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.

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...


Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Wilhelm Verwoerd speaks to a class

It’s a truism that a picture can be worth a thousand words. A family photo taken in 1964 when Wilhelm Verwoerd was a few months old shows him cradled in his paternal grandfather’s arms, surrounded by his older siblings and other relatives. Hendrik Verwoerd - known as the “architect of apartheid” - was assassinated while serving as South African prime minister in 1966. Wilhelm began a talk on the tools of empathy and peacebuilding to a Richmond, VA, audience in September by pointing to the symbolism of the picture: “I was suckled on the milk of apartheid.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Community Trustbuilding Fellowship

Twenty-four people gathered in Richmond, Virginia, recently to discuss qualities of leadership that can help heal communities riven with conflict based on race, ethnicity, wealth, gender and other divisive factors. Those spending the sunny October weekend together were the new participants in the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship, a program of Hope in the Cities/Initiatives of Change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
CTF 2016 Class

More than twenty alumni representing most of the six previous classes of the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship joined the 2016 class on Sunday afternoon to meet the incoming Fellows and to share how the program had impacted their lives and work.