VCIC's Jonathan Zur is "Person of the Year" finalist

Jonathan ZurJonathan Zur, executive director of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, was named one of thirty finalists in the Richmond Times Dispatch's "Person of the Year." The sold-out event recognized individuals for their contributions in building a stronger Greater Richmond. The newspaper management invited readers to nominate people "whose achievements help define why the capital region is an interesting, dynamic and great place to live, work and play."

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities fights prejudices by conducting intensive workshops and seminars with school systems and other community partners. Race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation include a sampling of the issues addressed in VCIC's work. So far this year, VCIC has reached over 20,000 people.

Diversity Richmond has funded VCIC three times, with the most recent grant to support a stop-bullying project in Henrico County Schools.

Pictured at the awards luncheon is Diversity Richmond's Bill Harrison, Zur, and VCIC state board member, Charlie Boyd.

MCC Richmond orchestrates recognitions for World AIDS Day

Metropolitan Community Church coordinated several events in commemoration of WORLD AIDS DAY.

The award-winning documentary, "Common Threads," which tells the story of the Names Project: AIDS Memorial Quilt, was shown at the Byrd Theater. A portion of the quilt was on display at Saint Paul's Baptist
Church on Creighton Road from Nov. 28 thru Dec. 13, 2015.

The World AIDS DAY service was conducted on Dec. 1 at Church of the Holy Comforter on Monument Avenue. Monument City Music dedicated a concert prior to the service. The community owes MCC Richmond much gratitude for the months of planning to produce such a beautiful tribute to those who are living with HIV disease, as well as those who we remember. Thank you Metropolitan Community Church Richmond.

Diversity Richmond was proud to support the Quilt's visit to Richmond through a 2014 grant.

MCC quilt

Shown are a few of the Quilt panels that were on display recently at Saint Paul's Baptist Church. The panel for Billy Beazley (center square, lower right) is remembered by many Richmonders. After his diagnosis, Billy volunteered at the Fan Free Clinic as a public speaker who shared his story with many audiences. We remember.

VCU Gerontologist will be new Cultural Competency trainer at Diversity Richmond

Jay WhiteDiversity Richmond welcomes Jay White, MS, Gerontologist to our LGBT Cultural Competency Training program. Jay is the Director of Professional and Community Development for the VCU Department of Gerontology. He is a member of the Richmond Senior Network, the RVa Better Aging Forum, the Gerontological Society of America and the American Society on Aging. Jay has co-authored articles and given presentations on a variety of topics including: LGBT and Aging, Aging in Place, Nutritional Needs of Older Adults, Evaluating Depression and Dementia and Person-Centered Care and Culture Change.

LGBT elders are two thirds more likely to age alone than the general population.  Person-centered care is important to show that LGBT elders are welcomed in our long-term care communities.

Diversity Richmond's goal is to train as many caregivers as possible, and you can help. Please spread the word about our free training to your friends and family employed in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and home healthcare and home service providers.

The free training sessions will be held quarterly in 2016.

Diversity Richmond welcomes new board member

E. Taylor DoctorReverend E. Taylor Doctor is a native of Charleston, South Carolina and relocated to Richmond in 2003. He completed undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Religious Studies and Music Education with a minor in Spanish. He completed graduate work at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia and plans to complete doctoral studies in Systematic Theology with a concentration in Queer Homiletics.

He has been recognized as one of the "100-To-Watch: Emerging Black LGBTQ Leaders" by the National Black Justice Coalition. He is employed at the Virginia Department of Health where he serves as the Senior Program Support Liaison in the Division of Disease Prevention.

Read more about E. Taylor and our other board members.

Seeking LGBTQ+ Friendly Health and Wellness Services Providers

Diversity Richmond and Fan Free Clinic have partnered to create Central Virginia LGBTQ+ friendly health and wellness service provider list. Our first step in this process is reaching out to our colleagues in the community for their input and suggestions of who we might include on this list.

We are looking to include all aspects of health and wellness. Once we have collected names of providers from your organization and other partner organizations, Fan Free Clinic and Diversity Richmond will then reach out to these providers to ensure that they are an LGBTQ+ friendly resource and that they consent to being published on the resource list.

Madison Woodroof, Intern, Diversity Richmond, MSW Candidate, 2017 School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University,

Jewish Family Services adoption grant

The 2015 Supreme Court decision regarding marriage equality allows married LGBT couples to adopt jointly. The cost of adoption can be prohibitive for many families.

Diversity Richmond has granted Jewish Family Services (JFS) $2,000 that can be used toward the direct cost of an adoption homestudy for an LGBT family. There is the potential for one family in need to receive the entire scholarship toward the cost of a homestudy. For more information, contact JFS, (804)-282-5402.

Diversity Richmond named Foundation Philanthropist of the Year

Diversity Richmond Philanthropy Award

First LGBT Organization to be Recognized by Local Chapter

Before an audience of 700, Diversity Richmond was lauded as “deeply committed to serving the community in innovative ways that touch a spectrum of causes and enriches the colorful fabric of the community.” Nominated by ROSMY and with support from the Virginia Center of Inclusive Communities, Virginia Anti-Violence Project, Richmond Region Tourism and The Renewal Projects, Diversity Richmond was the first LGBT organization to be recognized by the local AFP chapter.

In accepting the honor, Bill Harrison shared how Diversity strives every day to build and connect communities, strengthen nonprofits and help society “realize that we have lots more in common than we do in difference.”

He also shared that over the last eleven years, the organization has distributed over $866,000 to area nonprofits. Harrison addressed D.R’s relationships with local school systems, that allows families on public assistance to shop for free clothing at the thrift store. “When we hear from parents that their child no longer cries before going to school because they are not being ridiculed because of their clothes, it puts everything in its proper perspective.”

“We are honored to be recognized for our years of work in bettering the Greater Richmond community on many levels,” stated board chair, Beth Marschak. “When we think of the challenges that society has placed in our path and now be rated as the best example, it is somewhat overwhelming, but in a good way.”

Watch CEO Bill Harrison’s acceptance speech

Boy Meets Boy, Girl Meets Girl to air November 5 on WRIR

DR Speaks Boy Meets Boy, Girl Meets Girl

The show featured guest host VCU vice provost and 26-year professor of human sexuality, Dr. Daphne Rankin, who kept the conversation with the live audience flowing.

Listen in on Thursday, November 5 at 9:00 AM, WRIR 97.3 FM.

Catholic Church is filled with hypocrisy

Catholic Church

This opinion piece by Bill Harrison is from the 10/14/2015 edition of

I was not surprised to read that Roman Catholic Bishop Francis DiLorenzo fired John Murphy from his position as executive director at the St. Francis Home because he is married to a man. No news there: this IS the Catholic Church. However, I later learned that when hired, the St. Francis board chair assured Murphy that his sexual orientation and his 30-year relationship with his husband, Jerry Carter, would not be a factor affecting his employment.

The St. Francis Home board, having been told by the Bishop that they had to fire Murphy, unanimously voted to oppose the Bishop's demands. Having been thwarted by the board, DiLorenzo then sent his own agents to fire Murphy. Several board members subsequently resigned in protest.

The actions of the church reek of hypocrisy. While the Catholic Church cannot find tolerance for same-sex marriage; it is the sin of child sexual abuse that is most disturbing. By its own accounting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in April 2014, estimated that more than $3 billion had been paid out in court ordered disbursements for reckless endangerment and sexual abuse that was visited upon innocent children.

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Diversity Richmond and WRIR partner for monthly radio show

Diversity Speaks

Please join us Thurs., Oct. 8, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
for a Live Show with audience participation, hosted by a local sexuality expert!

Through support of top-rated Richmond radio station, WRIR FM, we are now broadcasting monthly shows that address LGBT issues. Our first featured the good works of Diversity Richmond's 50+ program, SAGE Central Virginia, and our second showcased Richmond Triangle Players.

The next show will be especially exciting-aired in front of a live audience, and featuring well-known VCU Human Sexuality expert, Dr. Daphne Rankin as co-host. Our topics will be lighthearted and fun, such as: When did you k n o w? Who was your first crush? and more.

The action takes place at the Glave-Kocen Gallery, 1620 West Main Street, 23220. If you can join us, and we sure hope you can, email us at . We will send you more information once you make your reservation.

Please join us and bring a friend!

Bill Harrison
President and Executive Director

The pilot show of Diversity Richmond Speaks on WRIR 97.3 FM was hosted by Bill Harrison and featured guests Robyn Bentley and Shannon Marling.

Topics included issues related to LGBTQ+ older adults, including healthcare, trust, a senses of community, socialization, discrimination, transgender elders, and area resources for help and education, including Diversity Richmond’s own SAGE Central Virginia.

Listen to the show!

It takes a village

by Shannon McKay

It has been said many times that it takes a village to raise young people. I certainly love the idea and believe it to be true. Virginia Pride created RVA Youth Pride Village to show our young people and their families that they are supported, celebrated, and loved!

On one end of Brown's Island there is a large concrete circle that was once used to be used as an emergency helipad-now it is the location of RVA Youth Pride Village with activity tents going around the circle, dancing and performances happening on the circle, and great entertainment on our stage presented by Genworth. This location is perfect with the added bonus of the beautiful downtown RVA as our backdrop.

As the lead on this project, it was my goal to make sure RVA Youth Pride Village is inclusive of all people of all ages. This year we have some activities including a photo booth, balloon animal workshops, hoop dancing, drag performances, lip sync contest, a community art mural project. We are also bringing back some favorites from last year, such as wood working, henna and face painting, Jonathan Austin, Susan Greenbaum, and a dance party.

Check out our entertainment lineup at and make your plans now to join us for the festival on Brown's Island September 12th 12-8pm!