Pride after Dark: Leather & Lace

Pride after Dark

Friday, September 24th 6-11 pm
Diversity Richmond
1407 Sherwood Ave RVA 23220

Pridefest might be postponed, but that’s not going to stop us from celebrating. Join VA Pride at Diversity Richmond on Friday, September 24 for the first-ever “Pride after Dark,” a 21-and-over event featuring the world-renowned DJ Citizen Jane. This adult-only party will feature food trucks, a full-bar with Jack Daniels and Tito’s cocktails, and sexy performances by the iconic House of Prodigy and local drag legends!

Come in leather, come in lace, come with glitter on your face and dance the night away under the stars!

Tickets are $15 with all proceeds benefitting VA Pride. Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test required for entry. Doors open at 6:00 pm.

Tickets and information available at vapride.org

Our Family Coalition focus group

Our Family Coalition logo

Our Family Coalition is conducting focus group interviews virtually and providing $25 gift cards as a thank you to participants.

OFC needs to know what you and your LGBTQ+ family most need to thrive in the months and years ahead. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at this link: ourfamily.org/give-back/2021-survey

For more information, email .

Meet Aurora Higgs, Diversity Richmond Program Director

Aurora Higgs

“To say we are excited to have Aurora on our team is an understatement.”
Cheezi Farmer, Board Chair

My name is Aurora Higgs (she/they) and I am a Black nonbinary femme from Richmond’s Southside. My vision for the role as Program Director is dynamic, visionary, and equity-based. This means that I plan on offering future-oriented work that amplifies the diverse voices of the Richmond metropolitan community through a race-informed equity lens. I want to uplift the needs and platforms of those communities most impacted by white supremacy and oppression. I have a rich background in creative programming and production, advocacy, equity, and organizational inclusion. I will draw on my expertise to honor the needs and wishes of the community.

Simply put: I am an artist-scholar who intends on reallocating resources to those most in need. I have a vested-interest in disrupting narratives of trauma in the community. Despite the oppression that faces our historically-marginalized communities, we refuse to be single stories of trauma. We deserve programming and resources that allow us to show-up in authentic ways that can also center our joy and all of the things we contribute to society as a whole. As a community center. I consider my job to uplift processes of capacity-building, radical joy, and storytelling to complement the traditional approaches to progress and liberation.

To my community reading this: Please see me as a resource, and let us know what kinds of affirming programs you’d like to see coming out of Diversity Richmond. You can best reach me via email at

Aurora received her BS in Business Marketing with a minor in French from VCU as well as her MEd in Leadership Studies, School of Education with a concentration in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education. She is currently obtaining her PhD at VCU in Media, Art and Text with a concentration in Transgender representation in media.

Diversity Thrift Voted #1!

Readers Choice Logo 2021

We're so proud we could just bust! Thanks to our dedicated Diversity Thrift employees and volunteers and your generous donations of the items we sell, we've been voted number one by STYLE WEEKLY readers. The Best Of Richmond issue arrives online and on newsstands Wednesday, August 18th.

Splitting the Difference a solo show by Vivian Chiu

Vivian Chiu

Please join us for the opening of Splitting the Difference, a solo show by Vivian Chiu. With an aptitude for problem solving and a sensitivity towards materials, Vivian creates sculptures that attempt to formalize coincidental happenings in repetitive labor intensive processes. She is currently teaching in the Craft/Material Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Snacks will be served and drinks available for purchase. Social distancing will be observed and masks are strongly encouraged.

Friday, Aug. 13, 7-9pm
Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond
1407 Sherwood Ave 23220
Regular gallery hours are 9 - 5 daily.

Follow the gallery on Instagram and facebook

Minority Vets Food Drive Huge Success

Minority Vets

In partnership with Black Pride RVA, VA Pride and Diversity Richmond, Minority Vets of America recently distributed about 3,000 pounds of food and hygiene supplies to the community. “We served mostly minority veterans and their families, with additional supplies being donated to several area shelters and food banks. We also distributed 10 shelter kits to veterans experiencing homelessness or living in their vehicles,” said Lindsay Church, Executive Director of Minority Veterans of America.

Throughout the weekend, about 25 volunteers supported the project by packing and distributing to the community.

Diversity Richmond is proud to fund Minority Vets of America as they coordinate such needed work.

Photo above: Minority Vets Richmond and national teams join forces for the Supply Drop event. Stepahanie Merlo, Jessica Norman, Rachael Merlo, Mary Tschirhart, Traci Babington, Jason Nuñez, Tanika Santos-MacSwain, Ashley Carothers, Lindsay Church

Photo below: Rachael Merlo, Stephanie Merlo (Richmond Chapter Lead), Jason Nuñez (back, Executive Assistant MVA), Cheezi Farmer (Black Pride RVA, Diversity Richmond), Larry Albright-Williams (Black Pride RVA), Lacette Cross (Black Pride RVA)

Minority Vets

DRAG BINGO returns August 26th with cold hard cash prizes!

Drag Bingo Aug 26 2021

$20 admission gets you 10 games with $50 jackpots plus a $500 jackpot! Over $1,000 in CASH prizes! Cash Only - ATM on premises. Proceeds benefit Diversity Richmond.

Celebrity Caller Grace Wetpants.
Performances by Stacy Max, Wette Midler, and Javon Love with music by DJ Statistics.

No Smoking. All-ages welcome. Bring the whole family!

Shakedown Eats food truck on site offering something for both meat eaters and vegetarian/vegans! You can order ahead here and pick up your dinner on the way in or walk up when you get here. Shakedown accepts cash, credit and venmo.

The Diversity Richmond event hall is located at 1407 Sherwood Avenue, RVA 23220. Please keep us in mind to host your next business conference, seminar, birthday, quinceañera, wedding, or other event. More info here.

Last Call for Vendors Pridefest 2021

Pridefest 2021 Last Call for Vendors

Pridefest 2021 is quickly approaching! Vendors are a huge part of the festival and we welcome your food truck, business, group or organization to join us on Saturday, September 25th on Brown’s Island for this amazing event celebrating RVA’s LGBTQ community!

Deadlines to apply are August 13 for Food Trucks and August 20 for regular vendors. Please visit vapride.org/vendors to access the application and FAQ. All the information you need is there. If you have questions or need assistance, please email .

Black Pride RVA organizers put much thought into their work

lacette cheezi

While organizing LGBTQ events is certainly rewarding, the work involves many hours of planning thoughtful, meaningful activities that will attract a multitude of diverse places people find themselves in their life journeys.

“We could never accomplish this without our wonderful cadre of volunteers,” shared Luise “Cheezi” Farmer, co-founder of Us Giving Richmond Connections, the host of the Black Pride RVA weekend of events. “No one in our organization is paid. It’s strictly a volunteer effort and we work to create fun events, but those that also serve purpose and help build healthy lives.”

Fellow co-founder and weekend planner, the Rev. Dr. Lacette Cross agrees. “Our mission is to foster a sense of community within the Black LGBTQ community through power building and social engagement. Our events are to help fill the gaps between a person’s racial identity and sexual orientation. We, as UGRC and the Weekend of Black Pride fill that gap by saying, this is how we can be both. And this is how we can foster the connections to our blackness and to our queerness that are healthy, that are vibrant and that are fun.”

“The LGBTQ community is diverse and Black LGBTQ people deserve a time to celebrate our voice,” continued Cross.

Photo: The Rev. Dr. Lacette Cross, Luise “Cheezi” Farmer

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