meet” – CTTT member Grant Hayter-Menzies meets with descendants of Guy Drock, a man enslaved by his family in Connecticut in the mid-1700s.

February 2012: The Rockbridge Weekly, Lexington, VA, “Documentary Film Shares Stories of Community and Life at Local African American School“– Coming to the Table supports the production of a documentary about a Virginia African American high school. CTTT member Cynthia Boteler manages the project.

news_AndersonFracherJune 21, 2010: The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA, “Free to Form a New Bond“– CTTT members Bernadine Anderson and Jeff Fracher, descendants of slave and slaveholder from a Louisiana plantation, built a friendship by sharing family stories.

May 20, 2010: CNN, “When Kin of Slaves and Owners Meet” – the “linked descendants” family story of CTTT members Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby