Richmond knows how to make history.
And we aren't done yet.
Our history is marked by events we talk about and others we don’t. In Richmond, we’ve started to wrestle with the past and usher in transformation that earlier generations could only dream of: fresh faces on Monument Avenue; a Civil War museum that provides a broader narrative of our city’s story; new markers honoring stories about Richmond’s original residents and those who arrived here against their will. Through conversation, commitment and celebration we have done critical work. But there is more to do.
Richmond is emblematic both of America's history of racial oppression and of the current inequity that has kept communities from reaching their full potential for generations. Initiatives of Change (IofC), with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), is embarking on a multi-year effort to lift Richmond from systems and structures that reflect a centuries-old notion of human hierarchy and to create a place where everyone's humanity is respected regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or country of origin.
Richmond is one of 14 communities across the United States selected by WKKF to commit to a shared vision known as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT). IofC will collaborate with community partners from all sectors - education, business, arts, philanthropic, non-profit - to engage residents of the city and counties through three elements of action: narrative change, racial healing & relationship building and transformation.
With its TRHT partners, IofC will continue to challenge patterns and systems that perpetuate incomplete or skewed versions of U.S. racial history. Activities in this program area will focus on educating and building awareness about the manner in which history and legacy of racial history is taught, communicated and informs the manner in which our communities are constructed.
racial healing &
Focusing on ways for all of us to heal from the wounds of the past, to build mutually respectful relationships across racial and ethnic lines that honor and value each person’s humanity, and to build trusting intergenerational and diverse community relationships that better reflect our common humanity.
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. IofC will convene community and political leaders to help challenge institutionalized systems that perpetuate separation (i.e., segregation and concentrated poverty); law (civil, criminal, & public policy); and economy (structural inequality and barriers to opportunity).