Several years ago, to address issues that the local LGBT community had raised about their "Gay Community Foundation," a needs assessment was conducted to find out what was good and areas where we needed to improve. The community responded with vigor and then we began to map out the best ways to meet the needs. Much has happened since.

Our rebranding campaign, new name, marked improvements to the building, expanding Diversity Thrift, reinstatement of our grants program and our extended outreach efforts have dramatically raised the community's awareness of us and our work.

No better example than last week when hundreds of folks gathered to celebrate, "All Americans - A Summer Block Party Celebrating Community Unity." Lots of new faces, parents and kids, lively karaoke singing, music, photos....it was a fun few hours.

As I walked through the crowds I just felt so at peace. Nothing means more to us than to see people claiming 1407 Sherwood Avenue as "theirs." As our board chair, Art Toth shared, "People said that we finally were a real community center."

We will soon begin our next step in long- range strategic planning. We are very proud of how far we have come the last few years and are very excited about new ideas that are being considered.

Please join us in making those aspirations realities. If you have suggestions as to what you would like to see us do, please contact me soon.

Best,

Bill Harrison

If you would like to help support the work we do at Diversity Richmond, please attend or sponsor our events, and consider making a cash donation -- mail a check to 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, Va. 23220, or donate online. Every little bit helps!