©Hope in the Cities, Initiatives of Change USA

For over two decades, Initiatives of Change (IofC) USA has developed Hope in the Cities which aims to transform Richmond, VA, from a symbol of racial division to a model for reconciliation. Richmond was the nation’s largest interstate slave market in the first half of the 19th Century and capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

Hope in the Cities is a citizen-led effort which brings together a network of leaders in non-profit and business sectors, local government, media and education, from across the political spectrum and of all cultural and religious backgrounds. By facilitating honest conversations, by focusing on acknowledgement, healing and understanding, and by encouraging personal responsibilities, Hope in the Cities continues to help build capacity of community leaders who are working for racial healing and equity.

Rob Corcoran, founder of Hope in the Cities, is a facilitator and trainer, and the author of Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility. The book captures the processes, experiences and learnings from engaging in the work and its application to other communities. His paper for the National Civic League entitled Building Trust in the Heart of Community reflects further on this deeply transformative and ongoing journey.

Richmond was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as one of 14 locales to implement Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.