Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Connecting Communities is a 127-page handbook containing stories and resources related to personal and community change.

This handbook is an invaluable resource for individuals and groups seeking to implement change in their communities.

Copies of Connecting Communities are available from the Hope in the Cities/Initiatives of Change office in Richmond, VA.


Connecting Communities
The great challenge of the new millennium is to connect our communities in a vision that transcends competing identities and interests. This task is not the possession of any one group. It requires the best of each one of us, of all races and backgrounds, liberal and conservative, young and old.

The New Paradigm: Beyond paralysis to constructive partnerships Too often the debate remains within the paradigms of enemies and allies, victims and victimizers. A process that brings groups together around shared history and enables partnerships to emerge is urgently needed.

Understanding the Task: There are no magical solutions. Connecting communities means building trust, breaking out of the denial and blame game and building teams. Change starts with each one of us. It takes inner resources of courage, persistence and vision.

The Seventh Wrong Man: How a letter of apology changed the world The story of one person’s decision to end the cycle of bitterness.

The Foundation – Core values for constructive change In a rapidly changing world, there are some constants, valid in every culture, which are essential to the work of connecting communities.

Healing the Heart of America: How the process began The former Capital of the Confederacy is an unlikely birthplace for a national movement for racial reconciliation. But over the years, Richmonders have found a way to confront their painful past and build a new future together.

Guiding Principles Healing our communities is not for the faint of heart. It requires teams of individuals who are prepared to work together over the long haul and who are willing to model the change and the relationships they are calling for in the wider community.

Honest Conversation: Everyone At The Table

From Information to Transformation

From Enemies to Allies

Constructive Engagement

Is it just black and white?

A Call to Community

Personal Responsibility: Starting With Ourselves

Responsibility—for what?

Community activists find source of power

Calling on the world’s communicators

A new ethic for business leaders

Benchmarks for life and effective action

Taking a personal inventory

Acts of Reconciliation: Walking Through History

Walking through history in Richmond

A Day of Acknowledgement in Oregon

Present Hope for Healing the Past in Baltimore

Telling the whole story in Natchez

Reconciliation and renewal in Selma

Tulsa turns the site of a race riot into a place of healing

Telling the story honestly in Charleston

The Confederate Flag: A symbol transformed

The Legacy of a Firebrand

Liverpool and the Reconciliation Triangle

Crossing the Sydney Bridge

Claiming a Shared History

Team Building: Building a core leadership group and a team in the wider community

Who is the team?

Listening to the community—a story from Pasadena

Building a sustainable program in Dayton

Finding allies in Oregon

Teambuilding through shared experiences

Finding partners

Four phases to forming a team and moving to action

Preparing For Dialogue Creating conditions for honest dialogue is an intentional act. The physical setting and the atmosphere that you create can increase the possibility of productive conversation.

Key lessons and insights from the field: how honest conversation, personal responsibility and acts of reconciliation produce community change

Richmond, Virginia: Explosive growth and sprawl side by side with concentrations of extreme poverty pose challenges to a healthy region. A new metropolitan dialogue model is addressing the intractable issues of race, economics and jurisdiction.

Clarksburg, West Virginia: How the birthplace of Stonewall Jackson confronted the KKK and began to build an inclusive community.

Stutterheim, South Africa: This town in the Eastern Cape, which exhibited the worst features of the legacy of apartheid, has been transformed into an oasis of peace, stability and hope.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England: This urban center, which 56 nationalities have come to call home, has produced a model of interfaith and interethnic harmony.

Ramle, Israel: Stories of cooperative living and governance in a multi-ethnic town 50 kilometers west of Jerusalem.

Mumbai, India: A citizens’ committee rebuilds trust through one woman’s leadership.

Resource Section

A Call To Community

Dialogue Guide

Facilitator’s Guide

Metropolitan Richmond Dialogues on Race, Economics & Jurisdiction

Resource List