I am Marsha Summers. I grew up in Southern California,but have lived in the Southeast for my whole adult life, with the last 18 years being in Richmond, VA. I have served as a food coordinator and table facilitator at our monthly meetings since November, 2016.
I was involved with CTTT-RVA pretty much from the earliest house meetings, about 4 years ago, but stayed a little in the background for a long time. I am embarrassed to admit that in those early small gatherings, I thought this wasn't really my issue. I wasn't from the Old South, doubted my ancestors held slaves, had spent at least half of my adulthood in very racially mixed Presbyterian congregations, believed wholeheartedly that God loves all God's children, red and yellow, black and white. But I love Martha Rollins, and I really enjoyed all the people she brought to the table, so I came and mostly listened and watched to see how things would develop.
Then came the election results, and suddenly our brand new "home base" in a very welcoming church became safe space to many new faces, and many new voices with important stories to share. I started counting on those four legs of the table for some true history, for some healing balm for my sad heart, for some guidance toward acting for more justice, and most of all for forming friendships with people of good will from a most wondrous variety of backgrounds. An 8-day Pilgrimage to sites of historic tragedy and courage, meeting people who walked all those stony paths, cemented this as my issue after all. The Book and Movie Circles have fed my mind, soul, and body. I have taken James Baldwin to heart ("It's the innocence I cannot forgive"), and laughed with Trevor Noah. I have a whole new pantheon of Superheroes, some living and some long gone, and I find I want to introduce new and old friends to them all!