More than 300 Alumni (11 Classes) are serving across the Richmond region (and beyond). Here’s a sampling of how they have gone on from RCLI to lead in their personal, professional, and public places of service.
Andreas (RCLI ’13) served inside Richmond City Hall for eight years, most of it in the role of Civic Innovator. His insights, energy, and frustrations during that time spurred him to seek the 1st District City Council seat in 2016—a race that he won. He now represents his constituents’ needs and helps guide the City through membership on its Education and Human Services Committee, Governmental Operations Committee, and Public Safety Committee.
Nicole (RCLI ’15) states a desire to combine an entrepreneurial spirit with her mental health experience and licensing. This helped prompt her 2016 creation of Glean LLC, a commercial cleaning service designed to provide a range of secure job opportunities for under-employed and unemployed citizens.
RCLI Alumni now . . .
- Fill the lead staff roles of these ministries: Arrabon, Boaz & Ruth, Church Hill Academy, Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT), Elijah House Academy, Into the Neighborhood, RCLI, U-Turn, and Virginia’s Kids Belong.
- Serve as lead/senior pastors at these churches: City Church, Cornerstone Assembly of God, Love Integrity Faith Excellence Church, Lux Church, Motivation Church, and Redeemer Anglican Church.
Farnaz (RCLI ’11) arrived at RCLI while serving as the Judicial Clerk to (the now late) Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy Hassell. She credits RCLI and the relationships that stemmed from it, as primary factors in helping her feel at home here in Richmond—and helping her decide to stay. In the years since, she has furthered her public service through appointments as an Assistant Attorney General and now, Associate University Counsel at the University of Virginia.
David (RCLI ’08) has taken his rich gift of clarity of thought and articulation to the national stage empowering Christian leaders and their communities with the resources for reconciliation with cultural intelligence. In 2016 he was named by Christianity Today as “Twenty of the Most Creative Christians We Know”. One of his latest projects is the film 11AM: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour (11amthemovie.com).
Leithia Williams (RCLI ’14) emerged from RCLI with self-described “openness”—comfortable not knowing what was next, but prepared for the Spirit’s prompting. “Intentionality met with opportunity is where I’ve learned impact can be made. Being bold enough and intentional enough—amidst my imperfection—I can be the one to step-up and make something happen.”
Fast-forward to October 2017, Leithia now works for GitHub (an online developer platform where 26 million people learn, share, and work together to build software). Over and above her responsibilities as Senior Commercial Counsel, she helped instigate and co-found GitHub’s first Employee Resource Group (ERG). This structured and funded initiative seeks to attract and empower Black employees at the company and across the whole tech industry (particularly within its heavily decentralized ‘remote-first’ culture). Her launch event included representatives from top companies like Twitter, Salesforce, and Lyft. Reflecting on her legal role and her ERG efforts, Leithia explained, “I am unequivocally walking within my calling.”
As Peyton Cox (RCLI ’16) stepped out of RCLI’s year-long program, he was stepping into a new company (CBRE) as a Commercial Real Estate Broker. He recalls that he did so confidently with these RCLI take-aways in tow 1) an immediate network of 200-300 brothers and sisters who share an “unsaid bond” as Alumni; 2) greater confidence in the relevance of the role of his faith in his work; and 3) hope, because he “heard inspiring stories of how the church is at work in the region that aren’t in the news” and “faced some emotions I wouldn’t have otherwise dealt with.”
Prior to RCLI, Peyton felt “limited” in terms of knowing the Richmond story and having broad relations that enabled him the opportunity to act on his heart for the region. Now, he can be described as undeniable connector—combining his “thirst” for getting to know people, his professional role, and his service on the Board of LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), the YMCA Downtown Board, VCU’s Business School Foundation, and Chamber RVA’s Richmond Business Council. He concludes, it “is deeply fulfilling to see how God uses our gifts for His work; it encourages me to do more.”