Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF) 2019



Applications for the 2019 cohort are now closed; please check back in summer 2019 to apply for the 2020 iteration!

In an increasingly polarized society, this unique program, offered in Richmond, VA, develops the capacity of community leaders to become authentic trustbuilders capable of overcoming divisions of race, culture, economics and politics. It seeks to build multisector networks of facilitators and change agents committed to healing historical wounds, creating new shared narratives and building healthy and racially equitable communities.

Throughout the program, experiential learning methods are used that will challenge and stretch fellows intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. It is an intensive five month process, and applicants are encouraged to consider whether or not they have the internal capacity at this time in their life to undergo a process that can be both transformational and intensive. 

Reception of the CTF certificate of completion is contingent upon full participation in all five modules (barring extenuating circumstances). If you know in advance that you may not be available to attend all five weekend modules in January-May 2019, please consider waiting to apply for the 2020 cycle.

There are scholarships, fundraising support, and payment plan options available; eligibility for need-based financial aid is determined through a separate scholarship application.


What is the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF)?
  • 25-30 fellows representing wide diversity of age, background and experience from across the country

  • Five residential weekend modules based on the methodology of Initiatives of Change USA’s program called Hope in the Cities and offered through Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

  • Experiential and innovative learning methods and case studies that demonstrate strategies for building trust

  • A world class faculty of trainers, scholars and practitioners

Dates & Topics

Each weekend module starts on Friday at 5 pm and concludes on Sunday at 3 pm. It is mandatory that all fellows participate fully in all five modules, barring extenuating circumstances that are pre-approved by CTF faculty.

  • January 25-27, 2019  Catalysts of Change: Becoming an Authentic Leader

  • February 22-24, 2019  Healing History: Creating a New Narrative for Our Communities

  • March 22-24, 2019  Dialogue Delivery: Practicing Skills for Honest Conversation

  • April 26-28, 2019  Creating Dialogues for Change: Addressing Underlying Causes of Division

  • May 17-19, 2019  Strategies for Engaging All Sectors: Building Effective Teams for Healing and Equity

(If there is need for a make-up module due to bad weather the dates will be June 14-16, 2019)

See learning objectives for each module

What will you gain?
  • Practical tools that connect personal change with change in society

  • Deeper understanding of the power of history and its legacy

  • Competency in using dialogue as a tool for peacebuilding and trustbuilding

  • Skills to facilitate difficult conversations on divisive community issues

  • Confidence to work creatively and collaboratively for racial healing and equity


Richmond Hill, 2209 E. Grace Street, Richmond, VA 23223

Community Trustbuilding Fellowship Fees:

$2900 - tuition, course materials, meals and overnight accommodations

There are limited scholarship funds available.

There is a $25 non-refundable application fee.

Application & Selection

The application for the 2019 cohort is now closed. Please check back in summer 2019 to apply for the 2020 iteration.

Selected applicants for the 2019 cohort will be notified by December 1st, 2018, and will have until December 15th to accept the offer of admission into the 2019 CTF program.

The application consists of general information and questions about applicants’ professional and personal backgrounds and interests in CTF, a short essay, and requires that applicants provide the contact information for two references (one professional and one personal).

Selection for the 2019 cohort will take place throughout October and November, 2018. During this tume applicants may be contacted and invited to schedule a video conference interview, and references may be contacted directly.

2019 CTF Application

Please complete the CTF Application before applying for scholarship help:

2019 CTF Scholarship Application

Application Timeline

  • October 21, 2018 - Program and scholarship application deadline (NOW CLOSED)

  • October & November 2018 - Video conference interviews and reference checks

  • December 1, 2018 - Notification of acceptance and scholarship offer

  • December 15, 2018 - Confirmation by fellows and tuition deposit due

  • January 15, 2019 - Full tuition balance due unless payment plan is agreed

  • January 18, 2019 - A cancellation fee of $100 will be charged on cancelation after this date

Any inquiries about the program or application process please contact Abigail Ballew at

Any inquiries about payment or fees due please contact LaDora Carter at

Payment form

To make program tuition payments online use this payment form:


If you would like more information, please email Abigail Ballew at

Meet the class of 2017

Meet the class of 2016

Meet the class of 2015

What the alumni say:

" This program has been transformative. The most valuable lesson is that change - personal, societal, global - is possible. Each of us, no matter what our background, skill set or talents can have a hand in it."  Jessie Buerlein, Washington, DC

"This approach demonstrates a model of true community reconciliation in an inclusive way, without sacrificing moral clarity" Hannibal Johnson, Tulsa, OK.

"This program called for introspection about the way I act and react when dealing with different perspectives, cultures and races. It established a safe environment for sharing diverse perspectives about 'sensitive' issues and learning on a deeper level." Tony Scott, Richmond, VA

"It provided me with enormous tools which can be used for self-improvement and reflection and tools that can be applied for building bridges and reconciling communities." Hadi Yazdanpanah, Richmond, VA

"One of the greatest challenges is building relationships with people who appear very different from oneself. I have begun to explore how one's identity is formed, protected and sometimes born anew." Don Cowles, Richmond, VA

"After taking part in the program, not being engaged to do something to help was not an option. I couldn't turn my back on knowledge I had gained and the awakening I had experienced. I now have experiences and faces to connect with those experiences. Real people. Real struggles. Right here in my community." Julie Marshall, Richmond, VA