Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
The effects of racism are evident in the social, economic and government policies all around us and the places in which we live, learn, work and play. People experience these effects when they take their children to school, when they apply for jobs, when they try to rent or buy a home, when they shop, when they interact with the police and more.
TRHT seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism – the main one being the belief in a “hierarchy of human value.”
This absurd belief, which has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture, is the perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics or place of origin. It is when we value one person more than another based on skin color or other physical, superficial characteristics and let those values affect the decisions we make each day in areas like policymaking, in job decisions, in how we teach children – to name a few.
TRHT was initiated by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in January 2016. Grants were awarded to 14 multi-sector community collaborations in June 2017 to seed the establishment of TRHT throughout the United States. Richmond, Virginia is one of those communities and Initiatives of Change USA will be leading the work in our community.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) was founded in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer William Keith Kellogg. When he established the foundation, he said, “Use the money as you please, so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.”
Today, the foundation remains committed to ensuring all children and families – regardless of race or income – have opportunities to reach their full potential. WKKF wants all children to live a full life with high-quality, early childhood education and access to good food and health care; to grow up in homes with families that have stable, high-quality jobs; and to live in a community where they are nurtured. Embedded within all WKKF does is a commitment to racial equity, to developing leaders and to engaging communities in solving their own problems.
The Kellogg Foundation and Initiatives of Change USA (IofC) have collaborated for more than a decade. Most recently, IofC invited Rev. Alvin Herring, director of racial equity and community engagement for WKKF, to meet in Richmond with partners from the philanthropic, law enforcement, academic and faith communities.
Rev. Alvin Herring
"Witness what philanthropy can do: we can and should and do bring all of our resources to bear to jettison this false notion of human hierarchy. A single moment can bring you a lifetime of wisdom. When we start seeing people, they start wanting to be seen. They start wanting to tell their stories."
"Journey To Equity" delivered by Rev. Alvin Herring in February 2017 hosted by Initiatives of Change & University of Richmond.
Initiatives of Change, USA, is part of a diverse global network with an 80-year track record of peacebuilding, conflict transformation and forging partnerships across divides of race, class, religion and politics. IofC inspires a vision of community where a commitment to reconciliation and justice transcends competing identities and interests. The work focuses on equipping leaders to build trust in diverse communities through a process of personal change, inclusive dialogue, healing historical conflict and teambuilding. Programming centers around connecting core values with personal and public action with a focus on racial reconciliation, economic inclusion and interfaith understanding. IofC USA has been at the forefront of work addressing the need and taking action on racial healing for a quarter of a century in not only Richmond, VA, but in a number of communities throughout the United States including Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, Dayton, OH, Tulsa, OK and most recently Troup County, GA. IofC USA also provides program leadership for the Caux Scholars Program, a multi week academic program in conflict resolution that takes place at IofC International conference centers in Switzerland and India.