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TRHT Program Areas

IofC's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) model of change will be manifested through a spiral process of direct community engagement (dialogue), individual investments (reflection), and community transformation (action) in the following program areas:

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Narrative Change – With our TRHT partners, IofC will continue to facilitate honest and self-reflective dialogue building. Narrative Change refers to a disruption of dominant versions of history that are racist, white supremacist and based on the false hierarchies of human value. We challenge patterns and systems that perpetuate incomplete or skewed versions of U.S. racial history. Activities in this program area focus on providing critical space for inclusive histories to take shape, particularly from marginalized communities (First Nations, people of African descent, Latino/Latinx, East and South Asian, etc.). By educating and building awareness about the indelible contributions of often-neglected communities and interrogating the manners that history is taught and communicated, we can more fully inform how our communities are constructed.

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Relationship Building and Racial Healing – Work in this area is based on providing space for self-reflection, mindfulness, and a deep, truthful unearthing to emerge in and between individuals and communities. What skewed beliefs and incomplete narratives do we tell about ourselves? How are the stories we tell about ourselves and our communities disparate, damaged, and disconnected from the stories of other people? We believe in the power of our individual and communal stories, and the need to have requisite skills and behaviors to effectively receive and share such stories with one another, to better dialogue, and understand different perspectives. IofC supports groups involved in the process of relationship building and racial healing by organizing targeted, facilitated programs for the sharing of sacred stories, community rituals, events and actions, and relationship/trustbuilding activities.

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Transformation – In tandem with narrative change and relationship building efforts, an equal investment must be made to address the policy and structural changes that remain as barriers to opportunity and equity in our communities. As our truth-telling and relationship-building program methodology posits that each person must take responsibility for being a part of creating inclusive communities, it naturally produces a coalition of influencers across all sectors that can take strategic and coordinated action. IofC regularly convenes these influencers to help challenge institutionalized systems perpetuating separation (i.e., segregation and concentrated resource suppression) in law (civil, criminal, & public policy), economy (structural inequality and barriers to opportunity) as well as the specific sectors of education, housing and health.

This work is inter-generational and cannot be achieved overnight. Our focus during this initial 3-year program period is to develop an evidence base for racial equity that resonates across multiple sectors; to engage communities that have traditionally not participated in racial equity conversations to-date (including but not limited to faith based communities, the counties that surround Richmond, and immigrant populations); and to foster relationships within and across communities that lead to productive partnerships for tackling some of Richmond’s most intractable challenges.