Board Emeritus

Board Emeritus

  As a small group of six neighbors and friends sat around my dining room table at the first “Embrace Richmond” board meeting in 2004, none of us dreamed what would come out of our collective efforts. We had almost no board experience. I had no idea what an executive director was and we were literally making it up as we went.  Around me sat five very brave souls – our founding board of directors.  Among them was Mr. Jim Allen.  I cannot remember how I met Jim, it just seems he was always a part of Embrace.  The only thing I do know is that he was divinely appointed. He was with us in the early days as we hauled furniture up and down those steps at what used to be Highland Park United Methodist Church.  He figured out how to set up our accounting system and served as our Board Treasurer for years.  He co-authored our by-laws and he and his wife became our first monthly donors. They are now our longest running financial supporters.  While all of these gifts made a lasting mark on our organization, it is Jim’s patient presence that made a lasting mark on me as a new often overwhelmed executive director. Jim was never the one in the front of the room meeting our guests, teaching a class or accepting an award.  He was always in the background.  In other words, he is the guy who had my back in good times and in those tough years.  He did things like taking out the trash, sweeping the floors and for years he collected...
Earth Day Activities

Earth Day Activities

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, Embrace Richmond in partnership with Huguenot Road Baptist Church and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia hosted 10 youths in an Earth Day celebration event.  The youth were ages 12 – 17 and were from several churches around the city and even three that were from Fredericksburg, VA! In honor of Earth Day, we focused on conservation, preservation and upkeep. In doing this we walked the Historic Brookland Park Boulevard corridor cleaning up streets, alleys and buildings that had become prey to litter and waste.   The youth were given stories in history  of the area and enlightened on how important it is to preserve what we have for future generations. The chaperones Leroy and Rudy from Embrace along with Tim and Angie from Huguenot Road Baptist Church found themselves trying hard to keep up with these young people, but at the end of the day things were clean, pristine and looking good.  Mission Accomplished! THANK YOU to our new friends from Cooperative Baptist Fellowship for supporting our efforts in the Historic Brookland Park community!        ...
The Power of Beloved Community

The Power of Beloved Community

As we prepare to reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I want to draw your attention to his vision of the “beloved community.”  As the founder of Embrace Richmond, I have been blessed to be a part of numerous communities over the past ten years that I believe would have made Dr. King smile.  Below is the story of how a suburban mother of three from a small town in Texas ended up hanging out in homeless shelters and building one of the most beautiful, radically diverse communities in the capital of the confederacy. If you are a part of a “beloved community” that lives up to Dr. King’s vision, please share your experience in the comment section below and if you have a URL to your communities website please share that as well.  We would like to celebrate “beloved communities” on our Embrace Richmond Facebook and twitter pages over the next week. This video is an excerpt from a recent “Mission Shift”...
2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

2016 was an amazing year!   10 neighborhoods, 50 youth, 150 adults and more than a dozen community leaders trained, engaged and connected through community building efforts across the region. 2016 Timeline of Events: January 2016:  Launched monthly Regional Network Gathering providing on-going training and support for Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) practitioners across Metro Richmond Broadwater Young Leaders launched first action teams with the support of Chester United Methodist Church: Learn more here February 2016: Dream Catcher Project launched in Crystal Lakes by our partner Beulah United Methodist Church working in partnership with local youth Partnered with Union Presbyterian Seminary conducting a Mission Shift Trainingfor students and alumni. Launched semester-long StoryCorps internship program with VCU and Union Seminary March 2016: Partnered with Organizations and Concerned Citizens in Hopewell conducting firstMission Shift Training open to all citizens of Hopewell Partnered with Belmont UMC conducting a Mission Shift Training for church members April 2016: Partnered with Partnership for Families Northside conducting a Mission Shift Training for their partner network Added Leroy Jefferson to the Embrace Richmond team as our Strategic Implementation Manager May 2016 Launched our 2020 Advisory Team made up of key stakeholders to help us expand to 20 neighborhoods by 2020 Launched the Brookland Park Collective bringing together leaders from four neighborhoods bordering the Brookland Park commercial cooridor to work toward community defined goals June 2016 Dream Catcher Project was launched for the second year in Shady Hill Mobile Home Park by our partner Cornerstone Revitalization Center Dream Catcher Project launched in The Cloisters by our partner Unitarian Universalist Church of Glen Allen July 2016 Partnered with Concerned Citizens for Ettrick conducting a Mission Shift training open to all citizens...
We have reached $10,000 in donations and matching funds which is 30% of our goal!

We have reached $10,000 in donations and matching funds which is 30% of our goal!

  Thank you, friends! To date 15 donors have given or pledged $5,000 in support of the Embrace Young Heroes Campaign.  With the matching funds offered by Financial Consultants of America, that puts us at the $10,000 mark, which is 30% of our goal! Please help us take full advantage of the $15,000 challenge offered by FCA.  Every gift will be matched dollar for dollar if you give now. If you make a monthly pledge, FCA has agreed to match the total gifts pledged for 2017! Could you pledge $10, $25, $50, or $100 a month? Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. FCA will also match United Way pledges!  Because of a query from one supporter, we learned that you can even re-assign United Way gifts to Embrace Richmond.  Want to know more?  Email Wendy McCaig at wendy@embracerichmond.org. THANK YOU to all who have donated so far! You can learn more about our Young Leaders Program here.  Visit our donations page to give on-line or by mail today....
Embrace Richmond’s Expansion to Chesterfield County

Embrace Richmond’s Expansion to Chesterfield County

Did you know that 5 of the 10 neighborhoods Embrace Richmond is engaged in are in Chesterfield County? In the video below, Bonnie Bell, who has served more than 40 years as a social worker in Chesterfield County explains why she believes in Asset-Based Community Development.     Poverty in the county offers additional challenges.  The counties do not have the same centralized services and the lack of public transportation makes neighborhood-based solutions even more important. We have been blessed by our Chesterfield partners who have helped to launch development efforts in Broadwater, Crystal Lakes, Ettrick, Winchester Green and Shady Hill Mobile Home Parks.  Unfortunately, only two of these neighborhoods have the financial and staff support they need to move their development efforts forward.  We need your help! Through our Young Leaders Clubs we are training local youth in how they can support a community development effort in their neighborhoods. We are so thankful for Bonnie Bell and her role in helping us expand our efforts in Chesterfield County. However, we need your financial support to help support this expansion in Chesterfield.  During this giving season, we hope you will consider making a financial donation to Embrace.  You can learn more about the Embrace Young Heroes Campaign here.  Visit our donations page to give on-line or by...