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Building trust in the heart of community

Inspiring a vision of community where a commitment to reconciliation and justice transcends competing identities and interests

For over two decades Hope in the Cities has helped transform Richmond, VA, from a symbol of racial division to a model for reconciliation. Through acknowledgement of history, honest conversation and skills building workshops, the experiential learning offered by Hope in the Cities builds capacity for community leaders.

A sustained citizen-led effort has resulted in a network of leaders in non-profit and business sectors, local government, media and education. It engages people across the political spectrum and of all cultural and religious backgrounds.

Calling Richmond Home is a new 6-minute film by Karen Elliott Greisdorf that highlights the impact made by Hope in the Cities over the past 20 years through voices from around the Richmond community.

A proven process for change

Hope in the Cities' approach includes three vital steps:

Hope in the Cities offers Richmond as a center for community trustbuilding where processes for trustbuilding, reconciliation, and community change are regularly learned and effectively practiced.

Workshops & training

Hope in the Cities offers workshops on dialogue facilitation and design, acknowledgment of painful history, trustbuilding, and building and sustaining diverse teams in communities divided by race, ethnicity, class, or religion.

Workshops and trainings are custom-designed as a half-day, whole-day, or multi-modular sessions for community groups, nonprofit organizations, corporations, universities, faith congregations, social service and government agencies.

Workshops/trainings are offered in Richmond or on-site as requested.

Clients include:

Bon Secours Health System, Leadership Metro Richmond, Higher Achievement, Richmond Public Schools, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, American Civil War Center, Neighborhood Resource Center, John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation, Tulsa, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations, Fetzer Institute, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Duke Divinity School, American University, University of Richmond, Norfolk State University, University of Virginia , Eastern Mennonite University

Find out more about workshops on offer...


In the week following city-wide events marking the momentous days of April 1865 when a bloody civil war ended and Emancipation became a reality for millions of African Americans, 300 people from across North America and from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America gathered in the former Confederate capital. They came to explore the connections between history, memory and social change.

"I was in Richmond recently with several British colleagues alongside US national and local partners for the Healing History conference organized by Hope in the Cities. One partner was the City of Richmond’s new Office of Community Wealth Building," writes Michael Smith one of the organizers of a conference on this theme at IofC’s international center in Caux, Switzerland, June 26-July 1.

“In order to create equitable, just and sustainable communities we need to build trusting relationships across difference that enables people to have sustained commitment over time,” said Martha McCoy, executive director of Everyday Democracy, opening a session on "Mobilizing the Moveable Middle," April 9.

Building trust in the heart of community




Discover more about Hope in the Cities impact in Richmond.

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Thank you!

Listen to a podcast

Gail Christopher of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation at Metropolitan Richmond Day  "The work of this century"



Healing History conference report

July 3-7, Caux, Switzerland




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The purpose:

Community Awareness - A focus on economic inclusion and the new realities of race, economics, and jurisdiction. A public process to educate citizens and to mobilize community support for action.

Community Capacity - An experiential training curriculum that increases the capacity of community leaders to overcome legacies of racial history and to sustain initiatives for reconciliation and equity.

Community Vision - A series of Community Trustbuilding forums convene leaders from the puublic and private sectors of the Richmond region to discuss key issues, engage in dialogue and build partnership.