Dismantle Racism with Rev. Dr. TLC offers open-hearted conversations about racism, how it’s hidden in plain sight, and the ways in which it's crippling America (and beyond). We will shatter bias and assumptions with our guests, who illuminate the forces at play that perpetuate systemic inequity.
Rev. Dr. TLC’s audience will be invited to move from history to healing as she and her guest dismantle racism by tapping into our sacred intelligence, a process which invites each of us to recognize our shared humanity. It’s time for each of us to uncover, dismantle, and eradicate racism and create a world where racial equity is an everyday experience for all.
Tune in for this important conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Livestream by Clicking Here.
Rev. Dr. TLC begins the show with a guided meditation. She informs her audience that she will be releasing recordings of a guided meditation that you can find on her website SacredIntelligence.com. Rev. Dr. TLC talks about how people tend to struggle in discussions about race. She goes on to explain that healing is possible if we know how to engage in the conversation and do our own internal work. Rev. Dr. TLC introduces the topics for today’s episode which includes “coming to the table”. Coming to the table approach focuses on truth telling, liberation, and transformation. Rev. Dr. TLC welcomes her guest Tom DeWolf who is co-manager of Coming to the Table. Tom talks about his visit to Old Lyme, CT where he discussed his ancestor Edward DeWolf.
Tom is a descendant of one of the largest slave trades in the US. Rev. Dr. TLC shares what it is like to have a conversation with Tom knowing about his ancestors. Tom tells Rev. Dr. TLC about his discovery in learning that his ancestors were apart of the slave trade. He shares his experience with The Door of No Return. It was an eye opening experience to visit dungeons that once housed slaves. Tom was working on a film that brought him to the Door of No Return and it inspired him to write a book. He talks about the difficulties he had as a white person writing about this intense information on the slave trade. Tom also discusses his experience with his first seminar where he talked to descendants of enslaved people. Coming to the table is about working together and seeing past our differences.
Tom tells Rev. Dr. TLC a little about Coming to the table’s process. He says it’s an approach that was developed for racial healing and racial equity. Tom says that understanding what trauma does to our bodies was critical. He talks about the importance of the restorative justice principle. It recognizes the impact of the woundedness of oppression. Tom explains how they utilized specific tools that bring unity. Rev. Dr. TLC and Tom discuss the history of Oregon and how they were known for their anti-black laws. Tom makes a point that you can find racism in every state’s core. Rev. Dr. TLC and Tom also analyze the decision to live in a predominantly white neighborhood. Tom shares what he is doing to help change the people of Oregon.
Rev. Dr. TLC asks Tom if he ever has fear for his safety because of the outspoken nature of his work. Tom talks about his obligations as a white man and people hear him differently. He points out the gender issue and says it’s not just white supremacy it’s male supremacy. Rev. Dr. TLC asks Tom if he has practical action steps that he would give to white people to push them to the next level. Tom says one of the ways racism is perpetuated is because white people don’t get involved. Start by reading black authors. Read books that help people understand racism. Participate at coming to the table at comingtothetable.org.
00:00:37.050 --> 00:01:07.040 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Hello, and welcome to the dismantle Racism show. I'm. Your host, the Reverend Dr. Tlc. Our goal at the show is to uncover, dismantle and eradicate racism. There has been a lot happening in the world since I last was here. There's so many things for which we need to focus our attention on things that are related to just racial equity, but equity overall. And so I invite you to participate today
00:01:07.050 --> 00:01:17.460 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to show with thinking about those things that you really want to do to make a difference in the world, because it takes all of us to participate in changing
00:01:17.500 --> 00:01:25.799 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: the world. I know that dismantling racism can seem like a hard task. And indeed it is. But if each of us stands up
00:01:25.810 --> 00:01:49.769 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: for what we believe in and take a stand against racism, we can really dismantle racism. I had the opportunity during our absence. I was out in the Portland and the Ashland area uh promoting my book on Dismantling Racism, and one of the things that occurred while I was there was a vigil was held for
00:01:49.930 --> 00:02:01.410 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Aiden Ellison, who was killed by a white man for playing his music too loud, and I was just invited the night before this visual to speak,
00:02:01.420 --> 00:02:17.850 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and the thing that's really important for each of us is to remember when we are called upon, we have to answer the call, and so, while I didn't go to Ashland, prepared to do that when called upon, I knew how important it was to
00:02:17.960 --> 00:02:43.630 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: be able to speak out. We have to do more than say we are against racism, or that we want to promote racial equity. We have to actually speak out, even if it is unexpected. So I want to invite you as you listen to each and every show to think about the ways in which you want to show up in the world. Learn from our guest even some things that you can do that.
00:02:43.640 --> 00:02:59.199 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Perhaps you've never thought about to dismantle. Racism is one step at a time engaging in the process with people who perhaps think differently, who look differently than you. There's something that you can do
00:02:59.290 --> 00:03:11.079 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: does not take you marching in the streets, or having to tear down a complete system of racism to the to dismantle it. So just want to invite you to start where you are
00:03:11.220 --> 00:03:22.189 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and use what you have, and do what you can, as far as the Ash says. But we want to begin our show today, as always, by inviting you into a process
00:03:22.200 --> 00:03:35.370 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: where you can connect with your divine wisdom and your sacred source. So if you would, I invite you, if you're able to to close your eyes and just connect with your breath,
00:03:35.700 --> 00:03:39.630 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and began to take some deep breaths in
00:03:40.260 --> 00:03:41.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and out,
00:03:43.310 --> 00:03:45.010 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: connecting
00:03:45.090 --> 00:03:48.900 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: with sacred intelligence, which is
00:03:48.940 --> 00:03:53.760 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: that divine part of you that helps you to manifest your greatness,
00:03:54.070 --> 00:03:56.760 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: while helping others to do the same.
00:03:57.960 --> 00:04:00.269 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So just breathe in
00:04:00.980 --> 00:04:02.520 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and out,
00:04:03.590 --> 00:04:05.710 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: centering yourself,
00:04:06.140 --> 00:04:10.050 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: preparing you for the conversation ahead,
00:04:11.760 --> 00:04:14.029 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: connecting with who you are,
00:04:16.110 --> 00:04:19.310 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe in and out,
00:04:20.850 --> 00:04:23.679 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: knowing that you are loved,
00:04:23.880 --> 00:04:26.589 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and you are love itself.
00:04:28.610 --> 00:04:34.250 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Breathe in and out, recognizing your connection
00:04:34.780 --> 00:04:38.070 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: with each and every person
00:04:38.150 --> 00:04:39.610 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: on this planet.
00:04:40.860 --> 00:04:42.809 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We're all connected,
00:04:43.600 --> 00:04:45.810 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and what you do. Matters
00:04:47.240 --> 00:04:49.059 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe in
00:04:49.530 --> 00:04:51.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and out,
00:04:52.310 --> 00:04:57.879 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: connecting with your power source, knowing that you are powerful,
00:04:58.640 --> 00:05:02.709 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: knowing that you can change the status quo,
00:05:04.930 --> 00:05:06.660 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: breathe in
00:05:06.750 --> 00:05:08.160 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and out,
00:05:09.480 --> 00:05:11.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: knowing that the power of one
00:05:12.650 --> 00:05:15.870 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: contributes to the power of community,
00:05:16.300 --> 00:05:17.740 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and together
00:05:18.010 --> 00:05:20.329 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: we can dismantle racism.
00:05:21.740 --> 00:05:23.630 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Now take a deep breath in
00:05:25.280 --> 00:05:26.870 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: release it,
00:05:27.310 --> 00:05:29.090 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and less, began:
00:05:30.950 --> 00:06:00.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Beloved, before I bring our guest on. I also, uh, want to just share with you. I've actually been really busy because I recorded some meditations that will be out very shortly. They should actually be out within the next few days. So please make sure that you visit my website, the Sacred intelligence, dot com where you'll learn a little bit more about that, because I think it's important. If we are going to do this work we have to prepare ourselves. We have to
00:06:00.030 --> 00:06:15.889 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: arm ourselves. You cannot have a conversation with people. If you're going to be ranting and raving, and you're all torn up in the inside. So the meditations really come from the meditations that are in my book. But I provided some breathing exercises with them as well,
00:06:15.900 --> 00:06:24.830 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: because we want to be as centered as we possibly can when we engage in the work of racial equity
00:06:25.870 --> 00:06:30.500 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: on our show. Today, we're really going to dig into
00:06:30.540 --> 00:06:33.530 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: what happens when
00:06:33.750 --> 00:06:40.150 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: descendants of enslaved people come together with descendants of enslavers.
00:06:40.160 --> 00:06:58.730 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We know that it is very, very painful for people to even talk about race, and We know that it is painful when people are experiencing race, and there's a lot of hostilities when we come together to talk particularly cross racially,
00:06:59.410 --> 00:07:03.489 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: but healing is absolutely possible
00:07:03.830 --> 00:07:11.479 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: if we know how to engage in the conversation, and if we do our own internal work.
00:07:11.730 --> 00:07:31.029 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So I want to talk to you today about coming to the table, coming to the table, was founded in two thousand and six, when two dozen descendants of enslaved people and his labor scattered together to confront their family connections to the legacies and aftermath of slavery
00:07:31.260 --> 00:07:46.960 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and our nation's history of racial oppression and inequity that still continues Today We often hear people say that that was in the past, but we know that racism is alive and well,
00:07:46.970 --> 00:07:56.770 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and so, coming to the table, approaches racial justice and healing, and it focuses on truth, telling liberation and transformation.
00:07:56.780 --> 00:08:11.020 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: The integrated theories and practices of this approach are grounded in trauma, Awareness and resilience, conflict, transformation, human security, spirituality and restorative justice
00:08:11.680 --> 00:08:13.280 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That's a lot.
00:08:13.510 --> 00:08:21.240 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: But little by little by little we can tackle all of those things, so i'm really delighted today
00:08:21.280 --> 00:08:50.250 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to have is my guest, Tom de Wolf, who serves as co- manager for coming to the table. I think I accidentally said um founder in our promotional materials, but he is call manager for coming to the table, which again is a national nonprofit with six thousand members and fifty plus local affiliate groups. And I really want to hear more about that working together to create a just and truthful society.
00:08:50.260 --> 00:08:57.170 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So I want to welcome him here because he is the author of inheriting the table
00:08:57.650 --> 00:09:24.149 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: he's the co-author with sharing Leslie Morgan of Gather at the table which one the Phyllis weekly book award for non fiction biography and memoir and co-authored with Jodi getty's. I believe. I'm saying that correctly of the little book of racial healing. He is featured in the emmy nominated pbs documentary traces of the trade.
00:09:24.160 --> 00:09:38.170 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Tom is a public speaker and trainer at universities, corporations, and conferences, and I am just delighted to have you with us today, Tom. Welcome, welcome welcome to the show.
00:09:38.350 --> 00:09:41.859 Tom DeWolf: Thank you so much. I appreciate you inviting me on.
00:09:41.870 --> 00:10:08.840 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Well, I am very grateful to our mutual friend uh Steven Joe Guide, who actually told me about you coming to all line to really speak there. And um, as Steve has also been on the show. So it was really fascinating to me when he told me that he knew you, and we talked about the work that you're doing. Um, I I want to hear about coming to the table. But tell me a little bit about
00:10:08.970 --> 00:10:24.389 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: your visit to online, because part of the reason why you were there was to talk about your ancestor, Edward the Wolf, who uh lived and was buried there, I believe so. Tell me a little bit about the project there that you did with Steve.
00:10:24.770 --> 00:10:25.720 Tom DeWolf: Well,
00:10:25.800 --> 00:10:28.609 Tom DeWolf: I went to high school with Steve's uncle,
00:10:28.680 --> 00:10:46.109 Tom DeWolf: and his mother was our math teacher. And so you know, Phil and I have known each other for more than fifty years, and he introduced me to Steve because of the work that he and his congregation are doing in old line.
00:10:46.120 --> 00:10:49.450 Tom DeWolf: Um, you know, to provide
00:10:49.460 --> 00:11:12.450 Tom DeWolf: um comfort and and space for uh people who in specifically like immigrants coming here, who would be persecuted in this country, and he would provide safe haven in their in their church for these folks. And so Phil and I connected us because our our work was similar, trying to
00:11:12.670 --> 00:11:31.860 Tom DeWolf: not just teach about equity being equity and justice and and truth telling um but to live it. And so then Steve invited me to come out and um lead a workshop for his congregation and the community, and then to also um.
00:11:33.840 --> 00:11:40.460 Tom DeWolf: I went to college to become a minister, and I
00:11:40.790 --> 00:11:46.960 Tom DeWolf: i'll just be really honest. I ended up leaving the church after witnessing so much
00:11:47.060 --> 00:11:49.359 Tom DeWolf: hypocrisy and
00:11:49.460 --> 00:11:52.989 Tom DeWolf: abuse. And uh, you know it's it's
00:11:53.100 --> 00:12:17.760 Tom DeWolf: it wasn't what Jesus taught a lot of what I was, seeing, and it's not all of it. But it was enough for me um to walk away. So when he invited me to preach here, I was forty some years after graduating from college, standing in a pulpit for the first time.
00:12:19.800 --> 00:12:28.979 Tom DeWolf: Gosh! So much to cover, i'm. Descended from the largest slave trading dynasty in us history, and I found this out. Um,
00:12:29.530 --> 00:12:46.889 Tom DeWolf: I sort of found this out back in the mid eighties I was told that I was related to rum runners, slave traders and privateers, but it sounded more like pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland than it sounded like a real thing. And um!
00:12:47.420 --> 00:12:48.730 Tom DeWolf: It was
00:12:49.390 --> 00:12:54.579 Tom DeWolf: years later that I got invited to participate in this journey that became,
00:12:54.590 --> 00:13:17.120 Tom DeWolf: uh traces of the trade. A story from the Deep North, and I wrote my first book inheriting the trade about this Northern family, confronting its legacy of connection to enslaving. And this was the largest slave trading dynasty in us history, responsible for bringing more than ten thousand
00:13:17.130 --> 00:13:19.690 Tom DeWolf: people kidnapping,
00:13:19.880 --> 00:13:21.430 Tom DeWolf: purchasing,
00:13:21.680 --> 00:13:40.719 Tom DeWolf: bringing them to North and South America. Forty different ports. Um! Half a million of their descendants are likely alive today, so we retrace the Triangle Slave trade route of our ancestors from Rhode Island, the largest slave trading state in this country to Ghana
00:13:40.730 --> 00:13:59.899 Tom DeWolf: in West Africa, visiting the slave forts, the dungeons where people were held in such inhumane um conditions. And then the Cuba, with the family, owned five sugar and coffee plantations, um, and they would take the sugar back to Rhode Island, turn it into rum trade, run for African people. And
00:13:59.910 --> 00:14:13.560 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: so, so, Tom, I have so many questions to ask as a result of that. But we have to take a break, and I also just want to acknowledge, because I think that this is imported.
00:14:13.700 --> 00:14:26.180 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We're. We're having that coming to the table moment right now. And I want to just acknowledge what's even happening in my body as we're having this this conversation, because I think people think
00:14:26.350 --> 00:14:35.749 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Yeah, it's easy sometimes to engage in these conversations, and it is not. I talk about race all the time, but just even your description
00:14:35.860 --> 00:14:38.170 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: of um
00:14:38.300 --> 00:14:45.130 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: this family connection with enslavers inside my body There's so there's just
00:14:45.140 --> 00:15:04.749 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: things happening inside right now, right and and even to the to the vocal course, because it's all I mean. A lot of trauma is psychosomatic, right? Not about experiencing it directly, but even thinking about what happened to my people. We're trade it for Rome,
00:15:04.760 --> 00:15:19.130 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: you know, and those sorts of things. But I do want to talk about when we come back from the break. I want to talk about what it felt like for you when you learned this, because you obviously did something with it,
00:15:19.140 --> 00:15:30.229 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: you know, and it might have taken you a while, so I want to hear a little bit of your story about how you discovered it. You know how long it took you before you said, Listen, I I I want to do something
00:15:30.240 --> 00:15:45.530 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to really be about the healing and what the feelings were. So that's a lot for you to process during the break. We're gonna take a really quick break and be right back with the dismantle racism. So where my guest today is, Tom to Wolf, who is talking about
00:15:45.560 --> 00:15:50.849 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: being the descendant of one of the largest slave trades will be right back.
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00:17:39.560 --> 00:17:40.740 You
00:17:41.900 --> 00:17:43.030 you
00:17:44.580 --> 00:17:45.470 you!
00:17:45.500 --> 00:17:46.590 You!
00:18:06.550 --> 00:18:33.849 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We're back with the dismantle racism. Show before the break. I was talking with my guest tone to Wolf, who is a descendant of one of the largest um slave trades in the Us, and before the break, Tom, I was acknowledging to you what it felt like in my body to have this conversation with you. Um! And and what's so interesting is because I meet people all the time obviously, who were descendants of
00:18:34.050 --> 00:18:35.340 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: um
00:18:35.790 --> 00:18:37.899 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: enslaved people.
00:18:37.910 --> 00:19:01.980 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: But to directly talk with somebody who's acknowledging that, and acknowledging that it was one of the largest into here the deed, Some of the details, anyway. Um! Just acknowledging the impact of that on on my body. So talk to me a little bit about your discovery. What that was like for you, and perhaps maybe what some of the feelings were that
00:19:01.990 --> 00:19:08.370 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: um really moved you to say, I want to go down this rabbit hole a little bit farther.
00:19:09.790 --> 00:19:13.470 Tom DeWolf: I I found out this connection
00:19:14.210 --> 00:19:20.230 Tom DeWolf: pretty late in life. I didn't know any of this information as growing up, I grew up in Southern California.
00:19:20.280 --> 00:19:31.300 Tom DeWolf: Um pretty troubled times. Um in terms of race relations in Southern California as a junior High School during the watch riots. And so we, you know
00:19:31.750 --> 00:19:46.610 Tom DeWolf: you could watch it on Tv, or you could walk out the front door and see the smoke rising above La, from where I lived my junior high school campus. They were police and full riot gear on campus every day, um, you know. So After
00:19:47.590 --> 00:20:04.909 Tom DeWolf: I finished Junior High School, my parents put my sister and me into a private Christian school to get away from all the the fights and the the police, and the fear, and and so I mean I. I grew up with an an awareness of
00:20:04.980 --> 00:20:21.030 Tom DeWolf: racism. Um, But mostly it was being a fear, a a fearful little white boy is is what it felt like, and I mean I was reading Eldridge Cleaver, and Dick Gregory I mean, this was, you know we're in Southern California. So
00:20:21.090 --> 00:20:36.340 Tom DeWolf: it wasn't that I was unaware. But then I was moved into a completely different world, and then I moved to Oregon to go to college, which is a very, very white state. We had laws on the books in Oregon, in our Constitution,
00:20:36.350 --> 00:20:47.200 Tom DeWolf: not allowing black people to live in this state, and you know it was that way until the the Second World War. So it's
00:20:47.390 --> 00:20:49.450 Tom DeWolf: it wasn't until
00:20:49.620 --> 00:21:04.680 Tom DeWolf: you know, like the mid eighties. When I first heard about this, but it was in in the year two thousand that a a friend of mine here locally came up to me and said, I think we might be related. My dad's middle name is Do Wolf, and he's a genealogist.
00:21:04.690 --> 00:21:15.439 Tom DeWolf: And um I actually went and visited his father and my wife and I went there on on our honeymoon, and he and his wife invited us to stay with them.
00:21:15.450 --> 00:21:35.509 Tom DeWolf: He was a retired Episcopal priest at the time, and he started telling me all these stories about our family history being related to the author of Moby Dick being related to Ethel Barry More, the actress Um, the guy who played Paul Drake on um Perry Mason. His middle names Do Wolf
00:21:35.520 --> 00:21:53.720 Tom DeWolf: Man made Casey at the bat that that famous poem that made it so famous. Was it do? Wolf? Um had a hopper. The famous gossip columnist, married to a do. Well, so it's like Wow! And then he mentioned the slave traders, run runners, and privateers,
00:21:53.790 --> 00:21:58.919 Tom DeWolf: but that it wasn't until two thousand, when
00:21:58.940 --> 00:22:18.069 Tom DeWolf: Dave, my friend, got invited to participate in this journey, and he handed it to me. And um, he said, you know you like movies. They're making a movie about our family. You should check into this, and I contacted the woman Katrina Brown, who is going to make the film and
00:22:19.090 --> 00:22:35.650 Tom DeWolf: ended up being invited. One of ten white descendants of the enslavers who retrace the triangle trade, and the seminal moment for me the most powerful moment still to this day, was being in the dungeon at Cape Coast Castle,
00:22:35.660 --> 00:22:43.080 Tom DeWolf: where African men I was in a men's dungeon would be held for up to six weeks. Um!
00:22:43.340 --> 00:22:55.409 Tom DeWolf: Small space like fifteen feet by thirty feet, that would hold as many as one hundred and fifty men and horrible horrible conditions, and the battery
00:22:55.420 --> 00:23:03.420 Tom DeWolf: for the light for a camera went out, and there's no electricity in this space. So we're plunged into pitch black darkness. It's night time,
00:23:03.450 --> 00:23:19.689 Tom DeWolf: and he said it's going to take ten or fifteen minutes to replace the battery, and somebody said, Let's turn on the flashlights, and somebody else said, Why, don't we not? Why don't we sit here in the dark? I set there imagining what it would be like to be an African man,
00:23:19.700 --> 00:23:27.799 Tom DeWolf: torn away from my family two hundred years ago, not knowing if they're dead or alive, then not knowing if i'm dead or alive, and
00:23:28.200 --> 00:23:30.470 Tom DeWolf: it was the most horrific feeling
00:23:30.840 --> 00:23:34.100 Tom DeWolf: I've ever experienced.
00:23:34.230 --> 00:23:36.129 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Yeah, yeah,
00:23:36.250 --> 00:23:54.699 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: yeah. And even just you describing it. And and you're not the first person I've heard to describe it. I've actually heard Uh African descendants describe what it's like to go back to that point of no return. Um! And I know that is a horrific feeling.
00:23:54.710 --> 00:23:58.630 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Um. And so from that point, when you went there
00:23:58.760 --> 00:24:06.830 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and you had this experience as a part of the movie, Is that what i'm understanding what it was like.
00:24:06.900 --> 00:24:19.280 Tom DeWolf: Yeah, I mean, if people watch the movie they'll see me with a notebook several times. I I knew I was going to write a book. I wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager, and this was finally the project that
00:24:19.540 --> 00:24:30.930 Tom DeWolf: that felt certain that it was important to tell this tale in book form, you know. There's a ninety minute movie, and then there's a book, and we didn't
00:24:31.010 --> 00:24:43.220 Tom DeWolf: collaborate at all. I didn't see the movie, and Katrina didn't read the manuscript. These were our separate journeys. And so writing about this, it was like,
00:24:44.470 --> 00:24:56.150 Tom DeWolf: What do you do with this as a white person. What do you do with this information? And it was, you know, the movie didn't come out until two thousand and eight,
00:24:56.160 --> 00:25:15.209 Tom DeWolf: and my the book and the field. Both came out in January of two thousand and eight, which was the two hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in this country, even though it continued to be practiced until one thousand eight hundred and twenty, when it was made a hanging prime and um.
00:25:15.240 --> 00:25:16.580 Tom DeWolf: So,
00:25:16.750 --> 00:25:32.080 Tom DeWolf: having a couple of years before that we did a screening of the film at the the National Episcopal Convention, where you know ten thousand Episcopal priests and Episcopalian leaders and and and and supporters.
00:25:32.090 --> 00:25:48.899 Tom DeWolf: We're at this conference and doing this screening and a couple of weeks later we're invited to this weekend called coming to the table. They had heard about this and invited us um to participate. So for me it's like, What do you do with all of this?
00:25:49.100 --> 00:26:07.970 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: That weekend at Eastern Mennonite University with coming to the table. It's like this is what's next. This is the next step. Tell me, tell me what that was like for you, particularly since you had just gone through this journey,
00:26:07.980 --> 00:26:12.240 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to sit down and have your first conversation
00:26:12.470 --> 00:26:20.250 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: with a descendant of an enslaved person. What what was going through your mind. What was your body feeling?
00:26:20.660 --> 00:26:37.229 Tom DeWolf: How did you make yourself do this? Yeah, It wasn't the first conversation we were the the family members were all white descendants of enslavers. Um, One of the producers who went with us on the entire journey is an African American woman. They won a to Brown
00:26:37.240 --> 00:26:55.519 Tom DeWolf: and um, you know we spoke with her. We had an African crew in Ghana again, and crew um who we're still in touch with, still still connected with in Cuba. We had a Cuban crew, so we're getting perspectives from um and and deep conversations from
00:26:55.530 --> 00:27:11.880 Tom DeWolf: varieties of folks. And just a few days after we concluded our work, September eleventh happened, and so it was like trauma upon trauma and editing was supposed to begin on the film
00:27:11.890 --> 00:27:18.379 Tom DeWolf: on September the eleventh in two thousand and one. So everything was thrown into disarray which pushed back
00:27:18.390 --> 00:27:37.519 Tom DeWolf: when this all happened. So, getting invited to this coming to the table. It turns out that there's a a man named Will Harrison, who's descended from the largest enslaving plantation owning family in this country. The Harrison's, written about in the book Um. The Harrison's An American Family in Black and White, by Henry Winsack
00:27:37.650 --> 00:27:39.539 Tom DeWolf: He introduced
00:27:39.550 --> 00:28:07.980 Tom DeWolf: will to a woman named Susan Hutchison, who is the six-time great-granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson. She's a white woman, she was participating at Monticello, with the Monticello community bringing together the black and white descendants of Thomas Jefferson. So the descendants of Sally Hemings, as well as the descendants of Martha, who were half sisters, They shared the father, and so these two blended families
00:28:07.990 --> 00:28:21.249 Tom DeWolf: the black and white Harrison and black and white. Jefferson came up with this whole new idea of what family reunion could look like, and that's what coming to the table was there to work together,
00:28:21.260 --> 00:28:37.560 Tom DeWolf: to hear each other's stories, to enter into authentic and accountable relationships with each other in order to work towards truth, justice, healing um equity empowerment um in our world.
00:28:37.570 --> 00:28:56.510 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So, Tom, talk a little bit about how coming to the table is structured, because you know, it's one thing to come and to have the conversations. What happens, though? Because and we're gonna have to take a break and just just a minute. But like, I know that often what can happen in trainings is that, uh,
00:28:56.520 --> 00:29:06.050 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: that people can hear stories of the uh descendants of enslaved people, and often white people will want to learn from those,
00:29:06.280 --> 00:29:10.690 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and sometimes we're re-traumatized in the
00:29:10.730 --> 00:29:33.749 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: um. But there's something different happening at coming to the table, because both people are coming together to talk. So what I want to do is um, because I know we're gonna have to take a break. I want you to to We I want to pause for the break. But when we come back to have you to just describe a little bit for our audience what what actually is happening?
00:29:33.760 --> 00:30:03.349 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: You get to that place of transformation because you use the word truth, Telly, and yes, it's important for us to come and hear our stories. But then, what happens after that. So when we come right back, i'd like you to just jump in right there if you would. Uh this. The dismantle racism show um. My guest today is Tom to Wolf, and we're talking about what happens when you bring together descendants of enslavers and descendants of enslaved people.
00:30:03.360 --> 00:30:09.540 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: How do we get to the place of healing, so we will be right back with the dismantle Racism show.
00:30:10.910 --> 00:30:37.969 www.TalkRadio.nyc: Are you passionate about the conversation around racism? Hi! I'm, Reverend Dr. Tlc. Host of the dismantling Racism show which airs every Thursday at eleven Am. Eastern on top Radio dot in vise be join me and my amazing guest as we discuss ways to uncover, dismantle and eradicate racism. That's Thursday at eleven o'clock Am. On top radio, dot Nyc:
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00:31:12.780 --> 00:31:36.959 www.TalkRadio.nyc: Everybody. It's Tommy de the nonprofit sector connector coming at you from my attic each week here on top radio that Ny. Z: I hosted program at a focus. Nonprofits impact us each and every day, and it's my focus to help them amplify their message and tell their story. Listen: Each week at ten Am. Eastern. Stand in time until eleven Am. In some standard time. Right here on talk radio, dot Nyc.
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00:32:10.450 --> 00:32:28.859 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We're back with my Guest today, Tom, to Wolf. Tom, Talk to me a little bit about what happens with coming to the table. The process I know that is different now. It's evolved over time. But can you share with our audience today What's the process? Like?
00:32:28.950 --> 00:32:42.929 Tom DeWolf: Sure, I mean it. It's it's an an approach was developed. We call it. The coming to the table approach to racial healing, racial justice, racial equity and it's
00:32:42.990 --> 00:33:02.839 Tom DeWolf: It's grounded in principles that were developed at the center for justice and Peace Building at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. It's not a Mennonite organization. Um, you know we have members who are Christian and non Christian Jewish Muslim Hindu atheist, agnostic.
00:33:02.900 --> 00:33:05.070 Tom DeWolf: Um, it's.
00:33:05.710 --> 00:33:24.129 Tom DeWolf: But here's another connection to September eleventh is out of that. The center for Justice and Peace Building worked to develop an understanding of trauma and how to be resilient in the face of trauma and created the star program strategies for trauma, awareness and resilience.
00:33:24.140 --> 00:33:26.699 Tom DeWolf: And it was designed
00:33:26.710 --> 00:33:52.089 Tom DeWolf: to help people who either are uh victims of trauma or they're impacted by trauma because they're they witnessed it, or they're a family member or a friend, or what have you? And it? It ripples out. Trauma doesn't just happen to one person if my car gets broken into, everybody in my neighborhood is impacted, and you know to some degree so understanding
00:33:52.100 --> 00:34:13.350 Tom DeWolf: what trauma is and what it does to our bodies to our spirits was critical. Another aspect is restorative justice, principles. Criminal justice says something bad happened. Who did it? And what do they deserve? Restorative justice recognizes how widespread the impact is of woundedness, of oppression.
00:34:13.360 --> 00:34:40.250 Tom DeWolf: Now that who all is involved, who all is impacted, who all has an obligation to help heal the wound to the degree possible. And then we utilize an ancient indigenous um practice of circle process um to equalize the room. Um, whoever has the talking piece as we're in communication um is the person with the floor, so to speak,
00:34:40.260 --> 00:35:09.509 Tom DeWolf: but using those tools, we come up with a set of agreements or touchstones. We call them on how we're going to be together in conversation, in communication. And so it's things like being fully present, not fixing each other, recognizing or not to get to the end of the road today. And so those as a foundation, they're coming to the table. There's four pillars or four legs to this table. One is acknowledging, understanding,
00:35:09.520 --> 00:35:30.159 Tom DeWolf: recognizing, talking about all of our history with openness. Um without fear, recognizing that horrible things have happened to continue to happen. Let's be honest about it, and what we can do about it. If we hide it, there's nothing we can do, and it's building relationships within and across
00:35:30.170 --> 00:35:41.359 Tom DeWolf: um racial lines, authentic and accountable relationships for the purpose of doing this work, then working towards healing is the third pillar, which is
00:35:41.370 --> 00:36:05.780 Tom DeWolf: by any means necessary. If it's in your faith, community, or your yoga practice meditation, a mindfulness practice, music, art. Um writing, reading um Whatever healing practices you use um to work on this, and then taking action is the fourth pillar to undo the systems and structures of oppression that
00:36:05.790 --> 00:36:14.209 Tom DeWolf: benefit people who look like me and disadvantage people who look like you. And so, with all of this
00:36:14.620 --> 00:36:22.149 Tom DeWolf: as a backdrop. People are coming very purposeful and recognizing um
00:36:22.320 --> 00:36:30.790 Tom DeWolf: that we're coming from very different places. What happens inside your body is very different from what happens in inside my body.
00:36:30.840 --> 00:36:39.609 Tom DeWolf: And yet there's similarities because of the way that trauma acts on our bodies, and we have different experiences of this for me
00:36:39.620 --> 00:36:57.340 Tom DeWolf: as a white man. It's going to be more around guilt and shame rather than the oppression that was experience. My ancestors didn't experience that kind of oppression that your ancestors experience. I don't experience today what you experience, so it's a different
00:36:57.350 --> 00:37:13.220 Tom DeWolf: a different woundedness, but it's woundedness. Nonetheless. We have to teach each other as we work through this process, right? And here's what's important is is when we're wounded right? Wounded people
00:37:13.420 --> 00:37:32.579 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: other people right, Tom. I'm. In terms of the process, though, because I love those four pillars and healing takes time. So how long is this program of coming to the table? All of this doesn't happen in one session. That's it,
00:37:32.920 --> 00:37:48.729 Tom DeWolf: you know. Absolutely not. I mean racism and racial oppression and injustice have been around for centuries. We're not going to solve it in a weekend long anti-racism workshop, and so that the final
00:37:48.740 --> 00:38:00.410 Tom DeWolf: touchstone is always we're not going to get the end of the road today. And this is an ongoing process, as life is an ongoing process. But it's a commitment to the work
00:38:00.420 --> 00:38:29.040 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: of undoing racism. That's key coming to the tables. Easy staying at the table is key. Exactly. Exactly. Um, And that's one of the things I talk about in my book, too, because a lot of people when George Floyd was murdered. They were just like Raa Raa, raa Raa, and we've seen it did in terms of the people who are who stayed invested in this. But Tommy. Uh, my listener, one of my listeners actually has a question. And uh,
00:38:29.050 --> 00:38:50.920 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: i'd love for you to to answer this particularly since I just came from Oregon, and you just mentioned that it's a predominantly white state. What can you share about your choice? To live in Oregon with this depth of racism and white supremacy which we heard a lot about when I was in in Oregon. So
00:38:51.300 --> 00:39:03.259 Tom DeWolf: tell us about your choice to say this is the It's an interesting thing. I don't care where you live. It's. This is the reality. This is this is the plumbing beneath our
00:39:03.300 --> 00:39:19.580 Tom DeWolf: home. Our societal home is the distribution of of wealth and education and access and health care, criminal justice. So whether you're in Oregon or Georgia, or Maryland or California,
00:39:20.090 --> 00:39:29.200 Tom DeWolf: there's racism at its core, and I moved to Oregon to go to college. Got married, had kids here. You build a home.
00:39:29.280 --> 00:39:36.770 Tom DeWolf: All of that happened long before I knew this, and even if it didn't happen, you know, if I if I already knew this,
00:39:37.070 --> 00:39:38.999 Tom DeWolf: we choose where we live,
00:39:39.110 --> 00:39:54.569 Tom DeWolf: based on our families or our our work choices, whatever That may be so. I'm. An Oregonian, and I I love living in Oregon, and Oregon has a lot of work to do, and is also there are many
00:39:54.970 --> 00:40:04.860 Tom DeWolf: groups, many individuals that are doing the work. We have local affiliate groups here where I live in Central Oregon as well as in Portland.
00:40:04.870 --> 00:40:26.769 Tom DeWolf: Um, But this is this is the water that we drink sadly. It's the food that nourishes us, and also causes the disease that this ease in our bodies. So I have people who will tell me. I'm sure glad i'm not you. I'm glad i'm not related to those people,
00:40:26.780 --> 00:40:44.939 Tom DeWolf: and my first response is, Are you sure when you do your genealogical study. If you've been in this country, your family has been in the United States for you know, two hundred years. You're most likely related to slave trainers or slave owners. However,
00:40:45.230 --> 00:40:47.089 Tom DeWolf: even if you weren't,
00:40:47.120 --> 00:41:03.949 Tom DeWolf: did your ancestors wear cotton? Did they drink coffee or tea? Did they eat rice. Um, You know, slavery was the oil that drove the economic engine of this nation for a really long time, and it happened all over the world. It happened.
00:41:04.000 --> 00:41:21.150 Tom DeWolf: Obviously it just decimated. The continent of Africa broke up a thousand indigenous communities into the fifty or so countries that were created by white people through colonial actions, and
00:41:21.160 --> 00:41:30.500 Tom DeWolf: and you know there was slavery throughout Europe, North and South America. So there's There's no special
00:41:31.290 --> 00:41:34.370 Tom DeWolf: connection that anybody
00:41:34.660 --> 00:41:53.209 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: to get away from. We're all connected to this history
00:41:53.540 --> 00:42:13.000 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: when people consciously choose to live in an all white area, or particularly an area that uh is known for its white supremacy, and it's racism. It it! It just feels like that those people are excluding themselves from
00:42:13.010 --> 00:42:23.710 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: the rest of the reality of the world. But what I hear you saying is that it's just such a part of the fabric that there's no place I can go where I won't be um
00:42:24.000 --> 00:42:33.869 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: really where you won't experience it. But you're a part of the fabric. I guess the real issue for me would be even living in those places that you be
00:42:33.910 --> 00:42:35.669 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: one of the people who
00:42:35.680 --> 00:42:54.029 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: who's desperately trying in your local town to make a difference that you're holding the conversations with other white people that you're trying to take down uh a white supremacist system, even in Oregon, that you want more people of color to come
00:42:54.040 --> 00:43:07.769 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So, Oregon. So how would you respond to that? I mean, I know you do a lot of work on racial equity. But um locally, what are some of the things that you are doing to change or go in it, or go on it.
00:43:10.020 --> 00:43:12.149 Tom DeWolf: Coming to the table
00:43:12.790 --> 00:43:15.140 Tom DeWolf: was established in Virginia,
00:43:15.740 --> 00:43:20.739 Tom DeWolf: and it's spread all over the country. I've lived in Oregon
00:43:21.070 --> 00:43:27.389 Tom DeWolf: the whole time, You know I I I moved here in the late one thousand nine hundred and seventys um
00:43:27.730 --> 00:43:36.650 Tom DeWolf: to go. Excuse me, I moved. Oh, my lord, I moved here in one thousand nine hundred and seventy-two, to go to college, and and
00:43:36.740 --> 00:43:42.229 Tom DeWolf: the thing that i've learned through coming to the table, and the conversations that I have.
00:43:43.170 --> 00:43:58.889 Tom DeWolf: My second book gathered at the table, written with Sharon, Morgan, African American woman grew up south side of Chicago, tough as nails, just a a wonderful soul. And here I am, Kumbaya White guy from Oregon, and we
00:43:59.020 --> 00:44:12.759 Tom DeWolf: we visited probably twenty-five twenty-six different states. We travel to places of racial terror and racial hope, and listen to each other. What's it like to be in money, Mississippi? In front of the ruins of the Bryant store.
00:44:12.770 --> 00:44:22.239 Tom DeWolf: You know where where this this this young man was taken, and so brutally murdered, you know, to have Emmett till
00:44:22.740 --> 00:44:35.749 Tom DeWolf: what's that like to be? A black woman standing here next to a white man. What's it? What's it like for a white man standing here next to this black woman? And so, having those conversations,
00:44:35.870 --> 00:44:43.610 Tom DeWolf: is the kind of work that is that you know I learned so much from my friendship with Sharon that that
00:44:44.210 --> 00:44:46.810 Tom DeWolf: has really shifted the way; that I,
00:44:46.990 --> 00:44:57.190 Tom DeWolf: because I I had that benefit of developing that that deep relationship. So the work in Oregon is the same as the work
00:44:57.320 --> 00:45:16.689 Tom DeWolf: anywhere it's understanding my as a white man, understanding my own racism, doing my best to overcome to the degree possible that I can, and to do the work in my life and my family and my community um to make a difference.
00:45:16.700 --> 00:45:34.070 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So uh, Tom, we actually have to take a break. I I I know I just realized that to take great. But, Tom, when we come back I want you to answer the question. Do you ever feel threatened in Oregon as a doing this work? So We'll be right back after these messages.
00:45:37.020 --> 00:46:01.049 www.TalkRadio.nyc: Everybody. It's Tommy D, the nonprofit sector connected coming at you by my adding each week here on top radio that Nyc: I hosted program. I'll have to focus. Nonprofits impact us each and every day, and it's my focus to help them amplify their message and tell their story. Listen: Each week at ten Am. Eastern Standard time until eleven Am. Is from standard time. Right here on talk radio, Dot: Nyc:
00:46:01.540 --> 00:46:02.970 Okay.
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00:47:38.890 --> 00:47:58.199 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: We're back with my guest today, Tom, to Wolf Tom. I feel like you know where we've reached the last segment of the show, and it's gone by so quickly, and I have so many more things to ask you. But, uh, let's start at least with what I ask you prior to the break which is about. Do you ever
00:47:58.620 --> 00:48:05.080 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: get threats or fear for your safety in Oregon? Because you talk about this work?
00:48:05.470 --> 00:48:06.580 Tom DeWolf: Um.
00:48:06.670 --> 00:48:08.809 Tom DeWolf: The short answer is no
00:48:08.830 --> 00:48:26.980 Tom DeWolf: um, and that that's that goes for everywhere that I've been. And I've I've been all over this country talking in States in the deep South and northeast, the midwest Um. The only time that people really attack
00:48:27.140 --> 00:48:30.080 Tom DeWolf: me or um. Other
00:48:30.280 --> 00:48:42.719 Tom DeWolf: people doing this work who are white is in those is in chats is in stuff online where people can be anonymous. Um. And but for the most part people who come
00:48:42.730 --> 00:48:59.040 Tom DeWolf: to come to the table. Who will come to hear me speak, or what have you? It's a self selecting audience, and they're there because they're interested, and I feel like this is the obligation that I have as a white man, and that other white people have who are conscious of this
00:48:59.050 --> 00:49:12.059 Tom DeWolf: of this issue of racism, to speak up so that other white people I mean just frankly. Sharon was the first one who told me. There are people who will not listen to me that will listen to you,
00:49:12.070 --> 00:49:40.030 Tom DeWolf: and we've been in front of audiences, and and that's a lot of the work of coming to the table is black and white people together. So, as Sharon and I have done our work, Jodi and I, with a little book of racial healing, seeing a black man and a white woman is something folks aren't typically used to in this work. So I it. It's not something that there's. There's big threats that I've ever experienced. However,
00:49:40.420 --> 00:49:50.520 Tom DeWolf: those threats are real, and we pay attention to that, and and pay attention to issues of of safety for people,
00:49:50.530 --> 00:50:20.059 Tom DeWolf: because there are people who who wish to cause harm in this world, and unfortunately, some of them are in amazing positions of political power and financial power in this country and around the world, and and I think it's one of the things that sometimes keep folks from saying. I'm going to engage in this work because people fear losing their own security, not their lives. If you're losing their jobs that people are going to ostracize them. And
00:50:20.070 --> 00:50:32.429 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: I really appreciate you talking about uh that. People hear you differently as a white man, and it's unfortunate, but it's absolutely the truth. I've done Co. Trainings with um
00:50:32.450 --> 00:51:02.430 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: individuals who are of a different racial group than I am. And even even though we could be doing the exact same thing right, there's a perception of me. Oh, she was angry, even when he, in fact, because if it were a man that I was work with could be using stronger language, could have like stronger energy that was coming forward. But there's a there's a difference, right? So there's even something else a weight that we carry. That's
00:51:02.440 --> 00:51:17.000 Tom DeWolf: and it also comes into gender issues. I mean, if there's race is obvious, and there's also This is not just white supremacy. It's male supremacy at the core of our nation. It's Christian
00:51:17.010 --> 00:51:46.060 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: supremacy. This nation. So when we're, whoever we're discriminating against It's all growing in that same rich, fertile soil of fear. That's right. That's right. Either we're going to choose to fear or we're going to choose to be in this place of love, and most of us choose to be in the we we we're, we're choosing to be in fear if we don't actively disengage from Yeah. But but, Tom, I just want to say um, you ends up in ministry,
00:51:46.070 --> 00:51:47.069 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: anyway.
00:51:47.110 --> 00:52:02.640 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: So it e your ministry is different, because church isn't always the the thing right where we have ministry, particularly if you're talking about the ministry of Jesus. So Jesus wasn't in the Temple,
00:52:02.700 --> 00:52:21.419 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: and about some people out of the temple. Exactly so. I think you ended up doing what what it is that that you were were called to do. And and Tom, I don't know if we talked about this in in our pre discussion. But actually, before I really
00:52:21.430 --> 00:52:35.840 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: became immersed and dismantling racism for the second time I was actually doing work around the wounds of religion, because I thought that religion, uh or in still believe that there's a great wounding, and I believe that
00:52:35.920 --> 00:52:50.030 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: uh one of my next books down the line will be bringing together religion and racism because it is uh they're intertwined, as you say, but before we go um, if you could,
00:52:50.370 --> 00:52:52.550 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: could you maybe um
00:52:52.660 --> 00:53:07.780 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: talk just a little bit. I know that that white people often avoid talking about the racial feeling work is like, What can I do? And you've just talked about some positive impacts of doing the work of the conversations.
00:53:07.850 --> 00:53:22.300 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Do you have any other practical action steps that you would give to white people just to get them started, or even just to help them move from where they are. If they've already started in this work.
00:53:22.320 --> 00:53:31.830 Tom DeWolf: The first thing I would say that I learned that first weekend of that coming to the table, that that weekend, that two dozen of us gather together somebody. Um
00:53:31.920 --> 00:53:59.980 Tom DeWolf: uh, quoted someone. I don't remember who that guilt is. The glue that holds racism together. So a lot of white folks stay out of this because they feel guilty. So get over yourself, and and I don't mean that flippantly. I mean that very seriously is that this is. This is one of the ways that racism is perpetuated is because white people don't get involved in the solutions in the in the work.
00:53:59.990 --> 00:54:16.869 Tom DeWolf: So just, very practically do the work read the books, read black authors. Um read, read books that help people understand the history of racism. The the present day impacts of racism.
00:54:16.880 --> 00:54:26.790 Tom DeWolf: Um, you know there's just so much out there. Just Just pick up tanahassee coats. Just pick up Henry Lewis Gates, you know.
00:54:26.800 --> 00:54:37.930 Tom DeWolf: Read Ruth King, mindful of race. Um, you know, coming to the table, has a mindfulness working group. I so appreciated the way you started our hour together today.
00:54:37.940 --> 00:54:57.569 Tom DeWolf: Um, because this is very mindful, heartfelt spiritual work that we're doing, and it's you know the anchor isn't going to get us there, Um, even though there's there's plenty of times when anger is completely appropriate, and rage is absolutely understandable, and
00:54:57.580 --> 00:55:25.249 Tom DeWolf: this is the work. So watch the movies. Um. Read the books, immerse yourself in understanding, you know, reading the articles and participating, coming to the table, coming to the table. Org. There is a national virtual group for folks who Don't have a group in their local communities that that meets every month virtually. There's like ten, eleven different groups that invite anybody from around the world to join in their
00:55:25.260 --> 00:55:34.860 Tom DeWolf: monthly meetings, and it's an opportunity to listen and to speak and to grow in understanding. Um, But I I just
00:55:35.730 --> 00:55:49.159 Tom DeWolf: this is It's certainly changed my life and put me into relationships that I never would have otherwise had. Um, You know my friendships with black people and brown people.
00:55:49.360 --> 00:55:56.589 Tom DeWolf: We're nothing compared to what they are now, even though I had very good friendships, there was certain
00:55:56.600 --> 00:56:12.469 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: that you right, and you've gone deeper. But, Tom, we actually are at the end of our time together. And but I do want to say, because you just said so many different things there. Um, you know, for people who say that they
00:56:12.480 --> 00:56:36.140 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: that they don't have any black and brown friends because they live in an all white neighborhood. You've just given them ways of connecting with people their neighborhood, because if they go to coming to the table org, they can learn how to have these deeper and more enriched conversations, and so their ways that you can extend yourself and become friends. The second thing that you said that was really important is
00:56:36.240 --> 00:57:01.099 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: often we have interracial relationships, but we Don't go deep in the conversation. So I appreciate you saying that. And then the third thing that I want to say is that re dismantling racism, healing separation from the inside out by the river, Dr. Tlc. Because it's also a good book for reading, so that you will have the action steps that you need to get involved and to do this work,
00:57:01.110 --> 00:57:11.460 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Tom, I want to thank you so much for being um on the show today just real quick. If you could tell people how to get in touch with you if they wanted to connect with you.
00:57:11.610 --> 00:57:29.990 Tom DeWolf: Go to the coming to the table website, Come to the table, or there's a there in the contact that comes right to the National Office. It comes right to me very well, Tom, in thirty seconds. Give us some words of inspiration to close us out on our show today.
00:57:30.860 --> 00:57:34.810 Tom DeWolf: All I would, I I guess what I would say is, take the next step,
00:57:34.920 --> 00:57:36.830 Tom DeWolf: and then the next step,
00:57:36.960 --> 00:57:53.810 Tom DeWolf: and then the next step, and it's one at a time, and it's doable. This is work that we can do together, and we absolutely can't do it by ourselves. It's community work. It's sole work, it's spirit work, and
00:57:53.820 --> 00:57:59.270 Tom DeWolf: you know blessings to everybody who is listening today, and you're welcome at the table.
00:57:59.280 --> 00:58:21.560 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Hmm. Thank you so much, Tom, for being my guest today. It was a delight to have you. I want to thank my listening audience as well, and invite you to stay tuned every week where we have more conversations about dismantling racism. Stay tuned now for the conscious consultant hour with Sam live with where he helps you to walk through life with the greatest of ease and joy.
00:58:21.720 --> 00:58:26.979 Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery: Be well, be safe, be encouraged until next time, Bye, for now.