People Stories

Here are some stories of people whose lives have been impacted by their encounter with Initiatives of Change. If you would like to share your story, please email us.


Dixie Wothington

For many years, I'd been at war: active in the battle for civil rights of the 1960s, the struggle for Vietnam veterans, antiapartheid/divestment/colonialism in Southern Africa in the 1970s, and tenant/elderly rights during the 1980s.

Mildred Howarter

Mildred Howarter, a former teacher, lives in a retirement community in Ft. Myers, FL, where she is actively building bridges of trust and understanding between people of different faiths.

Yoko Hisano

When I was in college, I found out about IofC Japan. I took part in several youth gatherings, conferences, and leadership trainings and met many amazing people from all over the world who came together because they all shared a common goal: a hope, a wish, a conviction to make this world a more peaceful place.

Chris Breitenberg

What does Initiatives of Change (IofC) do? I've heard a number of opinions on this topic and certainly offered some of my own. But it wasn't until I asked myself a simple question, What did IofC do for me? that I really found an answer.

Lillie A. Estes

What are the things that impact people and prevent them from moving forward? That is the question that has always interested Lillie Estes in her work for social justice.

David Ruffin

This past week I began my Masters of Divinity at Harvard. Though it's officially a program of preparation for ministry, like many of my colleagues I come with an open heart to discover what my sense of ministry’s fullest expression may be—not only in terms of my gifts, passions and convictions, but also in the context of the world’s ever rapidly changing needs.

“Real security requires trust.” That is the conviction of Dr. Mishkat Al-Moumin who was Minister for the Environment in the Iraqi transitional government and is now an adjunct professor at George Mason University. At the Trust Factor Forum in Richmond, VA in 2009 she described how in November of 2004, the tribal leaders of the Iraqi Marshlands came to her office at the Ministry of Environment.

In 1972 Cleiland Donnan decided to be part of the solution to racial division in Richmond. It was an unlikely choice for someone who spent their life teaching the fox trot and social graces to the children of Richmond’s affluent West End.

Hadi Yazdanpanah is a participant in the Connecting Communities Fellowship Program in Richmond, VA, USA.

“Since we are a nation comprised of many ethnicities, it is vital for each community to feel a sense of closure from the oppressions and injustices of the past. Until this is done we can't truly move forward as a nation.”

Ever curious about world cultures, Kathryn seized the opportunity to travel to Switzerland and participate in the 2003 Caux Scholars Program. For Kathryn, building relationships with other young people from all over the world was a joy and a blessing.