The Conciliation Project
In Residence at TheatreLab
300 E. Broad St. The Basement
Richmond VA 23219
Mission Statement To promote, through active and challenging dramatic work, open and honest dialogue about racism and oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates Ph. D.
Board Chair Dr. Ram Bhagat Ph.D.
Board Chair Company Affiliation Founder, Drums No Guns
Contact Information
Address In Residence at TheatreLab
300 E. Broad St. The Basement
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone 804 477-6453
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $24,500.00
Projected Expenses $23,000.00
Additional Documents
Articles of Incorporation. VA2011View
Certificate of Incorporation, VA2011View
Mission To promote, through active and challenging dramatic work, open and honest dialogue about racism and oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.

 2017 Accomplishments:
Began our Residency at ThreatreLab in order to engage inner city audiences more easily and focus on new productions. This year marked the debut of "Locked & Loaded: a story in parts and pieces" our original play dealing with th issues surrounding gun trauma and gun laws in our country.
Additionally, we launched a production of "uncle tom: de-constructed" in New York City engaging audiences there with a combination of repertory actors from Virginia, and TCP members who are currently involved in the New York Theatre scene. This has long been a goal of TCP members who no longer live in the area, and their great desire to bring the work to a wider audience. We were proud to have a very successful production engaging a new community of audiences.
2018 Goals: 
To bring "Locked & Loaded: a story in parts and pieces" to other communities, as well as to New York. Keeping our alumni involved has proven to be invaluable and promotes that the work, once engaged in, is an ongoing passion.

  1. Financial Support
  2. A Permanent Facility
  3. Increase Our Paid Staff
  4. Higher Profile in the Media
  5. Endowments
OUR HISTORY - The Conciliation Project, (TCP), has an 17 year history of facilitating difficult conversations around race and racism through the use of theatre.  As  Richmond's social justice theatre company TCP partners with organizations and communities to engage in the long process of healing our nation's historic past.
The Conciliation Project began in Seattle, Washington in 2001.  What would eventually become known as TCP started as an interdisciplinary theatre class at Seattle Central community College.  Founder and Artistic Director Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates was exploring a deconstruction of the archetype Uncle Tom from Harriet Beecger Stowe's controversial novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."  A Play was devised as a minstrel show.  The show would not only emply traditional minstrelsy using black face; but would also include white face as well.  The company of actors took off their make-up right in front of the audience.  The process is called de-masking and it always astounded the audience.  The audience we impelled to speak out and reveal their "feelings" no matter how uncomfortable they were.  It became clear that the play needed to function as the catalyst for a dialogue with the audience about the feelings surrounding discrimination and the guilt in recognizing that Racism in America is systemic, institutionalized and current.
We must first be "conciled" in order to be "reconciled."  in considering our nation's racial history, and the knowledge that true reconciliation has never been achieved, we are left with the concept of conciliation.
Conciliation:  the process of winning over from a state of hostility, or to gain the goodwill of.  The bridging of two points that are distant, and/or disconnected from one another.
The Conciliation Project hopes to inspire the process of conciliation through the recognition and understanding of privilege, difference and struggle, inclusive of everyone.  We are dedicated and committed as a company and as individual members to courageously embrace our nation's past in order to build a future together that dreams of the immeasurable possibility of what true and uncompromised conciliation would add to the quality of all of our lives.  We aknowledge the enormous capacity we have as people, citizens and artists to transform lives through a common unity of purpose.
CEO Statement
Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates
Often the “elephant in the room” is the ‘R’ word and all the baggage that word evokes. We love to believe that race no longer matters in America and everything within me wishes it were true. ‘Let’s just leave the past in the past.’ And ‘Can’t we just move forward?’ is the way we often face difficult dialogues about race and racism. Just wishing it were different will never make it so.
The Conciliation Project promotes a collective desire to stop the cycle of violence, marginalization, exclusion and oppression historically linked to the birth of our nation. True and effective social justice does not come from political, legislative or even judicial initiative but more directly from the individual and collective birth of consciousness that holds a candle in the dark corners of discrimination and inequality. Social justice is a moral imperative and a society that willfully chooses to build and maintain systems of bias and targeted oppression instead of advocate for freedom and equity is fundamentally in conflict with the lofty and poetic platitudes that seek to define our nation as exceptional.

The work of TCP is to dismantle and de-construct America’s historic legacy with regard to it’s people of color--- to examine it, and to dialogue about it openly without the veil of political correctness, so that we may begin the long and arduous process of healing.  Art is an immediate intervener in the cycle of human suffering and the downtrodden spirit. The stories we tell on stage are true and the use of poetry, song, dance and parody often make them easier to digest.  At times laughter helps us to cope. TCP uses art as a tool and a vehicle to inspire, inform, and include all people as participants in the process of transformation and change.  What the work strives to do is to engage our audiences and inspire them to advocacy and alliance building.
The original works created by TCP facilitates an ability to engage the audience in open and honest exchange of perspectives particularly from voices and people who are often silenced or unheard.  It is imperative that we stop shouting and begin to listen---that we recognize and appreciate that our collective stories are what make our nation great. It is a powerful heritage. Until we acknowledge that we are inextricably bound one group to another, we will never truly be Free. Let us agree or let us disagree but let us do it at the table of dialogue. We must be brave enough to conciliate our past in order that we might reconcile our future together.
Board Chair Statement


Dr. Ram Bhagat

It was love at first sight! The first time I encountered “the work” promulgated by TCP, was in 2009 or thereabouts. My relationship with The Conciliation Project began when Dr. T collaborated with Drums No Guns (DNG) and the Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP), two youth organizations that I helped start. We worked together on Generation Dream, an Edu-Concert produced by the Richmond Peace Education Center (RPEC) and DNG, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My initial interaction with Dr. T. left an impression on my mind, that I had to work with her again and get deeply involved with TCP.

 I fell madly in love with TCP during my involvement in Stolen Land: border crossings. Besides the gift of playing percussion for a potent theatrical production about one of the preeminent issues facing our society, this was also my introduction to the TCP family. This was the official beginning of my love affair with TCP. The rehearsals, beautiful conversations with the actors, amazing discussions with Diego about “the work,” watching Olisa Enrico-Johnson and Joe Carlson embody the essence of Ritual Poetic Drama, witnessing Dr. T’s prowess as a director, creating music with Andrienne Wilson, observing Trey Hartt facilitate the TCP process, hearing Archana Pathak espouse our philosophy, partying with everybody at Afrobeta and breaking bread with you at the cast party; all of these experiences stole my heart! 

 Now, my heart and mind [heart/mind] is committed to serve as president of The Conciliation Project, which is a dream come true. Being president not only gives me a chance to promote, through active and challenging dramatic work, open and honest dialogue about Racism and Oppression in America in order to repair its damaging legacy; it also provides with me the opportunity to help expand “the work” in our organization.

 Since we have evolved into an international social justice theater company, there are some basic steps that we need to take in order to sustain our growth and impact. First, we must solidify our membership infrastructure. Secondly, we need to develop the TCP Facilitation Program for Racial Justice and Healing into a comprehensive training; whereby, individuals who complete our training program are certified to practice our unique process. Finally, we have to amplify our voice within the social media arena. There is just too much misinformation being disseminated about healing the traumatic effects of racism.


Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Petersburg, City
Hampton Roads
We are based out of Richmond, VA, but travel the entire nation presenting our work. Nationally, we have been in Cleveland, Baltimore, Lexington, Atlanta, Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle, as well as all over Virginia, this year alone.  Internationally we have performed in Scotland, South Africa and Brazil.
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Ram Bhagat Ph.D.
Company Affiliation Founder, Drums No Guns
Term May 2014 to Sept 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Dr. Ram Bhagat Ph. D.President
Ms. Olisa Enrico-Johnson MFACommunity Volunteer
Ms. Gaiya Gillespie-Walker Community Volunteer
Mr. Trey Hartt Community Volunteer
Dr. Patricia Herrera Ph.D.University of Richmond
Mr. Spencer E Jones IIIThe Historic Fulton Foundation
Dr Archana Pathak Ph. DCommunity Volunteer
Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates Ph. D.Artistic Director
Ms. Andrienne Wilson Treasurer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 South Asian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates Ph. D.
Tawnya Pettiford-Wates Ph.D,  after studying at Central School of Drama, Speech and Film in London, England, Dr. Pettiford-Wates recieved her BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and her Graduate degrees from the Union Institute. 

Before joining the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University Theatre Dept. as Head of Performance, in 2004 she was Head of the Drama Dept. at Seattle Central Comm. College for 17 years. She has served as Adjunct Faculty for The Cornish College for the Arts and the University  of Washington, and has enjoyed being a Scholar in Residence at numerous colleges and universities around the United States as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa and West Africa.

She has received numerous honors and awards as an educator and innovator including the Dan Evans Award for Outstanding Faculty for her pioneering work “uncle tom: deconstructed.” This Groundbreaking workwork inspired the creation of The Conciliation Project.  Dr. Pettiford-Wates is the artistic director and conceptualist for The Conciliation Project.
Dr. Pettiford-Wates is a playwright, director, actor, poet, writer and teacher. She has appeared on Broadway and in both National and International Touring Companies, Her television, film, industrial, voice over and commercial credits are extensive. She has directed and performed at most of the major theatres in the vibrant and high powered performing arts and media market of Seattle including the Seattle Rep, ACT, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Group Theatre, and the Empty Space Theatre. She returned to Minneapolis after 25 years where she first directed “For Colored Girls…” at the Mixed Blood Theatre to work at the Penumbra Theatre.  Some film and television credits include;“Life or Something Like It” with Angelina Jolie, David Lynch’s“Twin Peaks,” featured performer on“Under One Roof” with James Earl Jones and the television re-make of“The Fugitive.” She is also the voice talent on the X-Box video game HALO.
Senior Staff
Ms. Jasmine Eileen Coles Operations Manager
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 24
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Apr 2013
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
  • African American History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
  • Minority Political Leadership Institute
  • Grace E. Harris Institute
  • Dept. of Social & Behavioral Health, School of Medicine, VCU
  • Art 180
  • DLA Aviation
  • Dogtown Dance
  • University of Richmond
  • Firehouse Theatre
  • The Richmond City Jail Project
  • Slam Richmond
  • Richmond Public Schools
The “Original Works Series” is a set of six plays specifically geared towards our mission that illuminates the distortions of America’s racial history and provides an honest interrogation, while including marginalized, under-represented and unheard voices.
  • "uncle tom: deconstructed"
  • "Genocide Trail: a holocaust un-spoken"
  • "Yellow Fever: the internment"
  • "Stolen Land: border crossings:
  • "Global SeXXXism: un-wrapped"
  • "P.I.C.: the prison industrial complex"
  • "Canary's Call: dismantling the master's house"


Budget $10,000.00
The “Community Collaboration Series” partners the mission of community groups with the mission of TCP. Currently this set of seven plays focuses on issues of homelessness, health, gender bias, addiction and recovery, bullying, and housing discrimination.
  • "Spades: a book without a cover" 
  • "The Bottom Line: road to recovery" 
  • "Pushed: explorations into bullying"
  • "Unequal Access: a journey towards HOME"
  • "Pushed: bullies and bystanders"
  • "What Lies Beneath: racism-sexism-gender-bias"
  • "Changes and Choices: Life and Health Decisions"


Budget $8,500.00
The "TCP in 3D" series uses a foundation in theatre techniques and the methodology of The Conciliation Project, TCP in 3D works with organizations and communities to tackle:
  • Difficult Dialogues      
  • Deconstruction of Cultural Bias
  • Demonstrated Principles & Practices
TCP in 3D offers the following interactions: Workshops, Dialogue Sessions, Performances, and Lectures.
Example Workshop:
Racism 101 - Conscousnes is Temporary  - intends to break down constraints, walls and barriers that people inherently put up to protect themselves from ideas and customs outside of their own cultural location by honing in on the individual, and raising the awareness of discriminatory practices.  TCP works towards a maturation of the self. The work is intended to bring a complacent audience member to an aware and active participation in personal and community engagement motivated to the process of undoing racism.
Budget $5,000.00
The mission of the TCP Institute is to bring together the people and organizations that are willing and ready to engage in the difficult work of un-doing racism in America and to pursue the on-going search for viable activities, methodologies and practices to help facilitate the conciliation of individual people, communities and organizations.  This will be accomplished through:
  • Theatrical Presentations
  • Workshops
  • Speakers Bureau/Platform
  • Cultural Arts Forum (including“Jazz on the Front Porch”)
  • Training in Ritual & Devised Theatre Practice

History Live -  Presents selected selected scenes and/or moments taken from the repertoire of The Conciliation Project in a more intimate setting. “History Live” can be tied to a specific theme of your choosing, this abbreviated version of scenes, monologues, or songs taken from any one of the plays or combination of plays within our current repertoire is a participatory examination of race in the United States.  We have two ways in which we present this material.
  • The Exhibit:  The audience is able to interact with each "exhibit” as if they are in an imaginary museum that has actually captured parts of the historic experience of the American cultural landscape.
  • The Play:  presented as a complete play that focuses on the “isms” that are of particular concern to the client we are customizing the piece for.

A facilitated dialogue accompanies the presentation and an inter-active workshop that inspires the audience to interrogate perspectives and feelings that may be different than their own.

Budget $4,000.00
Description The CARE Initiative
CEO/ED/Board Comments Our challenges are unique in that we customize, and indeed write plays to facilitate the exact message our community partners wish to communicate.  Each project has different parameters, guidelines and requirements.  Our budgets vary greatly depending on how much time is required to create the desired production, and the budgetary constraints of our community partners.
  • "Spades: a book without a cover" - In partnership with The Daily Planet, “Spades” looks at the circumstances and complex issues surrounding homelessness. The Daily Planet addresses the holistic wellness of those at risk of or experiencing homelessness in the Greater Richmond area.  “Spades” was presented at homeless shelters and churches around Richmond.  Performed with clients of The Daily Planet experiencing or transitioning away from the pains of homelessness, “Spades” was also invited to perform at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Awards and Gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
  • "The Bottom Line: road to recovery"  - In partnership with The Healing Place, “The Bottom Line” incorporates stories and real-life experiences of recovering addicts to examine the harmful effects addiction has on the addict and the family. The Healing Place is a men’s, long-term addiction recovery center in Richmond, Virginia.  "The Bottom Line” was presented at The Healing Place and as the keynote performance at The Daily Planet’s 40 year anniversary gala.
  • "Pushed: explorations into bullying" - In partnership with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), “Pushed” tackles the growing epidemic of bullycide. The production asks, “What is a bully?”, “Who does bullying affect”, and “How do you stop a bully?” “Pushed” is geared towards schools and community associations committed to addressing bullying. Variations of the production are available for students, educators, and parents/families. 
  • "Unequal Access: a journey toward HOME" - In partnership with the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), “UnEqual Access” explores the questions: “What is a home?” and “Who does discrimination affect?”. HOME’s mission is to ensure equal access to housing for all people. Many of HOME's victories are well known, setting Supreme Court precedents and providing national impact.  “UnEqual Access” premiered at the annual “Friends of HOME” event and takes the most recent cases in HOME’s vast collection of documentation and investigations highlighting the realities of housing discrimination still present in Virginia.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $24,500.00
Projected Expenses $23,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$22,615$20,699$54,660
Administration Expense$222$2,517$10,988
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.011.050.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses99%89%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,088$3,327$2,297
Current Assets$3,088$3,327$2,297
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$375--
Total Net Assets$3,088$2,952$2,297
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities--8.87--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose purchase of building to support The Conciliation Project Institute. A community educational center for social justice through the arts.
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 12/2015View
Organization Comments Our last year was one of great expansion in terms of how we opened our mission up to a much larger section of our community.  In slightly exceeding our projected expenses, we are entering into a year of rebuilding and re-establishment of financial stability.  It is ever the goal of TCP to work completely within our budget.  This year is dedicated to developing new plays, and focusing our attention on our smaller productions that are designed specifically for educational groups, and institutions who wish to have a more intensive level of diversity training for their organizations.
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 and financial statements prepared internally by the organization
  • Financial information provided by the Form 990