Tuesday, May 17, 2022 from 5:50 PM to 8:30 PM EDT
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Virginia Museum of History & Culture 
428 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Halsey Family Room
Richmond, VA 23220

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Hayat Bain 
Coming Together Virginia
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~ People Over Prisons ~

3rd Tuesday
Dinner Gathering 

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022
**5:50 - 8:30 pm ET
 **Please note earlier start time to allow for in-person transition time.


6:50 - 8:30 pm ET
(settle in at a table for just the program and facilitated conversation; no dinner)


Virginia Museum of History & Culture
***428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220
  • In the J.S. Reynolds Room (2nd floor)
  • Use North Entrance off Kensington Ave. in Weinstein Education Wing
  • You may park in the museum parking lot behind the building and bring your ticket inside to be validated so you don't have to pay for parking when you leave.

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
Returning Citizens Are Our Neighbors

With very special guest presenters and authors of **Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail:

David Coogan, PhD

Kelvin Belton

Dean Turner


**NOTE: Writing Our Way Out... will be available for sale and autographing at the event.  

Dear Coming Together Virginia Family –

We are so excited to welcome everyone back together once again in person next Tuesday!

For the last few months we have explored the question, "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" We have challenged ourselves to find ways to reach out beyond our comfort zones and build connections with people who we perceive as different - to build intentional, inclusive communities.

This 3rd Tuesday Dinner Gathering (in person!) on Tuesday, May 17th we will focus on people coming out of incarceration and the challenges they face as they reenter society. How do we view these potential neighbors? How do they view themselves? How do stereotypes make reentry into society as contributing citizens more difficult?

We will be joined by David Coogan, PhD, Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, and co-author of **Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail, a book that features the memoirs of ten formerly incarcerated men who joined Dr. Coogan’s class while in the Richmond City Justice Center (formerly known as Richmond City Jail). Two of Dr. Coogan's co-authors, Stan Craddock and Kelvin Belton, will share about their journey to jail and back into society. Other recently returning people will join us around our tables at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture to help us explore our 3rd Tuesday topic in greater depth from their lived experience.

Join us as we are Coming Together Virginia!


Click the gold "Register NOW!" button  above or below to let us know you're coming and what your preference is regarding coming for dinner and/or just the program, and to pay for dinner as able...AND to let us know if you can be a part of our team of volunteers and staff, without whom this event would not be possible!
Registration closes at 10:00 am on the day before the event, Monday, May 16th.   

Please consider making a donation to support those for whom the dinner fee may be a challenge. Your generous donation will also help host dinner for those returning citizens who will be joining our conversations.

Dinner Cost and Event Timing and Logistics for May 17th

There will be some differences in how we're doing this compared to pre-pandemic 3rd Tuesday Gatherings:
  • This is NOT a potluck dinner. Please don't bring food to share. There will be a simple catered boxed meal for a prepaid fee of $16 per person.
  • Our simple supper involves 2 options that will be lovingly and expertly prepared by Kitchen Magician Catering Company Chef Ausar AriAnkh of Firehouse 15 in the Highland Park neighborhood. Within the registration form you'll be asked to specify either the roast chicken or the vegetable stir-fry entree.
  • You MUST REGISTER by Monday at 10:00 am to reserve your spot, as spaces are limited and we must let the caterer know about the number and type (chicken vs. vegetarian) of meals. This is not a walk-in event. Each person attending must register ahead so we can properly order food and be sure we have enough room and seats for everyone. Thanks for your help with this!
  • You may choose to come just for the program at 6:50 pm (allows time to find a seat and get settled in with your circle at the table by 7:00 pm) or you can choose to pay online ($16 as able) for our simple catered boxed dinner and arrive at 5:50 pm for both the dinner and program.  We hope you'll choose to join us for dinner!
  • We will follow the museum's Covid guidelines, which are the CDC's current guidelines, which for now are mask-optional. Please don't participate if you have ANY symptoms or feel vulnerable. We want you to feel as safe as possible. Choose to wear a mask when you are not eating if that feels right for you.
  • We are asking for volunteers to arrive early for set-up and stay after the program to help with clean-up and resetting the room, as well as for assistance with greeting/registration and directing people to parking and the correct entrance. Within the registration form you'll be able to choose a role and time of arrival or choose not to volunteer if that feels right for you.  No problem!
Stay tuned for special instructions on parking and event entrance (not the main entrance) that will come in the registration confirmation email you'll receive automatically as soon as you register.  (Check in your spam or junk folder, or in gmail it may be in your "Promotions" folder.)

Meet us at the table and come back HOME!

Please click the gold button below to REGISTER now to reserve your spot, so that we can plan.

We'll send a reminder the day before and day of our gathering.

We look forward to being with you!

Bringing Love to the Fight!

~~Your 3rd Tuesday Gathering Planning Team

Registration closes at 10:00 am on the day before the event, Monday, May 16th.