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...


Friday, April 15, 2011
One of 17 Slave Trail Markers

Sometimes you can feel the turn of history's wheel. Last Sunday was such a moment. Under a brilliant April sky, more than 500 Richmonders came together in an Emancipation Celebration to claim their past in all its pain and pride.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
H. Alex Wise

H. Alexander Wise was elected to the Initiatives of Change Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting in February. Alex has led a varied life as educator, public servant, lawyer, and social entrepreneur. Since 2007 he has been the director of development of St. George's Independent School in Memphis,TN which has forged a new model for independent schools that seek to diversify their constituencies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Dr. Edward L Ayers, President of the University of Richmond

As America commemorates the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Richmond has a unique opportunity to tell the story of emancipation, according to Dr. Edward L. Ayers, President of the University of Richmond. He shared his vision with hundreds of community leaders on January 14 at a downtown breakfast event, “From Emancipation to Dr. Martin Luther King.”