~~ January 2023 Newsletter ~~

A Message From Our Co-CEO's


We have resolutions and hopes, good intentions and plans, maybe some fear and anxiety that move us to action. They also move us to prayer, or fervent wishing!  “Give us food and a song for the journey.” That is a prayer that resonates for us at CT-VA. Nourishment for survival, and a song to express LIFE. All kinds of freedom fighters – then and now – sing for courage, harmony, unity – in the rhythms of strong heartbeats and bold strides in sync. Sandwiches and songs are an iconic combination!

The National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH), with celebrations of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and what he taught, is a time for songs that sustain those “Bringing love to the fight.” The fight for justice, mercy, and humbly walking together to the Promised Land of peace, is an on-going one. Both internal and external peace are always illusive. These times call for not just a little, but a lot of love to face the hate, fear, and despair we see.

CT-VA is presenting its 4th NDORH event on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. The last two have been concerts – songs of hope, kinship, struggle, and love. Songs that choose LIFE. Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway, in their show, Deeper Than the Skin, brought us personal stories and songs about the joys and pains of life and friendship in a racialized society. In 2022, we found ourselves uplifted with Crys Matthews’ songs of truth, wrapped for delivery in grace, strength, humor, and constant love. This month, Desirée Roots is excited to bring us songs from a journey that started centuries ago and songs for this part of the road toward justice and joy. We are thrilled to invite the whole community to join us, for an evening of truth in history, songs of life, and the sustenance that hope gives for the journey.

2023! We got this – together!

Danita and Marsha


7th Annual

National Day of Racial Healing

Join Coming Together Virginia  for an unforgettable evening with Grammy Nominee, Desirée Roots, and the Weldon Hill Ensemble in commemoration of the National Day of Racial Healing on January 17, 2023 from 7:00-8:30 pm ET at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture. 

This year marks the 7th annual National Day of Racial Healing. On this day, individuals, organizations and communities across the U.S. come together to explore their common humanity and build the relationships necessary to create a more just and equitable world.

Desiree's ability to sing nearly every genre, including jazz, gospel, opera, and pop music has made her one of the region's most sought-after vocalists. She has shared the stage with Grammy Award-winning guitarists Buddy Guy and BB King, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Boney James, was the opening act for Brian McKnight and was a featured vocalist with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra as well as RVA’s own Richmond Symphony. 

She is currently celebrating her one-year anniversary of being appointed the Artistic Director of Community at Virginia Repertory Theatre. Her CD entitled "Don't Ever Stop Dreaming" has gained airplay and accolades from the USA to Europe and Brazil.

Tickets: $20 donation

Purchase Tickets


(4th Monday of the month)

via Zoom

Monday, January 23rd 

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Alice tells the story of an enslaved woman who flees an 1880's plantation, only to learn that it is actually 1973. KeKe Palmer says the story felt like it spoke to history in the Black slave narrative in a way that was not so victimizing. “There’s only one angle that we usually get the slave narrative from, and it’s usually from an oppressor standpoint. It does not empower the youth and it does not come with a sense of pride that I feel like I’ve always felt growing up when my parents talked to me about our history.”

Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life.

January is a good month to settle down to a good read,

or watch a great movie. This month, you can do either,

and still join us for the Movie Circle discussion.

Read Kindred by Octavia Butler (science fiction), 

or watch Alice (2022, based on a true story), or do both.

So pop the corn or grab the chips, and travel through time with us!

We watch the monthly movie in the comfort of our own homes and then gather for fellowship and discussion on Zoom on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:30 pm ET. We look forward to being with you on January 23rd.

Robin Allman and Barbara Brown

Movie Circle Co-Conveners


Reading For Change


(4th Thursday of the month)

via Zoom

Thursday, January 26th 

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux.

In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Please join in the discussion of this book. If you have not had time to finish it or read it, feel free to join the discussion anyway.

Doug Steele

RFC Book Circle Convener


Education For Action


(2nd Thursday of the month)


Thursday, February 9th 

6:00 - 8:30 pm ET

CT-VA will resume our second book circle, Education for Action each 2nd Thursday of the month beginning on February 9, 2023 6:00 - 8:30 pm.

The selection will be Hey, White Girl by Judith Bice. It is 1969 and Virginia’s schools are finally integrating, and Nell must attend a predominantly Black high school. Her brother, Donald, is in his final year of school, and he must either go to college or face the Vietnam draft. Nell’s mother and father handle these cultural shifts quite differently, and Nell begins to see where each of them stands politically and morally.


This will be an in-person potluck gathering. Please e-mail Cheryl Goode if you would like the location or other information.

News From Our Partners

On January 16, the Black History Museum of Virginia will partner for two great events honoring and celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the morning, honor Dr. King by participating in a community service project. In the afternoon, come out and hear from our teens as well as other guest speakers. There will be live performances and museum tours. Both events are free and open to the community so come out and honor the life and legacy of Dr. King! Contact the museum at 804.780.9093 for more information.

MLK Day Celebration: A Day On - Not a Day Off

Hosted by Mayor Stoney and the City of Richmond

9 AM - 11 AM

MLK Community Day: Teens R Talkin'

Presented by Community Clo and

Project Give Back to Community

12 PM - 3 PM

Life, Liberty and

Happiness Lecture

Valentine Museum

Tuesday, January 17

6:00-7:30 PM

Life, Liberty & Happiness: New Perspectives on Founding Ideas is a lecture series that explores the evolution and contemporary relevance of America’s founding philosophies and highlights scholars whose work contributes to reinterpreting what “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” means today.

Sabrina Dent, DMin, a lifelong advocate for human rights and social justice, directs the Center for Faith, Justice and Reconciliation – a theological think tank and education organization that prioritizes advancing justice issues. Her scholarship addresses the complexities of religious freedom, religion and public policy, and race, religion, and American public life.


Coalition Calls For Community Conversation

About Bon Secours

The Richmond Coalition for Health Equity requests that you join us on Thursday, January 12th at 6pm for a community conversation about Bon Secours, Richmond Community Hospital and the need for greater investment in Richmond’s East End and other low-income communities. The meeting will be at Mount Olivet Church at 1223 N 25th St in the East End.

Bon Secours caused a national scandal, covered in the New York Times, by abusing the federal 340B program for “safety net” hospitals. Bon Secours was shown to be diverting money from this program to subsidize its wealthy, suburban campuses while hollowing out services at the historically Black Richmond Community Hospital.

The Richmond Coalition for Health Equity is a group of concerned Richmond leaders, East End residents, and community activists who believe that Bon Secours should re-invest 100% of the profits it makes from the 340B program – which is designed for low-income communities – into the Richmond region’s low-income neighborhoods.

Thank you for your continued support of

Coming Together Virginia.



(RVA): Local Event

(NAT): CTTT - National Event

Tues., January 17

7:00 - 8:30 pm ET

National Day of Racial Healing Concert

Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Tickets & Details at left


Mon., January 23

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Movie Circle

via ZOOM

Contact Robin to be added to mailing list.


Thurs., January 26

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Reading for Change

Book Circle

via ZOOM

Contact Doug to be added to mailing list.


Thurs., February 9

6:00 - 8:30 pm ET

Education For Action

Book Circle


Contact Cheryl to be added to mailing list.




3rd Tuesday Gathering

Black History Month

Ginter Park

Presbyterian Church 

Dinner & Conversation

February 21, 2023

6:00-8:30 pm ET


Needs YOU!

We are experiencing lots of growth and change and there are some dynamic programs and circles that have been temporarily on hold. They are in need of a volunteer to be their convener or champion!

Plus some specific support roles below.

Help us go to the next level!


Our Wish List:

Dedicated Volunteers to fill these “Changemaker Roles”

Constant Contact Support

 Create events in Constant Contact - Training provided

Post-Event Organizing/Filing

Help us keep 3rd Tues. paperwork tidy

Archivist  Testimonials, quotes and good news


Event Database Collecting  

Survey/ evaluation coordinator


Photo Gallery Archivist 

CT-VA has photos to be sorted and labeled by content

Photographer and/or Videographer

Document our programs & special events as you're available

Racism At Work


Working group members and co-conveners

Reparations Circle

Members; potential co-conveners


And we would love to have additional members of our Hospitality & Food Teams!

Contact us to express interest or learn more!

Guided Meditation

Saturday, February 11th  

4 - 5:00 pm ET

On Zoom

Coming To The Table (our national parent organization) offers regularly scheduled Zoom meetings focused on guided meditation as a tool for healing wounds related to race. These meetings are designed for everyone - those interested in learning to meditate, and those who already have an ongoing practice.

Participants experience a combination of a guided meditation practice, an opportunity for checking in and a sharing about one's experience afterward.

You can also utilize the many resources listed on the CTTT website in your personal practice.

Click HERE for previously recorded CTTT Guided Meditations. There are more than two dozen recordings for you to utilize in your personal practice.

Email Hayat for more info about registering for February's CTTT Guided Meditation.

Our Mission

To Open Hearts

and Minds

through shared learning and bold


To Connect People

across the racial divide

To Teach Dialogue Processes

for healing conversations on difficult racial experiences

To Promote Action

to dismantle the

legacy of enslavement

To Call Forth Just and Equitable Communities

in Virginia and beyond

Speaker Series

Decoding "Lessons of the Hour"

On January 20, 6:30-7:30 pm, join the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, for a discussion of Isaac Julien’s work "Lesson of the Hour—Frederick Douglass."

In Decoding "Lessons of the Hour," Cassel Oliver unravels the symbolism embedded in this 10-screen film installation, enabling viewers to deepen their understanding of Douglass's words in relation to his life and our contemporary selves.


Achieving Success through Inclusion

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is proud to release a new Guide to Constructive and Inclusive Dialogue. This Guide is designed to provide frameworks, tools, and resources to support dialogues that can (re-)build community. It is intended to be used by individuals and institutions interested in planning or organizing dialogues.


is of a racially healed world of thriving, equitable

and just communities.

Join our National Parent Organization!
Take the next step!
Become a member of
Coming to the Table!
Jonathan Davis, Marketing and Communications Manager
Hayat Bain, Coordinator of Communications & Partnerships
Coming Together Virginia
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