Danita Rountree Green (R Satiafa) is an author and trauma healing facilitator, conducting workshops addressing community trauma and race related issues. A trained therapeutic art and restorative language specialist, Danita uses storytelling to unravel self-defeating narratives, helping people move through personal, community and historical trauma. As co-convener of Coming To The Table – RVA, she facilitates the constructive yet clumsy conversation on race and the legacy of the American Slave Trade.
Marsha Summers grew up in Southern California, but has lived in the Southeast for her entire adult life, with the last 19 years being in Richmond, VA. She has degrees in German, Education, and Vocal Performance, and has been employed as a singer, voice teacher, and pre-school director and teacher. Marsha is married to the Rev. Dr. Charles Summers, has three grown children and three grandchildren. She has been associated with Coming To TheTable-RVA almost from the beginning and served as Food Team Coordinator, Facilitator, and Book Circle co-leader before coming on as Co-CEO, Operations. She shares her CTTT journey below.
I have lived in Richmond, VA for the past 70 years . Was born in Farmville, Virginia VA, where schools were closed rather than integrate. Currently serves as the Movie Circle Coordinator , a Facilitator and a Member of the Leadership Team. I saw an article in a newspaper about a meeting of CTTT at a Church close to where I live and decided to attend my first meeting on December 16th, 2016. At my first meeting I was impressed with and was in accord with the mission of the organization and the four legs of the organization. As a member of CTTT for the past 3 years , I feel that I have developed some very lasting relationships and developed a sense of trust with persons of very diverse backgrounds. My motto at this age is "Learn today , like you are going to live forever". I continue to participate in CTTT activities, events and trips because in addition to learning, I am also able to experience a wider circle of family love from my new relationships.
Martha, grew up in Martinsville, VA, attended Duke University and graduated with degrees in religion and teaching. In the early seventies she and her husband, Randy, worked with neighbors in Richmond’s Carillon area to fight racially discriminatory real estate practices, thereby helping their community become and remain a diverse neighborhood stabilized by a culture of friendship.
Rev. Darren Utley is a minister in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. He lives with his wife and two children in Hanover County, VA. Darren’s early experience with the Jesus of the Christian Gospels, set him on a path toward seeking all the goodness of God for all people. While living in Grand Rapids, MI, he became active in community organizing in both the Black and Latino communities. Darren spent two years as the Executive Director of The Coalition for Community Reinvestment, working with the city, banks, churches and other organizations to help revitalize communities primarily through homeownership and the rehabilitation of housing.
A 20-year veteran of the financial sector, with a specialty in educational institutions. Successful business strategist and administrator. Engineered a school budget increase of $8 million in three years through strategic use of budget, staffing and program management. Team leader with proven ability to communicate effectively with department leaders, staff members, trustee boards, and government agencies. Extensive experience managing budgets, leading teams and controlling costs.
Brian lives in south Richmond and tries to stay involved in community and regional activities. He uses his museum display and botanical garden experiences somewhat differently today and creates seasonal displays and interior designs for museums, churches and hospitals that carry varying themes of history and culture, or for a special occasion. As the coordinator for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Care within the Crater Health District, he advocates for the well-being of children and hope that youth everywhere understand when signs of abuse may show up in their lives.
Allison Thomas is a film and theatre producer and entrepreneur. In the area of film, Allison was a lead producer of “The Tale of Despereaux,” a CG-animated movie, an executive producer of “Seabiscuit” (nominated for Best Picture – 2003) and a co-producer of “Pleasantville.” She is currently producing “RFK” with Benedict Cumberbatch.
A musicologist, composer, and pianist, Weldon Hill is active as a performer, composer, and writer. He is most well known as a pianist, having shared the stage with artists such as Jon Faddis, Joe Williams, Steve Wilson, Marleana Shaw, Benny Carter, Jae Sinnett, Andrew White, Ron Elliston, and Jo Marie Payton. His own piano trio has performed with Donald Harrison, Veronica Swift, Lori Williams, Renee Marie, Cecile Calloway, Denzal Sinclair, Andrew White, and Earnie Andrews, among others. In addition to his own trio, Hill also performs regularly with the Virginia Symphony Jazz Orchestra and Symphony Pops and the United States Air Force Rhythm in Blues Jazz Ensemble. As pianist with the Great American Music Ensemble (an often-featured big band at the Kennedy Center and for National Public Radio) and with such artists as Herb Jeffries, Jimmy Heath, Benny Carter, Christian McBride, Ronnie Wells, Milt Hinton, and Ethel Ennis. His discography includes recordings with the Great American Music Ensemble, Plunky and Oneness, Bill McGee, James Gates and the Weldon Hill Trio.
I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and attended Duke University. I’m married to Cal Jennison and we’ve raised our seven kids in Richmond. My career was in financial services primarily in equity trading, but for the last six years, I led a management consulting firm. I retired last year. You can find more about all that in LinkedIn. Now I love chasing our grandkids and kids around the house and world.
I’ve watched Richmond change over the 30 years we’ve lived here, and while to me It feels more open and more willing to embrace a complete telling of its past, I know it doesn’t feel this way to everyone. There is so much to do and so much division still. I’m trying to remember the old adage that God gave us one mouth and two ears. I have lots of listening to do.
When I was growing up in Alexandria, the schools were integrated. As a child it felt like economics divided us, more than race, but of course it was all tied together. While I was in high school at TC Williams I began thinking about issues of social justice. I’ve spent my life benefiting from white privilege, and I’m happy to be thinking about racial reconciliation and social justice again.
Coming to the Table provides a great way for people to talk about their connection to race, what it means to them, and to learn from those around them
Tina Slaughter shared her IT and organizational skills with Coming To The Table-RVA helping us develop our website, our brand and our organizational communication. Additionally she took our newsletter to a better and more consistent format and trained a volunteer to edit and send out on a regular schedule. Additionally she began the set up of our donor data base, developed procedures for maintaining our mailing list, assisted in development events including the Table of African- American Fusions held at the Warsaw.
Bill Tattersall hails from Charleston, West Virginia. He is a graduate from West Virginia University and from the Marshall- With School of Law at William and Mary. He worked in real estate development in Florida and Texas before retiring in Richmond, Virginia. He is currently President of the Sauer Garden Neighborhood Association and on the board of Monument Park. He devotes time and energy to social justice and equality causes in the Richmond area.