- Published: Friday, June 26 2015
- Written by Diversity Richmond
LGBT aging cultural competency training is available free of charge to aging network agencies and other service providers to improve crucial services for LGBT older adults.
[Richmond, VA] SAGE Central Virginia, the older adult program of Diversity Richmond, introduced today its new training program, a comprehensive curriculum for aging network providers and LGBT organizations that aims to improve the quality of services and supports offered to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults. Many LGBT elders refuse to seek services because they fear discrimination or abuse by staff who do not accept their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender-nonconforming expression.
Although largely invisible until very recently, LGBT older adults make up a growing share of the overall LGBT population and the larger senior population. Estimates of the LGBT older adult population in Central Virginia range from 7,000 to 18,000, although the actual number is difficult to ascertain because of the social stigma that exists against the LGBT community and the fact that many LGBT seniors never publicly come out. Their numbers are expected to double in size over the next several decades. This means that aging providers will increasingly be called on for services and supports that meet their unique needs. The trainings will give agencies the tools and information they need to create inclusive and affirming services for all LGBT older adults.
Many LGBT elders refuse to seek services because they fear discrimination or abuse by staff who do not accept their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender-nonconforming expression. We're going to change that.
SAGE Central Virginia's Cultural Competency Training Program will give agencies and individual caregivers the tools and information they need to create inclusive and affirming services for all LGBT older adults. This introductory training is suitable for all levels of staff, including administrators, service providers and volunteers. And it's free! Trainings are held on Tuesdays at alternating times and listed on the Diversity Richmond calendar. Please let us know you are attending by sending an email to .
Want to help us fund these free trainings? Give a little or give a lot on our CrowdRise funding page and ask your friends to give too! Every little bit helps. Thanks!
Did you know Richmond was named the top American city to visit this summer by American Express Travel? Invite your friends to spend LGBT Pride Month with us and check out one of these itineraries from our OutRVA Insiders. We're always looking for more Richmonders to share their favorite things to see, hear and do, so sign-up to be one here. You can also support our region's tourism campaign by ordering one of our OutRVA t-shirts here.
A Richmond native, Brian Harrison left RVA as a young adult and recently returned with a new vigor and has readily assumed leadership positions in the LGBT community. He is in the Business Analyst/Project Manager profession with Suntrust Mortgage after having spent over 20 years in the financial industry at both large and small firms. He is a major player in the Suntrust LGBTA Teammate Network and has already scheduled a Diversity Richmond presentation for its members.
Brian has spent the last fifteen years doing grassroots fundraising in Richmond and the Washington, D.C. aura where he served on the board of Brother, Help Thyself. We are very excited about the leadership that Brian brings to our board.
"Diversity Thrift is a program of Diversity Richmond, which used to be called the Richmond Gay Community Foundation. The thrift store is a "quirky, junky, crowded, fun place," says Bill Harrison, the nonprofit's president and executive director. But it's a place with a purpose. During the last 11 years, Diversity Richmond has awarded $855,000 to community organizations, such as Jewish Family Services, the Virginia Historical Society and Rosmy. Much of that money came from thrift store sales." Style Weekly.
Alan Hudson interviews Diversity Richmond President Bill Harrison on their show, Inspire Indeed. The show aired May 26. Harrison talks about Diversity Richmond’s recent rebranding, the history of LGBTQ in Richmond, plans for the Diversity Richmond building, and Diversity Thrift.
Listen to the archive of the show here.
Thank you to the hundreds of people who joined the celebration April 15 as we rolled out our new brand, celebrated trailblazers and acknowledged the good work of so many wonderful organizations. It is because of your support that we have contributed over $855,000 back into the community over the last eleven years.
Last night was a celebration of life, of justice and of civil rights progress. As we paid tribute to our past, we look forward with excitement to our future.
We need volunteers to help us as we plot our next steps. For example, we only use a portion of our building and are looking for people to guide us as we look at how the expansive section of unused space might be utilized.
We also have an underutilized art gallery and need people who can help us better market that space to the arts community. These are both exciting projects so if you would like to know more about the work, please contact me.
And...you must check out our wonderful, beautiful new website DiversityRichmond.org
These are exciting times for our community. Please join our team and help us move forward.
(Richmond, Va.) -- April 15, 2015 – For more than 10 years, the Richmond Gay Community Foundation and its rainbow-hued community center on Sherwood Avenue have been at the epicenter of progress for Richmond’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. Today, the organization celebrated another chapter in its history by presenting $33,330 to LBGT-friendly organizations, recognizing trailblazers and unveiling a new look and name.
Going forward, the organization will be known as “Diversity Richmond,” a nod to its long-standing commitment to inclusion, fairness and equality.
“Despite having given more than $855,000 to community partners in the last 10 years, we lack the name recognition that you’d expect,” explained executive director Bill Harrison. “The truth is, we have been supporting Richmond in ways large and small, and we decided it was time to more effectively tell our story, beginning with a new look and name.”
The organization raises money through Diversity Thrift, one of Richmond’s most popular thrift stores, as well as through building rentals and its ever-popular bingo games. Those proceeds are used to fund programs to support LGBTQ+ programs and LGBTQ+-friendly organizations in Richmond. For example, Diversity Richmond has long supported the Fan Free Clinic and its HIV/AIDS outreach programs, Richmond Triangle Players and ROSMY, but also partners the Black History Museum and Cultural Arts Center of Virginia, Richmond Region Tourism, Virginia State University and the Virginia Historical Society.
Today, Diversity Richmond presented checks to 16 partner organizations and recognized supporters and trailblazers (list attached). Attorney General Mark Herring, a long-time supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, was part of the celebration, along with Carol Schall and Mary Townley, the lesbian couple who were plaintiffs in Virginia’s marriage equality lawsuit. Their daughter Emily was also honored with a $1,000 college scholarship. Among others recognized were retired Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic and Richmond Police Major Odetta Johnson.
“Today we celebrated a strong and vibrant community that continually works for a healthier, united society,” said Harrison. “It was very encouraging to see so many segments of a diverse Richmond come together as one. Barriers that divide only bring defeat. United we are heathy.”
It may sound crazy, but we have always had a love affair with our Diversity Thrift truck. It’s a traveling billboard and for years, that rainbow colored vehicle journeyed throughout Greater Richmond, delivering treasures purchased by our customers and scooping up fantastic donations contributed by our remarkably supportive community.
The rainbow truck had to be retired about a year ago. Her days had come to an end, even with the loving care that we gave her. But don’t be too sad. She was an organ donor and many trucks on the road today are running because of our beloved and dependable truck.
So, we went to work raising funds and purchased a brand new truck last year. (The truck was paid for the day of purchase thanks to a very generous foundation that wants to remain anonymous and lots of wonderful donors from our community.)
For several months, our new truck has traveled the roads with no identification, not a name in sight ... until today! Look at our beautiful vehicle. Please note the back gate that carries the names of just a few nonprofits who we have helped with Diversity Thrift proceeds. We are so proud. We hope you are too.
We are very appreciative of our community’s support of Diversity Thrift.
The rainbow is a part of nature and you have to be in the right place to see it.
It’s beautiful, all of the colors, even the colors you can’t see.
That really fits us as a people because we are all of the colors.
Our sexuality is all of the colors.
We are all the genders, races and ages.
~ Gilbert Baker
Creator, the Rainbow Flag
“Even the colors you can’t see” was the inspiration for Diversity Richmond’s new name and visual identity system.
The purpose of changing our name and logo was to signify inclusivity that wasn’t previously overt in our former name, and the rainbow symbolically does that. Each color, when combined with another color, creates more colors. Each color is unique, yet could not exist in the same way without the others.
The pink triangle has its own storied symbolism in the LGBTQ+ community, and here it’s used as a grounding element to honor our past, with the concentric rainbow colors reaching out to embrace our future.
The logo and accompanying visual identity system was created by Richmond graphic artist Lisa Cumbey.
We are very pleased to announce that Robyn Bentley has joined the board of directors of Diversity Richmond. She is also the Chair of SAGE Central Virginia and an AARP Diversity Team Advisor.
Robyn is a feng shui consultant and author of Creating A Haven: Simple Steps For A Healthy And Nurturing Home. Her feng shui has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, First For Women, Canadian Living, Nirvana Woman, and on radio stations across the country. She is known nationally as Feng Shui Diva®.
Robyn is a graduate of VCU with a BS in Mass Communications/Advertising. She was a teenage DJ and one of the first females on the air in Virginia in 1979. You may remember hearing her locally in Richmond on Q94, Power93, 93Lazer, or EZ104. Robyn also worked in Greensboro where she volunteered with the Triad Health Project on the AIDS Memorial Quilt display at the Greensboro Coliseum in ’94. In Philadelphia she served on the board of directors for PrideFest America and volunteered for the Philadelphia AIDS Fund as the “Ball Girl” at GayBingo! Robyn’s passion for activism and her advertising and promotions skills are a wonderful asset for our community.