Webinar: Coming to the Table

When: 15 November 2017 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Guest: Jodie Geddes (President, Board of Managers) and Tom DeWolf (Executive Director)

Host: Dr. Howard Zehr

This webinar was sponsored by Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Coming to the Table began when two dozen people, African and European descendants from both sides of the system of enslavement in the United States, gathered together at Eastern Mennonite University in January 2006. Participants began to envision a more connected and truthful world that would address the unresolved and persistent effects of the historic institution of slavery. In this webinar, Jodie Geddes and Tom DeWolf will share information about the Coming to the Table “Approach,” which is grounded in theories and practices of Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience (STAR), with a particular focus on Transforming Historical Harms and their trans-generational transmission, working toward racial justice and equity through a Restorative lens, and utilizing Circle Process and Touchstones to create space in which participants feel safe enough, and motivated, to engage actively in the transformative work.

What began with two dozen people in 2006 has grown into a community of thousands across the United States and around the world. In the aftermath of police shootings of unarmed black men, continued race-based inequity in virtually all measurable social indicators (incarceration rates, access to education, jobs, healthcare, etc.), the racism-infused 2016 Presidential election, and recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia and elsewhere, interest in CTTT is at an all-time high. People are looking for answers and support for what we can do to actively resist and dismantle racist and oppressive systems and structures in our communities, government, schools, churches, and other institutions; what we can do to transform ourselves. As of this writing, more than 11,000 unique individuals visit the CTTT website each month. More than 4,000 are members of the very active CTTT Facebook Group. There are twenty-two Local Affiliate Groups across the U.S., with more to come.

CTTT has many resources to help. Join us to learn more about the CTTT Vision “of a just and truthful society that acknowledges and seeks to heal from the racial wounds of the past—from slavery and the many forms of racism it spawned.”


Guest Bios

Jodie Geddes was born in Jamaica, West Indies and emigrated to the United States at the age of 6. Through her experiences as a Caribbean-American immigrant, Jodie found herself pushing to have deeper and more intersectional conversations about race, justice, truth telling and healing. As a community organizer, writer, and restorative justice healer, Jodie seeks to be a home where young people and elders can learn together and create collective community responses to the transformative healing of historical harms built in the legacy and history of slavery. Through her work with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) Jodie is exploring the possibility of a national truth and reconciliation process for the United States. Jodie is the president of the Board of Managers for Coming to the Table (CTTT).


Tom DeWolf serves as Executive Director of CTTT and is a certified STAR Practitioner (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience). Tom is the author of two books: Inheriting the Trade, and Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade (both Beacon Press). Tom is also featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North. Tom travels extensively throughout the United States; speaking at universities, corporations, and conferences, and leading workshops and trainings for groups dedicated to social justice. Tom and his wife Lindi live in Oregon. Learn more about Tom’s work at his website.