Monthly Community Conference Calls

conference_call_image2Coming to the Table schedules topical Community Conference Calls most months (9-10 per year). Past topics have included Dismantling the School-to-Prison-Pipeline, Restorative Justice, Genealogy, Starting a Local CTTT Group, Inter-racial Healing, Conversations with Authors and Filmmakers, or Discussions about Books or Films, and other subjects relevant to CTTT.

Information about the calls, and how to RSVP, is distributed through the CTTT Newsletter (sign up for the Newsletter in the STAY INFORMED! box to the right —>), as well as on the CTTT Events Page and through the CTTT Facebook Group.

All CTTT members are invited to participate. A “member” of CTTT is defined as someone who concurs “with CTTT’s Vision, Mission, Values and Approach, and an acknowledgement of good-faith efforts towards implementation of same in thoughts, words and deeds.”

Below are descriptions of several past calls with recordings so you can listen to the conversations:

Everything you want to know about the CTTT 10th Anniversary National Gathering (and aren’t afraid to ask)

January 23, 2016: This call was LOADED with useful info AND inspiration to register for two great CTTT opportunities! Learn all about the upcoming National Gathering AND the first-ever CTTT Leadership Training Seminar. CTTT invites you to gather together with fellow CTTT members, build supportive relationships, gain knowledge and skills, and become inspired to help Take America Beyond the Legacy of Enslavement. Co-facilitated by Jodie Geddes (of the Leadership Training Planning Committee) and Kim Wilson (of the National Gathering Planning Committee). More info about both events here. Click the arrow below on the left to listen to this call:


Linked Descendants: Let’s Come Together Over the Great Divide

bittersweet_home_image23December 6, 2015: Do you want to connect with descendants of the people who enslaved your ancestors? Or with descendants of the people your ancestors enslaved? If you could connect, what would you want to say to them? This conference was a discussion from both sides of the fence, along with guidance on how best to make contact and achieve positive results. Co-facilitated by Sharon Morgan and Prinny Anderson, two long-time members and leaders of CTTT, this was a powerful, emotional, and informative call. Click on the arrow below on the left to listen:


Everything You Need to Know about The Slave Dwelling Project

Magnolia Plantation 2September 19, 2015: You’ve read about Joseph McGill in the New York Times (Confronting Slavery at Long Island’s Oldest Estates) and Newsday (Preservationist spends nights at LI’s former slave dwellings). Now listen to the recording of the CTTT Community Conference Call Joe facilitated in which he shared stories and information about The Slave Dwelling Project, the effort he founded to bring historians, students, faculty, writers, legislators, organizations, corporations, artists and the general public together to educate, collaborate and organize resources to save extant slave dwellings. Joe called in from Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina where he was be conducting a sleepover. Click on the arrow below on the left to listen to the recording of this fascinating and enlightening conversation:



Interracial Allies During Troubled Times

Ally ImageAugust 29, 2015: What does it means, and look like, to work together effectively as allies? During this call, participants examined what the word ally means and how we can come together — and stay together — during pleasant and challenging times; to work toward a healthier present and future. Using the four-pronged Coming to the Table approach of exploring and understanding history, building connections, working toward healing, and building upon our collective personal experiences and knowledge, participants worked to strengthen personal and collective ability to work effectively in partnership for healing. This call was co-facilitated by two members of New Legacy Puget Sound (NLPS), the Seattle, Washington-area CTTT Local Group: LaKesha Kimbrough and Laura Bowers Foreman.

Suggested Reading and Viewing List for further research is available HERE

Click on the arrow below on the left to listen to the recording of this powerful call:


“Nat Turner killed my family!”

June 27, 2015: A woman interrupted a performance of the play “Abolitionists’ Museum” (written and directed by Sheri Bailey, this month’s Conference Call facilitator) to announce, “My name is Rose Nichols. Nat Turner killed my family in Southampton County. So before you think about doing away with the Confederate flag, think of what I lost as well as what you lost.”

As we come to the end of commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, including Juneteenth, prepare for the 400th anniversary since the first African people arrived at Jamestown Colony, and witness debates over the use of the Confederate flag, this conversation focused on three questions:

• How should such history be commemorated?
• What can we learn from the past in order to build a better future?
• What should Coming to the Table do to support such commemorations?

Click on the arrow below on the left to listen to playwright and Juneteenth Festival Company President Sheri Bailey lead an engaging and inspiring conversation.


The Role of Youth in Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing in the US

April 11, 2015: The focus of this call was to generated ideas to attract and engage more young people in the work of Coming to the Table. The call was facilitated by two young leaders in Coming to the Table, Fabrice Guerrier and Jodie Geddes. As Coming to the Table moves forward with Strategic Planning, there is strong focus on expanding outreach to young people; bringing more youth into CTTT local groups and CTTT as a whole. Youth initiatives are included in two priority areas in the plan: Programming and Communications. Ideas were discussed around working with colleges and universities to establish CTTT chapters on campuses with the support of local/national corporate sponsors, to encourage inter-generational 1-on-1 conversations and mentoring relationships, including young people on the planning committee for the 2016 CTTT National Gathering. To listen to a recording of the call, and to be INSPIRED, click on the arrow below on the left:


Partners for Good: Coming to the Table (CTTT) and the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding (CJP)

CJP-SPIFebruary 21, 2015: CTTT and CJP have partnered together since the first CTTT gathering at Eastern Mennonite University in January 2006. The vision and mission of CTTT are grounded in the trauma healing and restorative justice principles taught through CJP. Daryl Byler, Executive Director of CJP, was our guest for this call; answering questions and seeking input in a wide-ranging and inspiring conversation. Subjects addressed during the call included:

  • The history of CJP and some of the major projects CJP is engaged with globally
  • The new Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice being offered by CJP (first in the nation)
  • Why the relationship with CTTT is important to CJP
  • Updates on STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience) and SPI (Summer Peacebuilding Institute) programs and how CTTT members can participate
  • Update on grant proposal for CJP/CTTT partnership in dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Be inspired about where CTTT and CJP are heading together! Listen to the recording of the call here:


Taking Action: Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

school=to-prison-pipelineJanuary 24, 2015: Coming to the Table is committed to take action to end racial inequality and injustice and to support racial reconciliation between individuals, within families, and in communities. With input from members, the CTTT board has decided to focus on one major issue first – taking steps to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. With our partners at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, we are actively seeking grants to begin this work. CTTT sees potential for additional partnerships (here) and funding (here). In this conference call, you will hear about our efforts so far as well as input from members of the CTTT who participated. Listen to the conversation below:


Restorative Justice: Making Right Historical Harms?

Restorative Justice class at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite UniversityOctober 12, 2014: Introduction to the fundamental tenets of Restorative Justice (RJ) and how these principles can be applied to healing historical harms. When the harm is passed down trans-generationally, who are the perpetrators and who are the victims? What are the implications and challenges of inherited memory and RJ in your specific context and community? Listen to the conversation below:


Starting a Local Coming to the Table Group

New Legacy Puget SoundSeptember 20, 2014: Online social networks, community conference calls, newsletters, and email certainly have their place in the work of Coming to the Table, but there is nothing like meeting in person to build the kind of community our work requires. There are currently six well-established groups and several that have started recently with one or two meetings (learn more here). Would you like to start a group in your area? Have you recently started a group and have questions about how to proceed? Listen to the call below for ideas:


Starting a Coming to the Table Writers Group

BookCoversImages2August 16, 2014: There are many writers involved with Coming to the Table: authors of books, articles, blogs, screenplays, poetry, journals, and more (here). This call was an opportunity for writers to talk about starting a writers working group, about ethics, to share what we write about (or want to write about), to encourage each other and to be inspired. The result of this call led to starting the CTTT Writers Working Group. We had the largest number of members RSVP for this call ever. We split it into two separate calls. You can listen to them here: