‘Coming to the Table’ program awarded $845,000 in funds

EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) has received funding from the Kellogg Foundation and the Fetzer Institute to further its work with the “Coming to the Table” program (CTTT).

The Kellogg Foundation and the Fetzer Institute collaborated to provide the $845,000 in funds. Kellogg contributed a two-year grant of $400,000 and Fetzer Institute is providing $445,000 over three years. The funding will support the program’s mission to “acknowledge, understand and heal the persistent wounds of the institution of slavery and its aftermath, strive for racial reconciliation and a more unified, just and truthful society.”

“Coming to the Table was founded by descendants of both slaveholders and enslaved people in partnership with the CJP,” said CTTT program director Amy C. Potter. “The name is inspired by the call of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during his historic address at the March on Washington in 1963. He prayed that ‘the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Coming to the Table
A ‘closing circle’ at a Coming to the Table gathering. Photo by Howard Zehr

“Coming to the Table is committed to achieving that goal through research, relationship building, information sharing, community projects and training,” Potter noted. “The program is non-partisan, multi-faith; multi-cultural and multi-generational.”

The Kellogg and Fetzer funds will support the development and application of a model for healing from the legacy of slavery. CTTT envisions that, once further articulated and studied, the process will be applied to families, organizations and communities.

“It is hoped that this work will contribute to a national conversation about healing from slavery and making things right for society-at-large,” Potter said. “Coming to the Table wants to create a new, positive legacy for America’s children so they can grow up without the burden of history and the associated cycles of victimhood and violence.”

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), a graduate program at EMU, was founded in 1994 to further the personal and professional development of individuals as peacebuilders and to strengthen the peacebuilding capacities of the institutions they serve. The program is committed to supporting conflict transformation and peacebuilding efforts at all levels of society.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.

The Fetzer Institute’s mission is to foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community, believing that efforts to address the world’s critical issues must go beyond political, social, and economic strategies to their psychological and spiritual roots.