Having been connected for centuries by the similarity of the views of their respective rivers from Richmond Hill and Libby Hill, the elected Councils of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and the City of Richmond, Virginia each passed legislation in the spring of 1981 (RUT on April 27th and RVA on May 24th) formally establishing a twinning relationship between the two communities of Richmond. Now in its 36th year the Richmond to Richmond connection has ebbed and flowed, but has for more than a decade been stuck in neutral. Thanks to the American Indian Princess named Pocahontas, the twinning relationship has become re-energized with the delegation that traveled from Richmond Virginia to Richmond upon Thames and Gravesend to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas on March 21, 2017.
The Mission of the Richmond to Richmond Community Twinning Strategic Plan is to honor Pocahontas by finally harnessing the power of the longstanding twinning relationship between the regional community of Richmond Virginia and its namesake, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is hoped and expected that this Richmond to Richmond twinning relationship will enhance the quality of life in both communities of Richmond, and will inspire connections with the other 89 communities of Richmond, ultimately leading to the creation of the global Community of Richmond.
Purpose and Goals
The ultimate purpose of the Richmond to Richmond Community Twinning Strategic Plan is to realize the hopes and dreams expressed by both Councils in 1981 to enhance the overall quality of life in each community of Richmond through an active and expanding twinning relationship between the two Richmonds. An important goal of this Twinning Strategic Plan is to establish and sustain a community-based foundation for our twinning relationship by fostering a host of community subset connections between like-minded organizations and entities in each Richmond. Another important goal of this plan is to invest and involve our youth, instilling in them pride and ownership of this strategic plan and the future global Community of Richmond.
The initial and primary objective of the Richmond to Richmond Community Twinning Strategic Plan is creating a community-based foundation for the twinning relationship between the two Richmonds that is supported by government, instead of the other way around, which has been the case since 1981. Towards this end efforts will be undertaken to create multiple connections in the different social subsets of our two communities of Richmond, including:
- Athletics, Sports, Recreation, Arts & Culture Community
- Conservation, Preservation, Environmental Protection Community
- Education & Training Community
- Business, Economic Development & Communications Community
- Social Service, Charitable & Philanthropic Community
- Faith Community
To achieve the primary objective the plan will employ the following tactics:
Tactic #1 – Build on the connections renewed and established by the Pocahontas 400 delegation by creating a web of community subset twinning relationships between the two communities of Richmond. Work is underway to encourage and facilitate the following 36 relationships (one for each of the 36 years of our Richmond to Richmond twinning) between leading organizations with similar interests in our two Richmonds.
RICHMOND REGION, VA RICHMOND upon THAMES
- University of Richmond <> Richmond University
- Virginia Union University <> St. Mary’s University, Twickenham
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Comm College <> Richmond upon Thames College
- The Valentine <> Museum of Richmond
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens <> Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- James River Park System <> Thames Landscape Strategy
- Franklin Military Academy <> Grey Court School, Ham
- Linwood Holton Elementary School <> ?? Primary School – referred by Grey Ct
- Agecroft <> Ham House
- Maymont <> Marble Hill House
- Historic Richmond <> The Richmond Society
- Retail Merchants (RMA) <> Richmond Business & Retail Association
- Chamber RVA <> Richmond upon Thames Chamber of Comm
- VA Sierra Club, Falls of the James <> Environment Trust, Richmond upon Thames
- Enrichmond <> Environment Network, South West London
- VCU Rice Rivers Center <> London Wetlands Center
- Richmond Hill <> Richmond Team Ministry
- St. John’s Episcopal Church <> St. Matthias Church
- Jefferson Hotel <> Petersham Hotel
- HandsOn Greater Richmond <> Richmond upon Thames Council for Voluntary Service
- Virginia Repertory Theater <> Orange Tree Theatre
- Library of Virginia <> National Archives, Kew
- Whole Foods Market, Short Pump <> Whole Foods Market, Richmond
- CultureWorks <> Arts Richmond
- Visual Arts Center of Richmond <> Richmond Arts Service and Orleans House Gallery
- Quill Theatre <> Richmond Shakespeare Society
- Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth <> Richmond Div of Girlguides, London West
- Boy Scouts, Heart of VA Council <> 1st Richmond Scout Group @ St. Matthias
- Richmond Kickers <> Hampton & Richmond Football Club
- Richmond Lions RFC <> Richmond Rugby Club
- Virginia Boat Club <> Richmond Bridge Boat Club
- Diversity Richmond <> Richmond LGBT Forum
- Richmond Times Dispatch <> Richmond and Twickenham Times
- Richmond Magazine <> The Richmond Magazine
- Greater Richmond Partnership <> Economic Development, Borough of RuT
- Richmond Region Tourism <> Visit Richmond, Borough of RuT
Tactic #2 – Expand on the 36 relationships defined above by encouraging and facilitating smaller groups of Richmonders from both Richmonds to connect wrapped around their common occupations and interests >> environmentalists, 1st responders (police, fire, EMS), Rotarians, musicians, clergy, educators, athletes, artists, activists, entrepreneurs, gardeners, animal lovers, beer and wine enthusiasts, and so on and so on.
Richmond to Richmond Twinning > It’s as Easy as 1 – 2 – 3
Step #1 > Answer the Richmond Twinning questionnaire to better define the nature of your Richmond group and the benefits your group hopes to gain from participating in a global interactive relationship with a like-minded group from the other Richmond
Step #2 > Based on the information provided Richmond Twinning will use its relationships and knowledge of each community to connect your group with a like-minded group from the other Richmond
Step #3 > Y’all start twinning == Richmond Twinning will do all it can to facilitate the relationship
Tactic #3 – Establish a community oriented Twinning Board of Directors in each Richmond designed to coordinate the overall Richmond to Richmond twinning relationship by encouraging and facilitating the individual community subset relationships and intersecting the many relationships in common purpose. Each Board of Twinning Directors would intersect with their respective governments and elected officials.
Tactic #4 – Create a website that details and promotes the various aspects of the Richmond to Richmond twinning relationship, including a database offering contact and other important information about the organizations and entities involved in twinning. Use the website and other social media to document and categorize the interaction and connections between Richmonders in the two Richmonds. Involve students to develop the website and social media platforms and to gather information about the many community to community relationships.
Tactic #5 – Encourage and facilitate a delegation from Richmond upon Thames to Richmond Virginia in 2017 to build on the momentum of the March 2017 Pocahontas 400 trip. Start encouraging and facilitating other delegations to travel back and forth between the two Richmonds.
Tactic #6 – Look for ways to share the Richmond to Richmond twinning relationship with the other 89 communities of Richmond around the world through the Richmonds of the World initiative. Start by expanding successful community subset relationships to other Richmonds with similar community subsets.
Rick Tatnall – Replenish Richmond / Richmonds of the World