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...


Monday, October 9, 2017
A Brave Space not a Safe Space

The group wrestled with the challenge of engaging all stakeholders, even those who appear to represent the problem. “I realize that we can build networks of trust with different views but shared values,” said a participant. “I don’t want to build a team of people who think just like me.” The dialogue did not back away from difficult topics such as the need for each person – regardless of their background – to hold themselves, their communities and institutions accountable for change where it is needed. As one person put it, “We need brave space, not safe space!”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Trustbuilding in Annapolis

“Historically our city and churches have been complicit in the racial divide,” said Rev. Mike Berry (CTF 2017), senior pastor of Common Ground Friends, Evangelical Friends Church in Annapolis, MD. to an interdenominational group of clergy as part of a series of “sacred conversations on race.”

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Community in Schools

For its 2017 Virginia state convening of 90 site coordinators, Communities In Schools called on Initiatives of Change USA to deliver a morning workshop on implicit bias and trustbuilding. Six of the IofC USA newly formed team of skilled facilitators and trainers led groups of 15 in lively discussion, kicked off by the drumming of musician and facilitator Ram Bhagat.