Diversity Richmond Executive Director Bill Harrison featured in USA Today

Bill Harrison USAT oday

Newspaper features "Faces of Pride" from all 50 states

USA Today June 1, 2017 - Bill Harrison has been involved with Virginia's LGBTQ community for nearly four decades.  Co-chairing the first Pride Festival in Richmond in June 1978, Harrison recalled "probably 75-100" attendees, a far cry from the roughly 35,000 that came last year.

Read the full article in USA Today

A day with our best friends!

BestFriends smile

Despite the clouds that hovered, the rain stayed away as Diversity Richmond and Sanctuary Rescue celebrated the love of pets on May 13. Sponsored by Mongrel, “Pets and Their People Day” celebrated the love of animals and the joy they bring to our lives. Vendors including Richmond Animal League, Richmond SPCA and Pootsu Portraits were on hand to celebrate everything related to pets.

The event including a blessing of pets by Rev. Dr. Hilary Smith, Rector of Church of the Holy Comforter and our “Pet Pageant.” The honor of this year’s crowning went to the adorable chocolate lab, Teddy.

(Hey, how come nobody brought their cat?)

Best Friends

Health Brigade and Diversity Richmond partner on mental health provisions

Health BrigadeHealth Brigade is happy to announce that the organization will now provide Mental Health Services to members of the LGBTQ community who are referred through Diversity Richmond. Mental Health and Wellness Services are provided to enhance life satisfaction and well-being. The Health Brigade staff’s  understanding of the complex and interrelated issues that impact mental health allows them to assist people in identifying, understanding, and resolving challenges.

Health Brigade provides:

• Specialty mental health services

• Psychiatric evaluation and medication

• Support groups (e.g., Employment, LGBTQ, etc.)

• Wellness and adjunctive services (e.g., Meditation, Acupuncture, etc.)

For referrals, please email Rodney Lofton or call (804) 622-4646 ext. 203. Once the referral has been received, a Health Brigade staff person will provide contact by phone for a brief screening.

Survey needed for people living with HIV-Disease

Are You Poz

Are you poz? Are you living with HIV or AIDS? You may want to participate in a community health survey on HIV/AIDS, marginalization, and empowerment.

This study is being conducted by Aaron Samuel Breslow, a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University. The study is approved by the Institutional Review Board at Teachers College, Protocol ID: 17-148

Click here or copy and paste this link to share your stories: https://goo.gl/LMRgxq



Diversity Richmond thanks everyone for their generous contributions for the online fundraiser, “Give OUT Day.” Because of YOU, Diversity Richmond raised $4,125.00, including a special $1,000.00 matching gift by Wanda Fears.

This was our first time participating in this wonderful event. Thank you. We will keep you informed of Give OUT Day 2018.

Diversity Richmond receives donation from gc2b


Diversity Richmond is proud to share the recent donation received from the apparel company, gc2b. An LGBT-owned company that provides high quality chest binders for transgender individuals, gc2b recently donated 20 binders to Diversity Richmond and the Central Virginia LGBTQ community. Thank you gc2b!!! To learn more about this incredible company, please visit their website.

If you or someone you know is interested in a free chest binder, please contact us at (804) 622-4646 ext. 203

“My Brothers Don’t See the Challenge, They See the Warrior!”

Art Patterson

Local activist Art Patterson leads way for men with physical challenges to be treated as equals.

Art Patterson is a man with a mission, like every man in Mankind Project. But this June, part of his mission will come to life on the hallowed grounds of Claymont Court. Art’s dream has been for men with physical challenges to go thru the New Warrior Training Adventure weekend together. His want is for men who are perceived by the community at large as disabled, to be seen for their gifts and their Gold!

Art is the senior member (18 years with MKP) of the New James River Warriors, the IGroup that meets in Richmond on a weekly basis. He’s seen many changes thru the years, including multiple IGroups and men who are dear brothers to him for life. He also has his share of physical challenges, as he has cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect balance, movement, and muscle tone.

Think back to your weekend. Imagine adding a physical challenge like that to the emotional and spiritual energy you expended over those 48 hours. How was Art impacted? “I spoke to a friend after my weekend, and he said ‘Art, you sound different’. And I felt different. If you had told me what the next 18 years of my life would have been like, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would have been lost without MKP.”

Art also spoke about the gifts that he has been blessed with over the years, particularly the insight into himself and his condition. “Being a Warrior Brother gave me SPACE. I had the space to be inter-dependent. I was able to admit to myself that I didn’t want to have cerebral palsy. Before I thought that it was selfish to think that. Being a part of this community also gave me an opportunity to bring out my thoughtful, reflective side, something that I had never had a chance to use before.”

What can other challenged men expect to find, by going thru a NWTA weekend? “A man will find that he will be treated as an equal among other men, something many challenged men don’t experience anywhere in their life. They are viewed for their gifts and not their physical challenges. There is a place of safety here, a place where the anger that a disabled man feels isn’t mistaken for bitterness or danger. This is a place where his anger, like the rest of him, is welcome and it becomes a place for healing. With his fellow brothers, he will find a space of safety, and a place where he is valued, while at the same time, he can be nurtured by other men who know or feel his struggle.”

Art’s goal for this first weekend: “To create a container where a challenged man is able to find himself, and be proud of who he is. I want to see as many physically challenged men as can to come out and experience the support and love of a community that’s ready to serve them.” And his longer term goal? “Physically challenged men can become the largest group within MKP over time. It is providing me a chance to step into my mission and my calling. It is scary, yes, but I’m ready!”

Ask yourself a question. Are YOU ready to support this calling and work within MKP? What can we do to help these men and others like them to challenge the community’s ideas around disability? What can we learn for ourselves?

Men are waiting. Be there on June 1st-4th, 2017, either as a staff man, Men Of Service, or at the Brother Dance, and be a part of history. Challenged Warriors is a reality.

For more information, contact Art at or Timothy Lowery at

Diversity Richmond sending buses to LGBT Equality March on Washington

LGBT Equality March 2017

The last LGBT march on Washington was the National Equality March on Oct. 11, 2009.
Click pic for Blade article. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Seats only $15.75 each  *  Reservation deadline May 25

Just ask any seasoned civil rights activist what it's like to participate in a march and, while there will be lots of versions of responses, all will share that it is an experience one has to be involved to understand. Marching is like no other participation. It creates lifelong memories.

Diversity Richmond has rented two 55-seat buses to take locals to the big LGBT Equality March on Washington on Sunday, June 11. We will leave Diversity at 7:00 A.M and depart D.C., returning home at 5:00 P.M. Seats are only $15.75 each.

If sufficient seats are not reserved by May 25, the buses will be cancelled. To reserve a seat, use the buy now button below. Any questions, please call (804)622-4646 or email Bill Harrison.

Diversity Richmond gratefully acknowledges the generous support of
Capital One,
Richmond Business Alliance,
Virginia Pride
for making this trip possible.


B.A.S.Y.C. Celebration

BASYC celebration

Diversity Richmond's board member Beth Marschak and Dr. Renee Hill of Virginia State University celebrated Virginia State University's 5th Annual Pride Ball with members of the student LGBTQ advocacy organization B.A.S.Y.C. on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Dr. Hill shared, "B.A.S.Y.C. stands for 'Building and Supporting Your Community." The reboot and rebranding of the LGBTQ campus group advocates for basic rights for the LGBTQ circle on Virginia State's campus. Congratulations!!!!

Transit: Light Installations by Circe Strauss


May 12 - July 8, 2017

Charlottesville light artist Circe Strauss began her career in Hollywood, where she worked as a special effects technician for the Los Angeles movie industry in the 80s and early 90s. TRANSIT, her upcoming show in the Iridian Gallery, will be site-specific, light-infused installations, designed to be experienced as three distinct spaces. The work is both unsettling and energized by light sources.

Strauss took inspiration from personal feelings and thoughts as a transgender woman. "This work encompasses the intersection of religion, bad counseling and misinformation," as Strauss says, "experienced through travel on a crooked path from there to here."

in the Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond
Free and open to the public

Transgender Veterans Support Group | Virginia

Dominion to start employee resource group


Employees at several Dominion locations are working together to start an Employee Resource Group for members of the LGBTQ community and our allies.

Management is enthusiastically behind this effort. One office out of state has the required numbers of people interested to start the ERG process. So there will be an LGBTQ ERG at Dominion soon. Now it is time for Dominion employees in Virginia to join in this effort and help form the ERG here at our corporate headquarters. The employee resource group can have many benefits, a few of which include:

* The ability to network and mentor for members of the community
* Provide a voice to management concerning LGBTQ+ issues
* A platform to demonstrate leadership abilities in a professional environment
* Provide a positive influence on the continued development of Dominion as an open and supportive company for all employees.

The ERG is open to all Dominion employees, including members of the LGBTQ community and our allies, who are such a critical support for the community. People are working to get this going. All that is needed now to make this a reality are people who would like to join and participate in this new employee resource group. We have started the list of people interested but we need more.

If you are a Dominion employee, and are LGBTQ or an ally, or if you know any Dominion employee who would be interested, email Floyd Taylor for more information.

Your dinner May 31 benefits Diversity Richmond, thanks to Chipotle

Cause an EffectMake dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support Diversity Richmond.

The Carytown Chipotle at 10 N Nansemond St will donate 50% of their proceeds from 5 to 9 PM to Diversity Richmond.  Be sure to tell the cashier you're supporting the cause to make sure your order counts!

Applies to eat in or take out orders.

Note: If placing an order online, choose the pay in-store option and tell the cashier you are participating before paying. Gift card purchases during fundraisers do not count towards total donated sales, but purchases made with an existing gift card will count.