5:00 PM17:00

Racial Healing Circle Training

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Calling all alumni of IofC's Community Trustbuilding Fellowship & Caux Scholars Program!

Fellows and scholars, this one's for you.

Dr. Ram Bhagat and Rob Corcoran will offer an experiential training for IofC alumni from the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship & Caux Scholars Program in the use of Healing Circles as an additional methodology in their toolkit as social change agents. The process focuses on going deeper into the heart space by sharing our personal stories, listening to the sacred stories of others, enabling us to see our common humanity and to support one another in our journey.

Healing Circles have been used widely as the foundation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s national grantee conferences since 2006 and serve as an important basis for one of IofC USA's grant programs: Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. The structure is highly adaptable for different needs and different contexts. The training will run from 6 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday, March 19th in Richmond, VA. A light meal will be served at 5 pm. Venue will be announced closer to the date.

Please invite fellow IofC USA alumni from the Caux Scholars Program (CSP) and Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF; formerly known as the Connecting Communities Fellowship Program-CCFP). Please note that space is limited to (14) participants, and there are tiered payment options.

Sign up on our Facebook event page here or our EventBrite page here.

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6:00 PM18:00

Call & Response: A Conversation Series

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This March, Initiatives of Change USA launches

a new conversation series entitled


This discussion series ripples from “Something’s in the Water”, IofC’s 2-day creative event held in January on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (21st) and National Day of Racial Healing (22nd) at Studio Two Three - a collaboration with more than 30 innovators in the sectors of arts, nonprofit, and business. Through art installations, conversations, live music, workshops and performances, “Something’s in the Water” explored 400 years of Virginia’s racial history beginning in 1619, the earliest recorded arrival of enslaved African persons to Jamestown and what would eventually become the United States. Together, artists, organizers and participants meditated on what work had been accomplished and what remains to be done to dismantle systems of racism and oppression.

Over the last month, Virginia’s leadership took the world stage for all the wrong reasons. This has unearthed entangled legacies of racial and sexual violence that are sparking private and public discussions about honesty, reconciliation, white privilege, marginalized community rights, and people-centered justice. It is clear that more public space is needed for communities - who may not be in regular contact with one another - to come together, unload, listen, learn and build toward sincere connections.

In what ways do we keep breaking down and how can we keep building up?

CALL & RESPONSE is that frequency - a vibration of intimate interaction that grows between people. We are meeting at the intersections of who we are - at the margins of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, age, language, geography, ability, and more.

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This is an intimate, open and expressive space where members of different communities (in Richmond and beyond) are welcome to come, share, and connect freely with one another to link paths towards greater healing, equity & justice. There will be facilitators in the house - experts in restorative justice, mental wellness, conflict transformation, and trauma healing - to help process this communal journey of histories, emotions, and perspectives. Since art is a critical part of healing, we will feature an Open Mic segment at the end of the session for artists, musicians, spoken word artists and writers to share.

This is a conversation series that will take place once a quarter, rotating to neighborhoods across Richmond. Our first session will take place at Spacebomb Studios (106 S. Robinson Street) on Saturday, March 9th from 6 - 8pm. This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30pm and refreshments will be served. Parking is available in front of and behind Spacebomb and there are additional spaces on the street.

CALL & RESPONSE will also be an IofC USA podcast and webinar series connecting communities internationally (stay tuned for more information and email us at if you would like to take part)!

We are grateful to SPACEBOMB for the provision of space for this event to take place.

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6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Dr. Wes Bellamy

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We cordially invite you to "An Evening with Dr. Wes Bellamy" at The Valentine Museum on Thursday, February 21st, 2019 from 6-8pm. Dr. Bellamy, a civil rights activist, professor, author and the youngest person to ever be elected to the Charlottesville City Council, will discuss his memoir, "Monumental: It was Never about a Statue" with Allan-Charles Chipman, Faith Rooted Organizer & Transformation Strategist at IofC USA.

This Q&A will unearth the journey of a city - before Charlottesville became #Charlottesville - in August 2017. What does it take to transform habits of systemic racism into cultures of flourishing equity and justice? How does today's civil rights leadership echo and sustain historic traditions of Black radical activism?

Join us for this powerful discussion and a book signing with Dr. Wes Bellamy.

This event is part of The Valentine’s latest exhibition, entitled Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion. The Storefront for Community Design and the mObstudiO at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts  invited teams of planners, architects, designers, artists and individuals to participate in a national design competition to conceptually reimagine Monument Avenue and contribute to this important dialogue about race, memory, the urban landscape and public art. An exhibition of competition entries opened at the Valentine on February 14, 2019.

Visit for details.

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to Jan 22

Something's in the Water

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A free 2-day creative event for NATIONAL DAY OF RACIAL HEALING

2019 marks the 400th year observance of Jamestown, Virginia, and specifically, the earliest record of enslaved Africans arriving in 1619 to a strange new world - the tumultuous beginnings of a nation-state called the United States of America. With increased national and global efforts to center inclusive histories, truth and reconciliation processes, and racial equity today, we ask, how far have we come in 400 years?

January’s National Day of Racial Healing is as much about grappling with ongoing structures of racism, trauma, loss and injustice as it is about journeying toward healing and reconciliation. We confront these systems of oppression and marginalization as ways toward greater hope, dignity, truth telling, accountability and freedom-making. 

What remains hidden beneath the water? What floats to the surface?

Something’s in the Water is a recognition of patterns of collective thinking and behaviors that are odd, off and in need of course correction. It is also where emergent bubbles rise to the top, resisting the waves of history to push to the shore of a new day.

Initiatives of Change USA contemplates the conditions of our making as a city, state, and country through this exciting 2-day event that kicks off on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21) and continues on the National Day of Racial Healing (Jan. 22). Join us as we partner with leading artists, cultural historians, creative influencers, grassroots activists and organizations in a range of activities including conversations, installations, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, live music and performances.

National Day of Racial Healing is a nationwide event, created by the Kellogg Foundation, under the thematic approach of Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Initiatives of Change USA is leading this process in Richmond, one of 14 cities that has received a multi-year grant to conduct this work, and will be producing activities on January 22, 2019. 

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6:00 PM18:00

Canvas Conversations: Sionne Rameah Neely & Nzilani Simu

  • Canvas House: 3108 Semmes Ave Richmond, VA 23225 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join us for an informal conversation between Sionne Rameah Neely of Intiatives of Change USA and visiting Kenyan artist Nzilani Simu to talk about the power of art in changing narratives and society.

6:00pm: Doors open
6.30pm: Canvas conversation, followed by audience questions
8:00pm: Close

Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. $5 suggestion donation to Simu’s travel fund.


Sionne Rameah Neely is a womanist researcher, writer, teacher and multimedia producer who spent eight years cultivating critical movements in the artist community of Ghana before returning to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and joining the IofC team as Director of Marketing & Communications.

In Ghana, Sionne co-created ACCRA [dot] ALT, an independent community-based organization that promotes the socially transformative work of local creatives and artists to global audiences. As part of this work, she also co-founded and helped run the flagship CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival, the biggest festival of its kind in Africa. In addition to her work in the artist community, Sionne built upon her doctoral research on the rights of African women in her role leading the knowledge management division of the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the largest continental fund supporting and sustaining more than 1,300 women’s rights organizations in Africa.

Sionne received a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California in American studies and ethnicity. She completed master’s work in fine arts from Howard University, where she focused on film production and criticism, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. Her multimedia research revolves around independent arts organizing, African women’s rights, African feminism, the rights of artists, the history of music production in Ghana and pan-African recollections of the transatlantic enslaved trade. When she is not at work, Sionne loves to be at the beach or out on the trails, exploring new places, interacting with folks of different cultures and checking out films and musical performances.


Nzilani Simu is an Illustrator and graphic designer from Nairobi, Kenya. She specialises in illustration, infographics, branding, hand lettering and is passionate about design for social impact, particularly when it comes to an African lens and projects focused on women's rights. She has over ten years of experience working as a freelancer and for creative agencies within Kenya and for international clients. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario, and a BA in Graphic Design from Curtin University in Malaysia. Nzilani also runs Kulula - where she sells greeting cards, journals, and other gift and stationery goods. In addition to this, Nzilani works part time as a lecturer at a creative college in Nairobi.

Nzilani is visiting Richmond to participate in the two day Something's in the Water event taking place across Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day and the National Day of Racial Healing, hosted at Studio Two Three.

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