| Program: || Hope in the Cities, Richmond, VA |
| Contact(s): || Robert L. Corcoran, National Coordinator: (804) 358-1764 |
| Purpose: || To encourage a healing process through honest conversations on race, reconciliation and responsibility |
In 1992, the Mayor of Richmond, Va., offered his city as a site for a national conference on racial healing. This national conference lead the way for the creation of Hope in the Cities, an interracial, multi-faith network that bridges racial divides by hosting a series of constructive dialogues on race and ensuring the participation of government and non-governmental personnel in the dialogue.
Hope in the Cities convenes neighborhood, regional and national forums to provide opportunities for honest racial dialogue. These forums help the public recognize the nature and root causes of racism, and they also highlight encouraging "models of hope" that promote the effective use of partnerships to address racism. For example, in May 1996, Hope in the Cities arranged a meeting of 100 race relations activists in Washington, D.C. The gathering, "Call to Community," featured a diverse group of blacks, whites, Democrats, Republicans, Jews and Muslim participants. Together, this group delivered a challenge to the nation: "Americans need and deserve an honest conversation about race." This well-organized event fostered coalition-building exercises across the nation.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Hope in the Cities has published a Community Resource Manual that serves as a dialogue guide and workbook for groups interested in pursuing their own racial conversations. Its work has been replicated in cities across the nation. In Pittsburgh, some Christian groups have adopted Hope to hold retreats for community, business and religious leaders on the process of dismantling.