The Sum Will Launch Power Of Difference Certification

The Sum Will Launch Power Of Difference Certification
The Sum is holding a 7-week course that will provide others with the skills and tools needed to professionally function in any field of difference.

Charlottesville, Virginia – The Sum, a local nonprofit working with issues of race and other differences, will launch the online Power of Difference Certification on Sunday, June 27th, to run for 7 weeks and 7 modules through Sunday, August 15.

The certification workshop offers people from all fields (education, law enforcement, business, HR, healthcare, and government) asset-based support to unleash both their personal fulfillment and their effectiveness across our differences of race, gender, orientation, culture, class, and dis/ability. It does this through experiential activities, reflections, videos, readings, and lots of actual practice communicating across differences: both speaking and listening.

Executive Director, Elliott Cisneros, states, “Two things make this certification powerful and unique. First, it individualizes learning by cultivating awareness of unconscious patterns – our own and others – related to our differences. And second, it focuses on this internal work as the catalyst for effectiveness in our relationships, communities, and organizations. The Power of Difference (PDA) assessment is used as a pre and post-test so that participants come away with learning that can actually be measured.

“We are thrilled to see The Sum launch this project,” says Susan Bro, president of the Heather Heyer Foundation and mother of Heather Heyer who was killed on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville. “We partnered on the Heyer Voices youth program with Elliott and The Sum with tremendous results. Elliott’s work dovetails with our mission of youth growth and empowerment for positive change.  We are excited that educators, both in our local community and the country, have an opportunity to learn from The Sum’s important work.” 

The Power of Difference Certification is part of a larger structure of offerings that utilizes the fees from its adult programs to provide scholarships for a version for high school juniors.

Cisneros notes, “When we created the first online institute several years ago, we had no real idea if this kind of work could be done effectively online. We found out it can be! Mostly, people learn from sharing their stories and reflections and listening to others in a safe, structured way.”


When: Sunday, June 27, 2021 through Sunday, August 15

Where: 100% online

Cost: $989 (+$165 if requesting graduate credits). Sliding scale, scholarships, payment plans, and a reduced early bird fee are available.

Format: 7 week-long modules (50 hours total)

About the organization:

The Sum, a 501(c)3, was founded in 2006 in Colorado and relocated to Charlottesville after the events of August 11th and 12th, 2017. It’s founder, Elliott Cisneros, co-created the Power of Difference Model© (PDM) and the Power of Difference Assessment© (PDA) with Dr. Carla Sherrell of Naropa University, as well as the online Power of Difference Institute (PDI) and Power of Difference Video Project (PDVP). The Sum’s mission is to provide needed support to unite our deepest purpose in solidarity with ALL people for a thriving and deeply democratic life, organization, and a world where no one stands alone.


Media Contact
Company Name: The Sum
Contact Person: Elliott Cisneros
Email: Send Email
Phone: 434-260-9377
Address:PO Box 2754
City: Charlottesville
State: VA 22902
Country: United States