Cohousing Classifieds

J Elliott Cisneros

J Elliott Cisneros

The Sum
  • Email :
  • Phone :
  • 434.260.9377
  • Location :
  • Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Service Category :
  • Process


Just as there was a time to move beyond “tolerance” to inclusion and equity, It’s time now to take the next step: honoring and celebrating our differences. The Sum’s unique focus does this by emphasizing that changes in communities, organizations, and the world can only meaningfully come from supporting our internal awareness. The Sum’s work moves away from blame and shame to the active support of individuals in becoming all they want to be—which must include solidarity with ourselves first and, secondarily, across our differences.
Elliott comes from a bi-cultural, biracial background and lived in co-housing for 20 years. He was a special educator for 15 years, directed the Human Rights Office for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, worked as a school principal, and taught multicultural/social justice at Naropa University. He founded The Sum (a 501c3) in 2006 ( He is a certified mediator with experience in restorative justice.
Elliott felt called to move to Charlottesville, VA after the so-called “Unite the Right Rally” in August of 2017. Here, he started The Sum Study Center and partnered with the Heather Heyer Foundation to develop the Heyer Voices program for youth ( He founded a cross-racial intentional community called Araminta Village ( and established a faith community called The Welcome Circle ( In collaboration with Dr. Carla Sherrell, he developed the Power of Difference Model and the Power of Difference Assessment. In the past two years he developed the Power of Difference Video Project, Solidarity Circles, and the online “Power of Difference Institute” for university faculty and staff.

Last modified December 4, 2023


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