Strategic Planning, Facilitation & Dialogue

Initiatives of Change USA offers a range of consultation services, many based on the methodologies created by Hope in the Cities, including facilitation, dialogue, workshops, seminars and trainings, network partnerships and outreach, and advisory services. We work with partners in many sectors including nonprofits, educational institutions, individual practitioners, small businesses, corporations, government, civic associations, faith based communities, and more. IofC customizes support engagements according to the needs of those we work with whether in the greater Richmond metropolitan area, the state of Virginia, in cities across the country such as Selma, Alabama or Troop County, Georgia, or in international locations such as the U.K., Switzerland, Nepal or India. 

We also provide intentional voluntary support to grassroots leaders and organizations in strategic planning, capacity building, technical support, communications and marketing, network and platform access, fundraising, and advisory consultations. Our staff team includes members who have expert work experience in a number of disciplines including facilitation and dialogue, social work, resource mobilization, grant proposal writing, program development, operations and logistics, alumni engagement, mental health, communications, arts and creative activism, and archival studies.

 

CTF Alumni Grow Gardens of Change in Communities Across Richmond

How do you sustain a garden? We answer that question by building a community within a classroom. The gardeners show up with their hearts and develop relationships with one another that extend beyond the program.
— Duron Chavis

Duron Chavis, Manager of Community Engagement at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, has been regenerating green spaces throughout the greater Richmond Region into urban farms, orchards, gardens and vineyards for a decade. Duron is a Community Trustbuilding Fellowship (CTF) alumnus, and in 2019, will serve as an Architect with IofC's inaugural Narrative Change Collaborative. In 2016, he created The Ginter Urban Gardener program (GUGP), a 12-week training initiative he manages, in collaboration with Beautiful RVA, that provides critical instruction in sustainable horticulture, urban greening and community building within urban areas. Nearly 50 diverse citizens of Richmond have graduated from GUGP with the third cohort of the program closing in October 2018.

A combination of classroom instruction, workshops, facilitated discussion and practical learning exercises, the intent is that Ginter Gardeners will take what they've learned, create and/or work in green spaces within the city to amplify sustainable gardening, wellness, beautification, community development, and creative cooperative action. In this effort, Duron has enlisted fellow CTF alumni since the inception of GUGP to facilitate half of the 12-week sessions with expert methods and tools learned from the IofC program. CTF facilitators for the latest round of the gardening program included Dr. Kelly Merrill, Elaine Genise Williams, Joshua Ballew and Dr. Ram Bhagat, who also provide leadership services for a range of cross-sector interventions such as the Regional Equity Summit, a collaborative effort with Bridging Richmond, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and Initiatives of Change. For GUGP, the facilitators led sessions on self-reflection, honest accountability, authenticity, inclusion, trustbuilding, cultural humility, building teams, and sustaining change. Connecting the ecosystem of the garden to the ecosystem of the self and the community, the Ginter Urban Gardener Program is shifting how Richmond citizens understand and demonstrate their capacity to make critical change in their environments.

The garden images featured are from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.


Initiatives of Change is also part of a deep network of global practitioners in over 100 countries working in multi-scale contexts and connected through the creation of precise, evidence-based methods of practice in conflict transformation, narrative change, interfaith community building, global human rights practice, community cohesion, and people-centered processes in inclusive freedom-making.

Here is a short list of some of our dynamic working partners:

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Are you interested in learning more about our services or developing a partnership with Initiatives of Change USA?

Contact Sarah Workman, our Program Development Coordinator, at sarah.workman@iofc.org to see what we can accomplish together.