Diversity Thrift donors touch the human soul

DT donors

Donors to Diversity Thrift do more than help us make money to put back into the community. They also enable us to share donated items with other nonprofits that are in need of goods such as furniture.

One such organization that benefitted recently is the Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP.) The organization works to address and prevent violence in diverse LGBTQ communities across Virginia. Thanks to a new grant, VAVP now includes therapy for LGBTQ+ identified people that have been impacted by intimate partner/dating/sexual violence and/or hate/bias motivated harassment. These mental health services will be offered free of charge by Chevelle Moss Savage, LPC. Such services are a deeply felt need and VAVP is now addressing the lack of help by providing in-person and video conference therapy.

Diversity Richmond is proud to support the good work of VAVP and was delighted to recently deliver chairs, tables and lamps that will be used in the counseling offices.

For more information about VAVP, email or call (804) 925-9242.

Pictured: VAVP staff (L-R) Nakita Mayfield, Ha Tran, Chevelle Moss Savage, Stacie Vecchietti and Flor Lo'pez Trejo. (Not pictured, Zakia McKensey)

Glen Allen High School students are role models for the rest of us

GlenAllenHS studentsFor the second consecutive year, the Glen Allen High School LGBTQ+ Alliance donated several prom dresses to our recent efforts to reach students who may need outfits for the dress-up affairs. The idea came about last year when transgender students had difficulty locating appropriate clothing. Pictured is Glen Allen student Paxton O'Bryen with a sampling of the dresses that the club collected.

We made history last month

Dr. Rav iPerry and Terrie Pendleton

In celebrating our past, Diversity Richmond made history during the month of February. In partnership with The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, we formally recognized Black LGBTQ History, something that has never been done in Richmond before.

Kicking off the month-long celebration with the Black and Bold Awards on February 3, we hosted a number of workshops and activities, celebrating the lives of the Black LGBTQ Community. The workshops ranged from Dr. Ravi Perry's discussion on Black Queer Politics to Powerful S.I.S.T.A: Celebrating LGBTQ Women of Color.

In addition to The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia,
we acknowledge the following community partners for
making the recognitions so successful:

Mrs. Tasha Chambers, Dr. Ravi Perry, "Miss Community" Clovia Lawrence, Desiree Roots, Rev. Rueben Boyd, Jr., Rev. Lacette Cross, Rev. Kenny Callaghan, Rev. E. Taylor Doctor, Faith Restoration Church, Third St. Bethel A.M.E., Metropolitan Community Church, Nationz Foundation, T Gurlz Rock, UGRC - Us Giving RVA Connection, Chevelle Moss-Savage, Christina Hairston and Angelique Scott.

Pictured: Diversity Richmond board member Dr. Ravi Perry and Terrie Pendleton

Black LGBT award medallions are true works of art

Black LGBT award medallions

For Black LGBTQ History month, two incredibly talented women left a lasting impression on the 17 honorees for Black LGBTQ History Month with their design and metal work for a one-of-a-kind works of art celebrating this year's recipients. Virginia Commonwealth University students Christina Hairston and Angelique Scott lent their talents and the results were beautiful.

Angelique shared, "I was honored to be able to create the hand-made medals to celebrate Diversity's Black & Bold LGBTQ Honorees. I wanted to create something that was special and represents the meaningful work they do in their communities daily. It was important to me to put care and quality into each hand-made medal in the same way the honorees hold such passion and fearlessness in all that they do."

Christina added, "It was a pleasure to create the designs for the marketing materials for Diversity Richmond's Black & Bold events. I wanted the designs to be of an elegant yet powerful nature to reflect the variety of thoughtful and meaningful events planned."

Christina and Angelique are two wonderful examples of what good hands the future of our civil rights movement is in.

Pictured: Christina Hairston and Angelique Scott and the medallion Scott created

Richmond chapter of Alpha Psi Kappa celebrates 15th anniversary by feeding homeless

Alpha Psi KappaA social service organization, Alpha Psi Kappa is an LGBTQ Greek nonprofit organization. Along with members from Baltimore and Hampton Roads, the group gathered at Diversity Richmond and prepared 250 lunches and delivered them to homeless shelters and areas of the city where displaced people tend to gather.

"We prepared nutritionally-balanced lunches and delivered them throughout the Richmond area," shared member and Diversity Richmond board Treasure Crystal Suber.  Alpha Psi Kappa is a wonderful example of the best of our community and Diversity Richmond was very proud to help support this effort. 

Pictured: Alpha Psi Kappa members serve homeless at Diversity Richmond

Genworth Financial employees lend hands to Diversity

Genworth Financial

"We are Passionate about giving back to the community."
~ Victoria Redd, Genworth Employee

Several Genworth Financial employees recently volunteered at Diversity Thrift, helping organize the hundreds of donated books for sale. "Genworth is passionate about giving back to the community," stated Victoria Redd. "Our LGBT Forum focuses directly on assisting our LGBTQ+ affiliates within the community. We love the mission and drive of Diversity Richmond. We were thrilled at the opportunity to provide what we hope will help better serve the supporters of Diversity Thrift."

Victoria also serves on our Special Events and Fundraising Committee. We could never make the difference we do in the community if not for the support of folks such as our friends at Genworth Financial. Thank you!

Pictured (L-R) Genworth's Susan McGavey, Victoria Redd, LaToya Hubbard and Joy Spain.

Richmond Is Top Finalist in British LGBT Award!

British LGBT Award

We Need Your Vote!

Yes, our own Richmond, Virginia is a Top Ten Destination Finalist in the British LGBT Awards and we need your vote. The competition is stiff as we are up against Amsterdam, Barcelona, Miami, New York, Orlando, Vancouver, San Francisco, Sao Paulo and Stockholm.

Voting is easy and only takes a minute. Voting ends March 22. What a tribute this is to all the good work by the OutRVA team. Once again, we are making history!

Black and Bold: RVA's Unsung Black LGBTQ Gala a huge success

Black and Bold Gala

History was made on Feb. 3 as Diversity Richmond recognized 17 local African American activists for their outstanding work in the community. This was the first event of its type in Central Virginia, according to Diversity Board member Dr. Ravi Perry. "We wanted to raise the awareness of the many influences of our Black LGBTQ leadership. The community's responses have actually been a bit overwhelming."

Over 200 people crowded into the Diversity Richmond Event Hall and celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of the African American community. Receiving the Black and Bold Awards were Anderson Bertrand, Jenise "Justice" Brown, CasSandra Calin, Patricia Corbett, The Rev. E. Taylor Doctor, Austin Higgs, Michael O. Holman, Micky Alexander Jordan, Eric S. King, Marquis D. Mapp, Zakia McKensey, Chevelle Moss-Savage,  Sean M. Smith, Terrie Pendleton and Paris Fitzgerald Prince. Ryland Roane, Jr. and Jacqui B. Singleton were posthumously recognized.

Pictured: Diversity Richmond Board Member Dr. Ravi Perry, Paris Prince, Austin Higgs, and Eric King

More Black and Bold Events in February:

Black Trans 101 Discussion
Tue., Feb. 21 * 7 PM
Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, VA

Powerful S.I.S.T.A.: Celebrating LGBTQ Women of Color
Tue., Feb. 28 * 7PM
Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond, VA

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Rodney Lofton, Program Coordinator at Diversity Richmond.

Strangeways Brewing salutes Diversity Richmond!

Thank you to Strangeways Brewing

Strangeways Brewing

Strangeways Brewing recently celebrated Diversity Richmond by donating a percentage of their nightly sales to our good cause. Not only did they raise much needed funds to support our programs, the crowd had a great time in the process. Check them out here.

Pictured: Strangeways Hospitality and Events Manager, Erin Brunner presents a $400 check to Diversity Richmond board member Robyn Bentley. Joining in are (from left, back row) Diversity volunteer, Romilda Smith; volunteer Karla Bray; Strangeways employees Melissa Randolph and Holly Sowers. (front left) Strangeways employee Tonie Stephens, Diversity Richmond board member Brian Harrison, and volunteers Lisa Cumbey and Victoria Redd.

SunTrust once again helps Diversity Richmond

SunTrust volunteers

SunTrust is a good friend of Diversity Richmond. Among other things, the bank sponsored our huge party, The Big OH! last year. Five SunTrust employees lent us twelve helping hands recently by volunteering in Diversity Thrift.

Pictured are (L to R) Diversity Board Member Brian Harrison, and fellow SunTrust employees Heather Christenson, Priscilla Fredlund, Rebecca Flowers and Lucy Hentges. Thanks everybody. Much appreciated!

First Diversity open mic night brings big talent

Jan Hampton gave us big smilesWhen Dee Graham pulled together an open mic night, she was nervous that no one would attend. She knew there was more than enough talent in the community to support the event, but would they come? Her fears were relieved last Sunday night as the talent rolled in to perform.

Folks shared poems, stories and songs they had written, along with musical numbers made famous by others. Some were a bit nervous while others appeared to be at home on the stage. It was a good night. It did what Diversity Richmond works to do every day. It built community. It bridged people. It inspired.

We are planning to do this again, so if you'd like to participate or have questions, email Dee.

Pictured: Jan Hampton gave us big smiles!

Dr. Yetty Shobo to lead Diversity Richmond long range planning

Yetty ShoboLocal consultant Dr. Yetty Shobo has been hired by Diversity Richmond to lead the organization as it maps out a five-year strategic plan. The vote by the organization's board was unanimous after meeting with Dr. Yetty and hearing her suggestions as to how to proceed in developing the plan.

Her company, Overbrook Consulting, was established in 2014 and provides a variety of strategic planning, board facilitation and statistical and evaluation services to the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Dr. Shobo has a Doctorate in Human Science, a Master's in Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor's in Mathematics and Statistics. She has over two decades of experience designing strategic plans and facilitating discussions among staff, board members, conducting focus groups, grant writing and survey design. She has presented at numerous national conferences on issues such as education, the workforce and substance abuse and relationships.

To share thoughts about what Diversity Richmond does well and also how the organization can improve, email Dr. Shobo. All comments will be held in confidence. To mail thoughts: 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Richmond 23220. To maintain confidentiality, please note "Let's Get Rolling" on the envelope.