Workshops & Training

Dialogue facilitation and design, acknowledgment of painful history, trustbuilding, building and sustaining diverse teams in communities divided by race, ethnicity, class, or religion.

Workshops and trainings are custom-designed as a half-day, or 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. Each training/workshop is conducted by two highly skilled trainers/facilitators.

Upcoming training opportunities: The Community Trustbuilding Fellowship is being offered in Richmond, VA, on five weekends between January - May 2018. For more information.


Facilitator training

Builds competence and confidence in facilitating difficult and even heated dialogues and discussions. Using Hope in the Cities distinctive methodology for honest conversation, the training focuses on:

  • Elicitive facilitation methods
  • Group dynamics
  • Hot buttons: gift or curse?
  • A chance to "do some of your own work" before leading others

Participants are sent a survey to assess awareness, skills and prior experience in preparation for this training.


How to build a dialogue

Focuses on crafting an effective dialogue to address difficult subjects. Participants will:

  • Distinguish between a social conversation and a directed dialogue meant to move people from conversation to action
  • Understand the arc of a dialogue
  • Examine the stages and phases of a dialogue
  • Create a dialogue for your own specific use


Walking through history

Explores the methodology Hope in the Cities has developed to assist communities and groups to explore painful history and build trust.

Concepts covered include:

  • History as a container for grief and grievances
  • History as a tool for healing and understanding
  • Moving from individual sacred stories to a shared narrative
  • Building a common narrative that welcomes all points of view Experiential learning is stressed.


The trust factor in community change

Explores trust as social capital and trustbuilding as an essential capacity for effective community leadership.

Through case studies, dialogue and interactive learning methods, participants study ways to address community divisions and build partnerships across traditional divides.

They practice practical skills and strategies to provide a foundation for creating sustainable and constructive change in the community or workplace.

They increase their knowledge, understanding, and skills in four key areas:

  • Becoming a catalyst of change – the DNA of a trustbuilder
  • Getting to honest conversation – beyond information to transformation
  • Appreciating the power of story – identity and wounded memory
  • Discovering allies – building diverse teams and networks


Building and maintaining diverse teams

Participants learn how to create and sustain teams and networks that bridge traditional boundaries of culture, politics, religion, race and class. They explore methodologies to engage people of different views as allies and build shared visions; and they learn to understand and appreciate how a team is enriched by different personalities and styles.

The workshop enables participants to:

  • Evaluate the importance of team development in addressing community divisions
  • Identify leadership qualities and values that encourage trust
  • Identify key issues and individuals who need to be part of change efforts
  • Explore strategies and methodologies to engage people of different views as allies and build shared visions
  • Appreciate how teams and partnerships are enriched by different personalities and styles
  • Create their own action plans to implement new learning and skills


Connecting history with equity

Through the case study of “Unpacking the Census: the new realities of race, class and jurisdiction,” a project of Hope in the Cities, this workshop describes the process of research, training, dialogue and community mobilization to address poverty in Richmond, VA, and how it might be applied in other communities.

Participants will increase their understanding in the following areas:

  • How understanding local history and census data provide a powerful combination of raising awareness and motivating people to take action
  • The role of universities, faith communities, media and collaboration between nonprofit organizations
  • The importance of connecting all stakeholders in the process
  • How to apply this process in any community


Community Trustbuilding Fellowship

This program, offered in a series of 5 modules, provides specific tools to help leaders from diverse backgrounds address issues of critical importance to communities and work creatively together to build shared visions for reconciliation and justice.

Through a combination of teaching, dialogue and experiential learning participants learn to:

  • Connect theory with practice, and "inner change" with change in society
  • Participate in "honest conversation" and examine how acknowledgment and healing of painful history can be tools for reconciliation and building new partnerships
  • Engage "hard to reach" sectors in the process of community change through the building of diverse teams and networks
  • Appreciate diversity with shared vision, reconciliation with justice and personal skills and qualities for constructive action in the community


The Community Trustbuilding Fellowship is being offered in Richmond, VA, on five weekends between January and May 2018 The application process for this class is now open

Our team of trainers and facilitators


Cricket White is national director of education and training for Hope in the Cities/Initiatives of Change. After 23 years in local government in Richmond, VA, including as chief of staff to the Mayor, Cricket began working with Hope in the Cities in 1995. She has trained facilitators and social change agents in South Africa, the UK, Switzerland, and India as well as cities across the US.




Tee Turner is Director of Reconciliation Programs for Hope in the Cities/Initiatives of Change. A native of Richmond, VA, he is a pastor and activist with more than 25 years of experience designing programs, mobilizing people, and training community leaders. He serves on the City of Richmond Slave Trail Commission and was instrumental in establishing the Reconciliation Triangle between Richmond, Liverpool, UK, and Benin.




Anjum Ali is adjunct professor of Islamic Studies at J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College. She has more than 10 years experience in cross-cultural training and speaking on Islam. She has served as a dialogue facilitator and trainer for international conferences. Born in the US of Pakistani descent, she grew up in Saudi Arabia and has traveled widely. She earned her MA in Islamic Studies at McGill University concentrating on Islamic law and the rights of women and children.



Rob Corcoran is National Director of Initiatives of Change (IofC) and founder of Hope in the Cities, IofC's national flagship program. Rob has conducted trustbuilding workshops in Australia, India, Europe, South Africa, and Brazil, and convened numerous national and international forums. He collaborated on a dialogue guide for President Clinton's Initiative on Race.




All training and workshops draw on three decades of local, national and international experience as documented in Rob Corcoran's book, Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility.

“A visionary, compelling account of healing and change,” Martha McCoy, Executive Director, Everyday Democracy

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


“Hope in the Cities has moved what seemed an immoveable barricade ... (and) provided a map for the future." Governor Tim Kaine (now Senator) Virginia

“It touches the core essential of all relationships ….. Rob Corcoran and his colleagues not only teach trust but actually build trust in real time.” Fr. Joseph F. Driscoll, Vice President, Center for Ministry Leadership, Bon Secours Health System

“I got new ideas to help resolve issues on our staff. Thank you!” “The four steps of trustbuilding were foundational truths, and they were reinforced by stories from real life!” Workshop participants