Breakthroughs Online
March 2013
Issue No. 20



Change in a community in Richmond, VA, can sow seeds of hope for a movement of healing and reconciliation half way around the world in South Sudan. The global network of Initiatives of Change helps create these links for greater impact.

A number of the initiatives that are described in these articles need financial support so we encourage you to consider a donation. Just add in the 'purpose' line what project you are supporting.

Several IofC training opportunities are offered this May in Richmond. See the upcoming events. They are scheduled on the week-end so if you wish to come from out-of-town you are most welcome.


Remember to 'like' Initiatives of Change USA on Facebook!
News from Hope in the Cities
Three neighborhoods - one community?

Bulldozers in Fulton Bottom  
(Style Weekly)
Cricket White

Three distinct neighborhoods, adjacent to each other, with distrust between them based on historical events - could they become one community that honors their distinct boundaries?  

Hope in the Cities was invited by the Neighborhood Resource Center to lead a process for residents of three neighborhoods whose residents were wary of each other, if not downright hostile.  

And, like so many stories today, it begins with history ignored, history forgotten, history repressed. And it is bigger than just a neighborhood.

The mythology is that Richmond, VA, is built on seven hills. But it is the 'valleys' between the hills where much of the story took place. Fulton is built in a valley with Fulton Hill and Montrose Heights overlooking it. Historically, Fulton was a thriving African American neighborhood, with businesses and  shops,  professionals and blue collar workers living side by side.

Read more... 
From Richmond to Ukraine
Susan Corcoran 
Diana Damsa facilitates a dialogue
Diana Damsa facilitates a dialogue

Diana Damsa, from Baia Mare, Romania, spent 10 weeks as an international intern with Hope in the Cities last fall. As a result a partnership is growing between Richmond and the Healing the Past project in Ukraine.

In evaluating her time in Richmond Diana writes, "I very much appreciated the constant availability of the Hope in the Cities trainers and coordinators in answering questions, giving details about their program and their methodology and valuable advice for the next step in our work with the Healing the Past project in Ukraine." Read more... 
Not a head thing but a heart thing  

Randy Ruffin
Tee Turner at Little Fork Church
Rev. Turner speaks with one of the congregation  
(Photo: Randy Ruffin)

Sylvester "Tee" Turner, director of reconciliation programs with Initiatives of Change, was the guest speaker at a Celebration of Emancipation and re-commitment to Reconciliation at Little Fork Episcopal Church in rural Rixeyville, VA, on February 23.  The church, built in 1776, was a focus of activity by both North and South during the Civil War, and members wanted it to play a part in increasing trust and understanding across divides in the community today.

Turner told his interracial, interdenominational audience that the Emancipation Proclamation was a "law" and that laws don't bring us together. Reconciliation "is not a head thing, but a heart thing," he continued, and "until hearts are changed, the battle for reconciliation will continue." Read more ... 
Update from Caux Scholars
Reaching new heights while honoring our roots

Caux Scholars at the raining Charlotte Freeman is the program development director for IofC USA. She gives an update on this year's Caux Scholars Program:

The Caux Scholars Program is moving full speed ahead into its 21st year! We received over 50 applications from over 30 countries.

The applicants ranged in age from 21 to 42 and hailed from countries as diverse as Syria, Kenya, Tajikistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan, Myanmar, and the US!


The CSP Selection Committee had the difficult task of determining who  would make up the 2013 class of Caux Scholars. After many hours of deliberation we settled on a group that we feel may be the most promising young leaders CSP has ever seen! Please watch the website as we will be posting profiles of this year's scholars throughout the spring.


In addition to the upsurge in applicants, we are also celebrating the beginning of an exciting new project in the US. Read more  

Finally, many of this year's class are looking for financial assistance so we ask you to please consider helping us build the scholarship funds needed for the 2013 program. 
Washington Outreach
Seeds of respecting diversity planted early
Kathy Aquilina 

Rabia Chaudry How many Americans know what some in the Muslim community in our country face? With 12 around the table, the DC-Interfaith Network had an up-close and personal encounter with Rabia Chaudry, an immigration lawyer of Pakistani origin, who poured forth statistics, experience and issues relating to the Muslim community in the US.


Initiatives of Change is part of this network of young professionals in the DC area involved or interested in interfaith work. Monthly brown-bag lunches at various non-profit venues offer an opportunity to meet with peers who staff many of these NGO organizations and talk over similar projects and possibilities for collaboration. It is a place to learn, ask questions and share best practices. Read more ...  

Initiatives of Change International
Journey of healing and reconciliation in South Sudan

Susan Corcoran

South Sudan
South Sudan's first anniversary celebrations

Several Americans will travel to South Sudan next month to support a process of reconciliation and healing in South Sudan, Africa's newest nation. Rev. Sylvester "Tee" Turner, director of reconciliation programs for Hope in the Cities, and Will Elliott, executive director of IofC USA, will be among the group.

A conference has been officially announced for April 18-21 and will be opened by President Salva Kiir. This will launch a national campaign for reconciliation coordinated over the next 4-5 years by the Office of the President and the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission. Initiatives of Change International has been asked to partner with the government in the first phase of this campaign, providing international speakers and facilitators with evidence of reconciliation and healing during the conference, and on-the-ground support in the lead-up to it.

Watch this video that tells more about the project and share it.
Please consider supporting this action financially.

Making democracy real  

Cricket White, director of education and training for IofC, USA and her husband Ralph White, recently retired as chief naturalist of the James River Park System in Richmond, VA, journeyed to India to participate in the Making Democracy Real conference. Cricket writes of their experience:
Ralph and Cricket White in India
Ralph and Cricket White
in the back row

As our taxi pulled up at dawn and the sun surfaced from behind the tablelands, the wash of brilliant fuchsia bougainvillea and clear red geraniums welcomed us as we were serenaded by raucous birds and squabbling monkeys. After 40+ hours of travel my husband Ralph and I had arrived at Asia Plateau, India, the Initiatives of Change international conference center, to attend the 2nd Making Democracy Real conference.

At the opening ceremony, Prabhat Kumar, a former Cabinet Secretary of India, former Governor of Jharkhand, and Chair of the IC Centre for Governance challenged us, "Democracy must deliver... people lose trust in democracy when it does not deliver," he said, adding that when that happens you get spontaneous uprisings. Read more ... 
When majority becomes minority  

Rob Corcoran cropped This commentary, written by Rob Corcoran, national director of IofC USA, was first published as a "Global Voice" on the IofC international website.

When US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egypt's leaders he noted that the road to democracy is long: "I say with both humility and with a great deal of respect, that getting there requires a genuine give-and-take among Egypt's political leaders and civil society groups, just as we are continuing to struggle with that in our own country."

He might have added that it took 180 years - from the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 - for the US to establish a truly inclusive democracy. The commitment to an indivisible union and the struggle to free 4 million enslaved Americans cost 750,000 lives in a civil war that was followed by a century of American apartheid.

Today US democracy hangs in the balance. Political partisanship has paralyzed the federal government. There are many causes for the dysfunction in Washington but a major factor is the seismic demographic and cultural shift that is occurring as a long-established majority becomes a minority.  

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
Three neighborhoods - one community?
From Richmond to Ukraine
Not a head thing but a heart thing
Reaching new heights while honoring our roots
Seeds of respecting diversity planted early
Journey of healing and reconciliation in South Sudan
Making democracy real
When majority becomes minority
Please consider a gift to Initiatives of Change

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Upcoming Events

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. 6:00 - 9:00pm, Sat. 9:00am - 6:00 pm. For more information and to register      

March 23  
Creators of Peace Circle, Annapolis, MD - 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.

March 25 
Interfaith Network, Washington, DC - Courtney Brode of The Institute for Global Engagement will lead a discussion on relgious freedom.  The Institute for Global Engagement promotes sustainable environments for religious freedom worldwide.  We meet over a brown bag lunch from 12:15 - 1:30.  Venue TBA  Contact Kathy Aquilina at 202 872 9077 or email.

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 21-22 
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. 6:00 -9:00pm, Sat. 9:00am - 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 Report
2012 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 is available 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. 

Logo Cream Background  

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. 
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