“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.

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.