May
20
9:00 AM09:00

Faith Rooted Revolution: A Symposium

faithrootedrevolution_STVU.jpg

Faith Rooted Revolution:

Embracing the Truth Disrupting the Cycle…Together

We work to disrupt the contemporary and historic patterns of oppression and injustice manifested in the city of Richmond.  Our success will require a greater synergy and fusion of efforts to build an equitable reality.  Join Initiatives of Change USA and the Johnson A. Edosomwan Center for Faith Leadership and Public Life on the campus of Virginia Union University, Living and Learning Center, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for this symposium and training designed to broaden our coalition for the work of justice and equity in Richmond. 

This one-day symposium, strategy and training session is solutions oriented and designed to help us better understand the intersections of our work and to maximize our efforts through a shared narrative and advocacy goals. The strategy session will focus on an issue that sits on the nexus of our intersections, the coliseum redevelopment project proposed by Dominion. Due to the impact this decision will have on our city for decades, a deeper understanding of the proposed Tax Increment Financing District (TIF) is necessary for all of our work.  This is both the continuation of our series of trainings for Faith Rooted Organizing begun in 2018 and the inaugural session to develop a long-term partnership among advocacy organizations working toward an equitable Richmond and Virginia. 

Participants will take away from this symposium:

  • A better understanding of the proposed TIF project and its possible impact for Richmond’s historic African American and vulnerable communities 

  • Discovery of new allies and efficiencies

  • Resources for training and strategy for power building

  • Beginning the process of developing shared narrative and goals

  • Foundation for future collaborations


Symposium Schedule:

9:00 a.m. Welcome Greetings and Statement of Purpose 

9:15 a.m. Understanding TIF and the Navy Hill Proposed Project

9:45 a.m. Q & A

10:15 a.m. Panel Discussion – Local organizers/leaders share their short and long term goals

11:15 a.m. Q & A

12:00 noon Working Lunch/Break Out Discussions

What TIF Might Mean for My Organization/Goals

12:45 p.m. Training/Strategy Session

2:15 p.m. Next Steps 

3:00 p.m. Adjourn


View Event →
May
19
1:30 PM13:30

Community Trustbuilding Fellowship: 2019 Graduation & Reception

CTF Graduation Invite.png


May is definitely graduation season. We are happy to welcome 22 fellows of the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship into our NextGen Global Action Initiative alumni community. After 5 intensive weekend modules building community facilitation and dialogue practices across social divides, the program fellows will take part in a CTF Graduation Ceremony & Reception on Sunday, May 19th, 1:30pm at Richmond Hill. We invite alumni of the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship to join us for this special occasion.

View Event →
May
10
6:30 PM18:30

Food for Thought: Dinner with dr. taj anwar baoll

Dr Taj talk.jpg

Initiatives of Change USA is partnering with Beautiful RVA, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Birth in Color RVA on “Food for Thought: The Intersections of Birth & Food Justice”, a dinner and discussion with dr. taj anwar baoll. This event explores the inter-weavings of different sectors of social justice work and how multidimensional approaches are needed to undo unjust and inequitable systems.

According to Duron Chavis, urban farm activist and organizer of this event, “The work we do to cultivate communities around the right to access healthy, fresh and affordable food intersects with the need for regenerative community greenspace. Achieving racial equity requires us to consider how our work overlaps and how we can achieve multi-layered impacts that can overwhelm the multi-layered oppressions that marginalized communities experience every day.”

dr. taj anwar baoll has contributed over two decades of activism in Atlanta to creating thriving food practices and birth justice work for disenfranchised communities of color. This event intentionally takes place at a historic cultural institution in Richmond - Croaker’s Spot - where we will explore with dr. taj on how the greater Richmond region can expand our perspectives and collaborations to transform social justice practices within and across differing communities.

Please note that this event is sold out.

View Event →
Apr
25
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Hugh O'Doherty

An Evening with Hugh O'Doherty SM.png

Join Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF) Alumni** and Hugh O'Doherty in an informal Q & A Session about facilitation, adaptive leadership, and CTF. Hugh O'Doherty has served as guest faculty of CTF for more than a decade.

We invite CTF alumni to come prepared with questions for Hugh and reflections on his role/impact during your CTF experience. Additionally, this is an informal potluck dinner, so please bring one favorite snack, dip, or dish that you would like to share! This potluck evening will be hosted at the home of a CTF alum in Richmond, VA, and the address will be emailed out to registrants the week of the event.

About Hugh:
Raised in Northern Ireland, Hugh O’Doherty teaches leadership at Harvard’s school of government and is a Senior Associate with Cambridge Leadership Associates. He has also taught leadership and conflict resolution at the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland. Hugh has consulted with a wide variety of clients, including the Irish Civil Service, the Episcopalian Clergy Leadership Program, and the Mohawk Community Leadership Program in Canada. He has also consulted in countries around the world and has addressed the United Nations Global Forum on Re-Inventing Government. Hugh earned a master’s and doctorate in Education from the Harvard School of Education.

**This event is open to graduates and (former) faculty of the Community Trustbuilding Fellowship.

Register for this free event on Eventbrite or our Facebook event page.

View Event →
Apr
13
11:00 AM11:00

The Community Remembrance Project

The Community Remembrance Project.png

Initiatives of Change USA and The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) is pleased to invite community members across Virginia and the greater Richmond region to attend an informational meeting and conversation about opportunities to participate in EJI's Community Remembrance Project. This project advances a more honest conversation and engagement with how our national history, legacies of racial and economic injustice and inequality, continue to inform contemporary issues today.

The Community Remembrance Project involves three companion projects including Soil Collections, Historical Marker Projects, and the upcoming Memorial Monument Placement Initiative. This is a component of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, located in Montgomery, Alabama, and dedicated to over 4,000 African American victims of racial terror lynching in the United States.

View Event →
Apr
12
6:00 PM18:00

Jesus, Good Friday & the Criminal Justice System

Jesus, Good Friday, and the Criminal System flier.png

Discover the historic context of Good Friday & how it correlates to the modern-day injustices within the criminal justice system. Initiatives of Change USA is happy to host this event with the Equal Justice Initiative.

Within the Christian faith, one of the narratives at the center is the story of the crucifixion of Jesus. The cross has been used and interpreted in many ways in U.S. cultures.

However, what did the cross mean in Jesus’ original context?

What is the origin of the phrase, "King of the Jews"? 

Examining the political context of Jesus’ time gives a new perspective into the justice system of Rome. While Good Friday typically focuses on the person of Christ, this discussion will focus on the process of Jesus’ trial, incarceration, and execution. Journey with Gabrielle Daniels of Equal Justice Initiative as we compare the context of Good Friday to the injustices in our modern-day criminal justice system. Officer Carol Adams (Carol Adams Foundation) & Rise for Youth's Valerie Slater, ESQ will also join the discussion to reimagine a criminal justice system that cares for the vulnerable in light of the lessons of Good Friday. We invite you to join us for this event that is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit our Facebook event page or Eventbrite.

View Event →
Apr
11
4:00 PM16:00

6Pic Blackademic Panel & Excellence Mixer

Blackademic Flier.png

Initiatives of Change USA is partnering with 6Pic Innovation Center and I AM MY LIFE on this knowledge connection event specifically for Richmond high school, early college-aged youth and adults who work on Thursday, April 11th from 4-7pm. This experience will engage young folk with Blackademic (Black community building and PoC centered knowledge production) individuals and spaces.

We invite you to join us for an early evening of deep discussion and media-art making. The goal is to create a platform representing the depth and diversity of experience within Blackness. A panel of intersectional scholars who work in Black popular culture and studies across the range of the African diaspora will share their work and perspectives. 

Following this, there will a be a mixer hosted by 6PIC’s Blackademic in Residence, Chaz Barracks. Refreshments will be provided.

Blackademic Library Wishlist:  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Six Points Innovation Center (6PIC) is developing a library of minority authors for youths aged 14-23 of in Highland Park, Richmond. We invite contributions. Please check out our library wishlist in the above link. Books can purchased and mailed directly to the youth center at: 6PIC Blackademic Library, CC: Chaz Barracks, 3001 Meadowbridge Rd, Richmond, VA 23222.

More information on this event is available on our FB event page.

View Event →
Mar
19
5:00 PM17:00

Racial Healing Circle Training

Racial Healing Circle FB event cover.png

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.

Racial Healing Circle POC-1.png
View Event →
Mar
9
6:00 PM18:00

Call & Response: A Conversation Series

CALL & RESPONSE 3:9:19.png

This March, Initiatives of Change USA launches

a new conversation series entitled

CALL & RESPONSE.

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.

CALL & RESPONSE Spanish.png

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 communicationsus@iofc.org if you would like to take part)!

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


View Event →
Feb
21
6:00 PM18:00

An Evening with Dr. Wes Bellamy

MONUMENTAL image.png

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 www.monumentavenuegdgd.com for details.

View Event →
Jan
21
to Jan 22

Something's in the Water

Something's in the Water Heavy Poster Cropped.png
Something's in the Water Light Poster.png

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. 

View Event →
Jan
18
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.


_DV26956.jpg

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+image.jpg

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.

View Event →