Commentaries

 

Monday, June 22, 2015
Charlotte Freeman

Charlotte Freeman writes her reflections after working with Initiatives of Change (IofC) for the past three years, "I am struck by the clear personal and professional growth that I have experienced myself and witnessed others experience. The priority set on IofC’s core values of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love allows relationships to be explicitly guided by these values. I have learned that, while upholding these values may force us to confront difficult conversations, when faced together, these challenges can be the most rewarding and sustainable paths to relationships of trust."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The timing of the recent Healing History conference in Richmond was by no means accidental. It was designed to explore how to realize the promise of equality never fully realized when the Civil War ended 150 years ago. We were looking for some way to straighten out the tangled legacy of slavery, civil war and race in our country – and similar issues elsewhere in the world.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"It is raining outside my hotel room. I am in Richmond, Virginia, in the US, attending a conference to 'learn about how to heal history, understand the legacies that keep us apart and generate energy for building healthy inclusive societies.' Many of us are from slave descendant communities," writes Reverend Michael Weeder, Dean of the Anglican Cathedral of St George the Martyr, Cape Town, South Africa.

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Iman Shabazz

"Three cases involving white police officers and black male victims where the evidence under public scrutiny held that the deaths of these black males were not only unwarranted but pointed to a more poignant problem that has persisted in the relationship between law enforcement and culturally diverse communities." A reflection from Iman Shabazz.

Monday, April 13, 2015
Mike McQuillan

Mike McQuillan, a founding member of the Hope in the Cities National Network, teaches history at the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Studies. He coordinated the Crown Heights Coalition’s two-year healing program after the August 1991 racial conflict. On returning from the Healing history conference he writes: "I wondered whether the conference theme of racial healing and reconciliation can scale the walls of institutions within which diversity rarely rises past mid-management."

Monday, April 6, 2015
Rob Corcoran

"What can we, as a global community, learn about how to heal the wounds of history, understand the legacies that keep us apart and generate energy for building healthy inclusive societies?" This is a question Rob Corcoran asks in an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, printed on April 5, the day before the Healing History conference.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One day last September I happened by a half-price used book store in Austin, Texas. Browsing the clearance section I stumbled upon Rob Corcoran’s Trustbuilding. At the check-out I paid my one dollar which proved to be the BEST one hundred cents ever spent, because it proved to be the first of several steps toward my eventual participation in Initiative of Change’s Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Randy Ruffin

"The fact is that some groups of people have done terrible things to others in the name of their religion does not mean that these faiths are fundamentally bad, nor that all who profess that faith are to be blamed." This article by Randy Ruffin of Warrenton, Virginia, was written in response to the criticism aimed at President Obama's patriotism and faith and was picked up in The Culpeper Star Exponent

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mike McQuillan, a founding member of the Hope in the Cities national network, teaches history at the Brooklyn School for Global Studies. Mike has recently been appointed to the NYPD Training Advisory Board. He writes: "We need to face cold hard realities, talk frankly while affirming each others’ humanity, craft a long-term vision each side can cherish, then brainstorm till we together agree on goals, obstacles, and strategies for change."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I was born in a thatched roof, bamboo hut in a small jungle village in northern Laos, where there was no electricity or running water. In 1978 my family was resettled in the United States as political refugees. Growing up as an immigrant child in America in a pre-dominantly white community in the mid-west, in the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War, was hard.

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