Breakthroughs Online
January 2013
Issue No. 19



As we enter 2013 we are in the midst of some exciting changes in communications. The global website of Initiatives of Change has just been relaunched in multiple languages and with a more dynamic and engaging look. You will see an increased use of online video clips and links to social media. In the coming weeks our U.S. websites will migrate to the new format.


While the different programs and projects of Initiatives of Change will keep their distinctive identity and focus, they will be presented with a more universal look. This includes greater branding with the Initiatives of Change logo and the phasing out of some of the other individual logos.  

The changes will also be reflected in our Breakthroughs newsletter. For a start, the online version will have shorter articles that are linked to the online stories. There will also be a printer-friendly version that can be downloaded for those who prefer. Printer-friendly version

 Please give us feedback.

Remember to 'like' Initiatives of Change USA on Facebook!
News from Hope in the Cities
Telling the truth about Emancipation

Dr. Ed Ayers and Rev Tee Turner
Dr. Ed Ayers in conversation with Rev. Tee Turner  (Photo: Charlotte Freeman)
"How do we tell the story of Emancipation? Is it about a group of benevolent white people or the story of African Americans who worked for it?" Edward Ayers, President of the University of Richmond, and Rev. Sylvester "Tee" Turner of Hope in the Cities, confronted the question at a dialogue hosted by Hope in the Cities on December 13, just days before the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Read more...

Watch the conversation on YouTube
Empowering "Change Agents"

Trustbuilding Workshop in Dayton
Trustbuilding workshop
(Photo: Charlotte Freeman)
Sinclair Community College, the predominant employer and largest higher learning institution in Dayton, OH, has recently launched a diversity and inclusion program, headed by Gwen Jones. This initiative has resulted in the creation of Sinclair "Change Agents," a group of roughly 60 faculty and staff members who are committed to moving Sinclair and the larger Dayton community towards greater inclusion and appreciation for diversity.

The college has chosen Rob Corcoran's book, Trustbuilding, for a "campus read" in January. In preparation Corcoran gave a presentation to 30 of the Change Agents in early December in which he shared the Hope in the Cities story of racial reconciliation in Richmond.
Initiatives of Change International
Caux looks at healing racial history 

Caux audience This year three conferences highlighting themes from the previous Caux Forum on Human Security will kick off the 2013 summer. The first is concerned with Just governance (June 29-July 3), the second with Healing history (July 3-7) and the third is a Dialogue on land and security (July 7-11)

Of particular interest to Americans is the conference on the theme of Healing History: Overcoming Racism, Seeking Equity, Building Community. The purpose is to explore the history and legacies of racism and how communities can work together to build trust, heal wounded memory, and create cultures of inclusion and economies that work for all ... Read more ...

See the side panel for the full 2013 Caux conference schedule.
Opportunities for Caux 2013

Caux Scholars Program 

Conflict transformation from the personal to the global
June 26-July 23

Twenty students from around the world are selected for this four-week program that is a multi-disciplinary approach to conflict transformation, transformational justice, and principled leadership. It offers academic classes, service for leadership with practical work, a field trip to Geneva and participation in the Initiatives of Change Conferences. Application deadline is February 15, 2013. Watch the video and visit the website for more information ... 

Caux Artists Program
Building bridges across different cultures and faiths

July 7-20

Caux artists program This interdisciplinary summer course in theater, music, and the humanities challenges artists to explore the ethical and spiritual dimensions of the arts. The invitation is to actors, singers, dancers, and instrumentalists who have a vested interest in exploring the power of art as a catalyst for change in society. The program offers classes, lectures, rehearsals and performances as well as participation in selected events during the IofC Conferences. Application deadline is April 30, 2013. Scholarship applications by February 15, 2013. Visit the website for more information ...

Caux Intern Leadership Program 
Building a dynamic network of young changemakers 

Session 1 : June 22 - July 20 

Session 2 : July 15 - August 12

Caux Interns This is is an opportunity for young people to experience the full richness of the Caux conference center: to contribute their service to the conferences, and through the training program to engage with the needs of the world. Board and lodging are fully covered, but Interns are expected to fund their travel costs. Application deadline is January 31, 2013. Visit the website for more information ...
Commentaries and Reflections
Healing our cities

Valerie Lemmie Valerie Lemmie was recently elected to the Initiatives of Change USA board and will serve as Treasurer. She currently is the District Director for U.S. Representative Michael Turner of the 10th District, Ohio.

As a new board member, I am pleased to share with you my history with Initiatives of Change (IofC). I was first introduced to IofC through my work with Hope in the Cities in the early 1990s while serving as city manager in Petersburg, Virginia. Like many newcomers to southside Virginia, I was struck by the predominance of everything associated with the Civil War. As a matter of fact, many native white Virginians didn't even call it the Civil War. It was War of Northern Aggression.

I found it ironic that the city promoted its Civil War history, yet this history divided the city along racial lines. I quickly learned that unless we found ways to bridge this divide, building consensus on how best to address community problems would be impossible.

Then something fortuitous happened. Richmond Mayor Walter Kenney introduced me to Hope in the Cities. Prior to this, I had not thought about racial issues as something both African Americans and whites should address together. Building trust through honest dialogue and working towards racial reconciliation helped our city begin to heal-and to move forward collectively to address challenges and opportunities...  Read more ...

We must do better    


Susan Corcoran Susan Corcoran is the Communications Director for Initiatives of Change U.S.A. 


The recent shooting of innocent children in Newtown, CT, has caused us to ask ourselves how we can do better. In President Obama's words, "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change."


The blogosphere is full of suggestions about tougher gun control legislation, heightened security in schools and care for the mentally ill. All this is important but more profoundly there is violence that stalks every human heart. We live in a culture of violence and rage.


Too often, no matter our age, if we don't get what we want, when we want it, we lash out or throw a temper tantrum. Daily we experience road rage and impatience that puts others at risk. We pour contempt on the less fortunate and neglect the most vulnerable among us. We make choices based on what suits us with little regard for the consequences for others. We glorify violence and then we wonder why for some it quickly moves from fantasy to reality...  Read more ... 

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Initiatives of Change focuses on the link between personal and global change and seeks to inspire, equip, and engage individuals as trustbuilders.

It starts with listening and responding to the still small voice within, applying values of integrity to everyday living, and taking risks to bridge divides.

Visit our website  for more information.

We hope you enjoyed this issue of Breakthroughs Online. Please share this newsletter with your friends and forward it to those you know have a passion for trustbuilding. 

Thank you!
In This Issue
Telling the truth about Emancipation
Empowering "Change Agents"
Caux looks at healing racial history
Opportunities for Caux 2013
Healing our cities
We must do better
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Metropolitan Richmond Day invitation
Price $10.
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Upcoming Events

February 1-3
Creators of Peace Circle, Washington, DC - This experience offers women an opportunity to embrace their value as peace-creators in family, community and nation. If you are interested in learning more about Creators of Peace Circles contact Kathy Aquilina at 202 872 9077 or email.

February 1-5  
Making Democracy Real, India - This international dialogue, convened at the Initiatives of Change conference center at Asia Plateau, will examine some of the challenges and responsibilities for stakeholders of democracy. For more information

March 12-14
Duke University Divinity School Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope, Richmond, VA - Students will explore the work of healing history and its legacy in Richmond.

March 22-23
Hope in the Cities Facilitator Training, Richmond, VA
- A 12-hour facilitator training  focused on building both competence and confidence in facilitating difficult and heated dialogues and discussions. Location: Hope in the Cities Office. Time: Fri. 4:00 - 8:00pm, Sat. 9:00am - 6:00 pm. For more information and to register      

April 17-21 
National Conference for Reconciliation and Healing, South Sudan - Initiatives of Change International will partner with the government in providing international speakers and facilitators with evidence of reconciliation and healing during this conference. For more information

May 4 
Trustbuilding and Community Change Workshop, Richmond, VA - A one-day interactive workshop exploring trust as social capital and trustbuilding as an essential skill for effective leaders in a diverse world. It draws on Rob Corcoran's book, Trustbuilding.  Location: Richmond Hill. Time: Sat. 9:00am - 6:00pm. For more information and  to register

May 17-18  
Hope in the Cities Walking Through History Workshop, Richmond, VA - A 12-hour training
with Hope in the Cities to explore the methodology that encourages healing and understanding. It will include a walk along the historic Slave Trail. Location: Richmond Hill. Time: Fri. 4:00 pm - Sat. 6:00 pm. For more information and  to register
May 29-31
The Value of Reconciliation: opportunity, equity and race, Tulsa, OK - The John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation is convening this fourth national symposium. Hope in the Cities will be presenting a workshop. For more information

June 7-8  
Hope in the Cities Facilitator Training, Richmond, VA
- A 12-hour facilitator training  focused on building both competence and confidence in facilitating difficult and heated dialogues and discussions. Location: Richmond Hill. Time: Fri. 4:00 pm - Sat. 6:00 pm. For more information and to register

June 29-August 12
2013 Caux Summer Conferences, Switzerland
See the more detailed program below or on the Caux Website.   
Caux Conference Report2012 Caux Rsport
Read it online
or order from our office 
Caux Conferences 2013
Caux logo
June 29-July 3 
Just governance

Exploring the personal qualities needed for effective governance and structures which promote integrity and cooperation

July 3-7 
Healing history   
Overcoming racism, seeking equity, building communit

July 7-11
Dialogue on land and security
Share experience and build partnerships in restoring land, lives and peace.

July 13-19
Trust and integrity in the global economy  
Toward economic justice and environmental stability

July 24-30
Children as actors in transforming society
The role of children and youth as active citizens

August 1-6
Learning to live in a multicultural world
Imagining and co-creating a desired future in Europe through intergenerational and intercultural dialogue

August 7-12
Seeds of inspiration
People sharing the inspiration that shaped their lives

More information available soon on the Caux website

Trustbuilding Book Cover

Read author    

Rob Corcoran's latest blog,

The Imam & The Pastor 

"The African model for finding peace amid the continent's warring communities"  

The Times (London)  

AAA flyer image An African Answer 

The second film about

the work of these two  

African peacemakers. 

Follow-up Links