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An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility
Rob Corcoran. foreword by Tim Kaine

BUY Cloth · 312 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813928753 · $29.95 · Mar 2010
BUY Ebook · 312 pp. · ISBN 9780813928814 · $29.95 · Mar 2010
BUY Paper · 312 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939667 · $22.50 · Jan 2017

"Trustbuilding, using personal narrative and exhaustive reporting by Rob Corcoran, chronicles how Hope in the Cities has moved what looked like an immoveable barricade. The job is not done, but Hope in the Cities has provided a map for the future."—from the foreword by Governor Tim Kaine

The national director of Initiatives of Change and founder of Hope in the Cities, Rob Corcoran has been involved in promoting dialogue and conflict reconciliation among diverse and polarized racial, ethnic, and religious groups in an array of locales in Europe, South Africa, India, and the United States for over thirty years. Trustbuilding is part historical narrative and part handbook for a model of dialogue and community change that has been adopted both nationally and internationally. At its center is the story of how Richmond, Virginia, a former slave market, capital of the Confederacy, and leading proponent of Massive Resistance, has become a seedbed for inter-racial dialogue and trustbuilding with national and international implications. In 1993, this conservative southern city caught the attention of the nation with a public acknowledgment of its painful history and a call for "an honest conversation on race, reconciliation, and responsibility." City and county residents of all backgrounds launched an unprecedented and sustained effort to address the "toxic issue of race." Known as Hope in the Cities, this endeavor is now in its second decade of work. Trustbuilding should extend its important mission by carrying Richmond’s story to communities everywhere.


This is a soberly inspiring book about citizens who have struggled to find respectful and productive ways of relating through dialogue across the racial, social, and economic differences that dangerously divide us. It is sobering because they have tackled inwardly and outwardly one of the greatest threats to civilization’s survival; inspiring because they have changed lives and communities. I pray fervently that the seeds they have sown will spread widely and deeply.

Harold H. Saunders, Chairman and President, International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, former Assistant Secretary of State

Rob Corcoran's Trustbuilding reaffirms the moral imperative inherent in racial reconciliation. We are each responsible for spanning the great chasms created by racist ideology, widened by racial oppression, and deepened by historical blindness. Corcoran urges us to engage one another, build bridges, and cross the remaining divides. He offers us examples of what is possible, and tools with which to begin our own work.

Hannibal B. Johnson, author of Acres of Aspiration

Rob Corcoran’s book about trust could not have arrived at a better time…Learn from Corcoran how to build trust by having honest conversations…Corcoran is a master facilitator, having applied his talents in this country, Europe, South Africa, and India.

Tom Silvestri, President and Publisher, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Corcoran blends personal narrative with history, social science, ethics, and social reform. It is written with such clarity and with such skillful use of the first person that it will appeal to a wide audience, including the general public, but also to scholars, community organizers, group facilitators, people in non­profit organizations, particularly people interested in personal transformation and social justice.

John Moeser, Senior Fellow, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, University of Richmond

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