~~ March 2023 Newsletter ~~

A Message From Our CEO



Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday in March. To remember which way to set their clocks, folks use the expression, “Spring forward, fall back.”

I’m one of those folks who always needs a reminder of which way to go. Not just with my clock but also when I’m driving. Yes, I admit that I am directionally challenged - should I take THIS left or my OTHER left? This confusion might also happen when I’m walking somewhere. I was so grateful when my kindergartener, in a moment of frustration, stuck his little hand out with pointer finger up and thumb extended out, and said, “Mommy, LEFT makes an 'L'." That kid is still a genius today.

Question: Which path should I take today?

Answer: It doesn't matter which way you go as long as you go forward.

Thank goodness the planet is on course, the clock is ticking and time is marching on. I can tell when the season is changing - the trees begin to green a bit, it gets warmer, and I’m baffled on which coat-sweater-jacket to put on in the morning. If the garment is too heavy, I’ll ditch it in the middle of the day. It’s okay to let things go. I’m grateful for the choices I have and the decisions I get to make.

When I hear "SPRING FORWARD", I see myself jumping into the newness of life. I’m not losing an hour; I’m getting a headstart on tomorrow! As we spring forward into a vision of a racially healed world, take a moment to smell the flowers and feel the breeze on your cheek. It's a reminder that something else is possible and is coming to life right in front of you. All we have to do is keep moving forward.

Your friends at Coming Together Virginia invite you to march into March with us as we face our weathered past and become active participants in the beautiful blended future that awaits. Move boldly and intentionally into a new beginning for our city, the Commonwealth and the nation. Spring forward with CT-VA!

(DST begins on Sunday, March 12 @ 2:00 A.M. Saturday night clocks are set forward one hour (i.e., losing one hour to “spring forward.”)

Check out this TED Talk where Dr Carmara Jones talks about spring flowers and how racism blooms: Allegories on race and racism | Camara Jones | TEDxEmory

Danita Rountree Green



Dinner & Conversation

March 21st

6:00 - 8:30 pm ET


Ginter Park Presbyterian Church

Fellowship Hall

3601 Seminary Ave.

Richmond, VA 23227

Changemakers Unite!

How To Become a Community Advocate

Join Coming Together Virginia  on March 21st and meet area changemakers who are making a difference in their neighborhoods, churches, workplaces and schools. Activist Elijah Lee; Librarian and social advocate Meldon Jenkins Jones; and father and community advocate Lawrence Robinson, who is bringing fathers together who have lost children, as well as others, will share their inspiring stories and information about their organizations or initiatives.


As we have seen, both globally and locally, the best advocates for change are people who can move others to action, no matter their age. If you are thinking of working on global or community advocacy, join us to hear some tips on how to get started. There is a changemaker in YOU!

We will provide some main dish items and ask that you bring a side dish to share. We will also be requesting a donation to help cover our expenses. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Look for an invitation in your inbox and an opportunity to register for this event within the next couple of days.

The March Forward!

"Don’t Fall Back"

Monthly Giving Campaign

GOAL - 100 New Monthly Givers in 100 Days!

Justice takes Allies! Please help us move into a new season with a statewide reach, spreading the work of racial healing and a new vision of hope.


Become a CT-VA monthly giver. Select a giving level that works for you!

$10 per month Facilitating the Future Gift supports our facilitator team as they hold brave and safe space for transformational conversations.

$20 per month Truth-Telling Gift supports technology for virtual and in-person programs featuring dynamic speakers, trips and pilgrimages.

$30 per month Crossing Borders Gift supports bringing people together from different backgrounds to share ideas that can impact communities.

This is where the magic happens!

$40 per month 40 Acres and a Mule Reparational Gift supports community advocacy, revitalizing neighborhoods, and the redistribution of resources.

$50 per month Faith in Action Gift supports our Becoming Community Series in houses of worship, expanding their vision of inclusion and love.


Go to our website and commit to helping Coming Together Virginia fulfill our Vision and Mission.


(4th Monday of the month)

via Zoom

Monday, March 27th 

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries. Set in the 1820s, the film stars Viola Davis as a general who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies. It is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Dana Stevens, based on a story she wrote with Maria Bello. The film also stars Thuso MbeduLashana LynchSheila AtimHero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega.

Join us to discuss this movie that is based on a truly historic period in history. Relax and watch it in the comfort of your own home. Then gather with us for fellowship and conversation on Zoom on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:30 pm ET. We look forward to being with you on March 27th.

Robin Allman and Barbara Brown

Movie Circle Co-Conveners


Reading For Change


(4th Thursday of the month)

via Zoom

Thursday, March 23rd

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Montgomery, Alabama 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.

But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn who her new patients are. As Civil grapples with her role, one day she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.

Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, this is a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients.

Please join in the discussion of this book. Even 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 Thursdays, beginning in May)


Thursday, May 11th

6:00 - 8:30 pm ET

CT-VA's Education for Action Book Circle will not meet in March nor in April. Look for a message in April about the next book we will read in our circle. We look forward to seeing you on May 11th, the 2nd Thursday. This will be an in-person potluck dinner gathering. Please e-mail Cheryl Goode for the location and other information.

-Action Update-

Things happen quickly and we want to keep you informed. 

The "ACTION UPDATE" will be a monthly feature of our newsletter. 

Richmond Black Restaurant Experience is back for its seventh year running, through March 12th. The weeklong event celebrates Richmond's diverse and thriving Black culinary scene while honoring the significant historic contributions Black people made to the city and its food culture.

There's plenty of great food to eat all week. The concept of the event is simple — support participating Black owned restaurantsfood trucks and caterers by dining out at them all week. The week is bookended by two food-focused festivals — Mobile Soul Sunday and Stick a Fork in It.

But the beauty of the event is the conversations it inspires and the intentionality behind its execution. Richmond is a critical place in the Black American story. "About 1 in 4 Black folks can trace their history back to the docks here," RBRE co-founder Amy Wentz tells Axios of the significant role the city had in the American slave trade. Food is an important part of that story.

"The Richmond food scene started with us," Wentz says, noting figures like John Dabney, the once enslaved Richmonder credited with perfecting the Mint Julep — and helping invent modern mixology. With the event, "we're simply saying, as Richmond becomes this foodie town, we want to put our mark on it," she adds.

Unlike other restaurant week events, RBRE strives to include everyone involved in the culinary scene, not just Black restaurant owners, but chefs, cooks, caterers and food truck operators. (excerpt from article in Axios Richmond)

Coming to the Table

National Gathering

Returns In-Person

Join our larger national community of Coming to the Table for several days in a "village" of learning together and connecting around racial justice and healing!

Oakland, CA

June 15-18, 2023

It has been five long years since Coming to the Table has met in-person for a National Gathering. The covid pandemic led to postponing the 2020 NG. We gathered "virtually" in 2021.

This year we will gather in person once again. In keeping with the intention to hold National Gatherings in different locations around the country, for the first time we will gather on the West Coast, in Oakland, California, the home of RJOY (CTTT is a program of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth) and where, in 1966, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded The Black Panther Party

This is an exciting time of expansion and collaboration across the country for CTTT and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Table in person. We hope to see YOU in June!

This year's theme is based on the OAK in Oakland: Strengthening Our Ancestral Kinship, and the kinship between the OAK in Oakland and the strong, ancestral tree in the CTTT Logo. Together, we'll explore reparations, truth-telling, genealogy and linked descendants, mindfulness and healing while also engaging in skill building activities related to courageous conversations and actions to dismantle systemic racism.

Contact Hayat if you'd like to chat with someone local who has experienced the NG in-person and virtually and is involved at the national level.

Learn More & REGISTER

CT-VA Leaders Shine

The above photo was taken at a recent Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) alumni luncheon – CT-VA's Anita Johnson and Leslie Crabb are talking to the 2021 Leader Who Serves Award winner Carol Adams – both of them had a connection to her – she is amazing! 

Leslie Crabbs and Anita Johnson were awarded the Leader Who Serves Award for their class. This is given to a person (and in this case a first-time pair)  “who made significant strides and made a contribution to the community in the year since he/she completed their class." The recipients are nominated by their class and selected by a volunteer committee of the class.

Created in 1980 as an innovative program to address racial and gender divides in our area’s community leadership, LMR is now a network of 2,000+ members from the business, nonprofit and governmental sectors of our community who have the desire to serve and the ability to lead.


Congratulations to Leslie and Anita, and as Leslie says, "If we could all learn to listen to one another across the racial divide - hearing how we are more alike than we are different – how important it is for us to learn from someone else, to hear their story and share our own!" 

Thank you for your continued support of

Coming Together Virginia.

Please consider making a donation.



(RVA): Local Event

(NAT): CTTT - National Event

Saturday, March 11 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET

CTTT Guided Meditation

via ZOOM

Contact Hayat 

w/questions after checking out the info below.


Tuesday, March 21

6:00-8:30 pm ET

3rd Tuesday Gathering

Changemakers Unite!

Dinner & Conversation

Details in left column.

Contact Hayat 


Invitation w/registration link to be sent soon.


Thursday, March 23

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Reading for Change

Book Circle

via ZOOM

Contact Doug to be added to mailing list.


Monday, March 27

6:30 - 8:00 pm ET

Movie Circle

via ZOOM

Contact Robin to be added to mailing list.


Returns in May

Education For Action

Book Circle


Contact Cheryl to be added to mailing list.




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, March 11th  

4:00 - 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. This call will be facilitated by Ann Reeves.

Participants will experience a guided meditation practice, and will have an opportunity to share about their personal experience afterward.

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

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

Click here to RSVP & register for the CTTT Guided Meditation on March 11th.

Evolution of a Black Girl:

From the Slave House to the White House

Hippodrome Theater

March 26th

5:00 PM

This one woman show chronicles a history of the African American woman from 1600s to present day through a riveting 12 character portrayal by award winning actress, Morgan McCoy.

This show will feature live music scored by renowned composer and pianist Zachary Hines II and his band, Fortress and additional guest artists.

Purchase Tickets

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

The Greatest Black Movies

This is a link to the new Black film canon website. It was recently discussed on a podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour from NPR. This is a list of the 75 greatest Black movies as chosen by a special panel of filmmakers and critics.

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.

Art Meets Dance in Carpenter Theatre Ballet

Expect to see art in a whole new way when the James River Valley Chapter of The Links brings Columbia City Ballet’s “Off the Wall and Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green” to Richmond’s Carpenter Theatre at Dominion Energy Center on March 10.

“We thought it would be an awesome opportunity to present to our community a ballet of this kind,” James River Valley Chapter President Janipher Robinson said in a recent phone interview. “It’s a very unique concept and an unusual ballet.”

Created by Columbia City Ballet’s Artistic Director William Starrett in 2005 as a tribute to renowned contemporary artist Jonathan Green, the ballet has been called “an ingenious idea” by the New York Times and a “soulful slice of work” by the Tampa Tribune.

Mr. Green’s vibrant paintings depict Gullah life on South Carolina’s Lowcountry coast. The Gullah/Geechee people are descendants of enslaved Africans from west and central Africa.

(Richmond Free Press)

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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