Marvin Wadlow Jr.: Co-Founder

(Los Angeles, CA)

Check out his blog here: Paid in Full
Email Marvin at: Marvin@TheTableSetters.org
Follow Marvin’s Twitter here: @pule12

Marvin grew up in San Jose in the San Francisco Bay Area, with parents who owned and operated a care home facility for adults with significant mental health challenges.  He believes this to be the source of his deep empathy for others.  As a teenager, he was invited to participate in Ansel Adams’ workshops, which led him to studying photography at DeAnza Community College.  He received a track and field scholarship to the University of Idaho where he graduated with a degree in Television & Radio Broadcasting and a Minor in Film.  He moved to Los Angeles and continued his education at Columbia Film School, which led him to producing over 600 music videos with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, and Mandy Moore.  As exciting as this was at times, Marvin stepped away in 2001 to change the narrative of his own life by actually becoming a writer, and specifically wanting to create a wider range of dramatic and realistic stories featuring people of color.  This was also the time his faith was growing, and Marvin’s three sons met and loved Matthew as their Sunday School teacher.  Marvin came to admire Matthew’s work at DOOR Los Angeles, an organization intersecting Christian faith with social justice and racial reconciliation, so Marvin joined the board and then became the Associate City Director in 2013.  It was here that the roots of the Table Setter workshops began.  Marvin thanks Matthew for building such trust with his boys over the years, even though many days Marvin might describe him as an overly anxious, perfectionistic white kid.



Matthew John Schmitt: Co-Founder

(Detroit, MI)

Check out his blog here: Dismantling Whiteousness
Email Matthew at: Matthew@TheTableSetters.org
Follow Matthew’s Twitter here: @matthewjschmitt

Matthew grew up in Beverly Hills, Michigan at 13 mile road, 5 miles north of Detroit, to parents who met as a nurse and a doctor at Beaumont Hospital.   As a student at the University of Michigan, he was one of the founding members of the Prison Creative Arts Project’s Associates organization, and served on PCAP’s Board of Advisors for several years after graduation.  Matthew recognizes the seeds of his faith were planted during this time by several loving and wise inmates he came to know.  He graduated with a degree in Literature, and has had multiple essays, poems, and articles published throughout the years.  He served as a sixth grade teacher in New Orleans through Teach For America, taught through several non-profits in Hollywood, and was the director of DOOR Los Angeles for 8 years, an organization intersecting Christian faith with modern social justice and racial reconciliation.  He is currently an Inquirer in the Presbyterian Church USA and is taking courses at Fuller Theological Seminary.  As a piano player and songwriter, he’s served as a worship leader at Hollywood Presbyterian Church and had the honor of working with Deana Carter, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, and Five For Fighting, as well as being featured on MTV’s Real World New Orleans.  In 2016, he moved back from Los Angeles to the Eastside of Detroit with Darcie and their two daughters.  They are working closely with local churches and community developers to mitigate the increasing pressures of gentrification while loving the ability to live cross-culturally and get to know their neighbors through conversations porch to porch.  Even though Marvin gets on his last nerve sometimes, he’s grateful to know that his own daughters love Marvin as a part of the family and are always wanting to practice new dance moves with him, even ballet.