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...


Thursday, August 20, 2015
History timeline in Troup County, GA

Troup County, Georgia, 67 miles southwest of Atlanta has contracted Initiatives of Change through its Hope in the Cities program to train its residents to have ‘honest conversation’ and work together to build trust. The population of 69,469 is approximately 31.4% African American, 62.5% European American, 9.2% Hispanic and 3.7% Asian.

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Ebony Walden

“Change starts with me!” says Ebony Walden, a city planner and consultant, summing up her key learning as part of the 2014-2015 Community Trustbuilding Fellowship class which concluded in March. Ebony was one of 30 community leaders from Richmond, VA, and five other cities who took part in the five-module residential program. “I learned the importance of my own spiritual development and practice as a change agent."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Healing history breakout session

At the heart of the Healing History conference were ten working groups that not only led the various breakout sessions but had begun a conversation before the conference and have continued to collaborate through phone calls and virtual meetings in the weeks since. Each one is developing a clear deliverable to move the process forward.