Community Accountability Committee & Feedback



“I am excited about serving on the committee,” shared Diversity Thrift employee, Ava Entzminger.

“I have been a part of the Diversity team for a long time and am fully invested in making a difference. If there are things we need to do differently, we must do them.”


The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened disparities in communities across our nation. Specifically, QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous People of Color) community members have faced the harshest realities during these many months all while being expected to persevere through the many forms of white supremacy, including the continued terror caused by some in institutions such as the police.

Diversity Richmond acknowledges that our role is central to combatting these disparities and empowering others. We must also acknowledge that our commitment has not yet met the expectations of QTBIPOC community members.

We have taken this moment to create a committee to hold ourselves accountable alongside community members. Diversity Richmond will use our platform to speak against all forms of hate, and we will also ensure that our words are supported with tangible actions that meet the needs of the communities we hope to serve.

Our committee will meet to discuss our internal and external commitment to racial justice through our operations, programs, policies, and personnel. As we continue this process, please feel free to contact us to learn more, express interest in participating, and give any feedback/critiques.

Evan Smith (they/them or he/him)
Program Coordinator

Love Rush by Andrew Sedgwick Guth through June 5th

Love Rush

The Iridian Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition featuring the work of Harrisburg, PA painter Andrew Sedgwick Guth. “Love Rush,” spanning all three Iridian exhibition spaces, features about 100 new works by Guth. Many were created during the last year of the pandemic, and some were intended for shows that never opened to the public.

Guth creates his own personal folklore, mixing traditional 19th century Pennsylvania embroidery techniques with his love of constellations, astrology, and Greek mythology. He recontextualizes images culled from digital connections and curated social media feeds, including queer men in intimate settings alongside imagery and customs which had not been constructed to include them.

Gallery hours are conveniently the same as Diversity Thrift located at 1407 Sherwood Avenue, Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm. Follow Iridian Gallery on Facebook and Instagram @iridiangallery for updates.

Casino may be a Diversity Richmond neighbor

Live Casino Hotel Richmond

One of the two finalists for the casino location is on Arthur Ashe Boulevard. If this is the selected location, the casino and Diversity Richmond will be neighbors. Live! Management reached out to us to have an opportunity to share their story and allow us to ask questions or express concerns. Their contact information is included in this article.

Please note, the inclusion of this information in our newsletter is not an endorsement of the Live! Casino proposal. It is simply a means of giving the opportunity for a possible new neighbor to introduce themselves and for you, our supporters, a chance to voice your opinions.

You may also want to share your thoughts with Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney at 804-646-7970 or and Richmond City Council members at 804-646-2778 or

Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond – Project Overview

Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond offers the best value for the City of Richmond and for City residents. This project, located on the Movieland property adjacent to Scott’s Addition, will offer the highest economic value to the City, both in terms of good paying jobs and needed tax revenue. The Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond project has 50% Minority Ownership totaling a $180 million investment and will be contributing tens of millions of dollars each year to fund important City services.

The City faces a long list of funding needs, ranging from new schools to critical safety net programs for our most vulnerable residents to infrastructure needs. The casino will be the City’s biggest economic development project in recent memory. We cannot afford to miss out on this historic opportunity to maximize the value of the revenue this project will generate. This revenue can be used to help all Richmonders, especially our low-to-moderate income (LMI) populations who were struggling even before COVID hit and who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The economics behind the Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond project are important, but the value for City residents goes far beyond the dollars and cents impact. This project is about equity for the minority communities in our City, many of whom struggle with poverty on a daily basis. What does equity mean for these Richmonders? First and foremost, it means reasonable public transit access to jobs and workforce development opportunities. The Live! site offers convenient public transportation access and is directly adjacent to the Pulse corridor. This project is not on an ‘island’ and isolated from the reach of the City’s primary bus routes, on which so many of our LMI residents rely as a lifeline for getting to and from work. If a project brings thousands of new, good-paying jobs, what value are those jobs if the people you want to offer them to cannot easily access the jobs?

Equity takes shape in other important ways. The Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond project offers the highest proposed worker compensation package, averaging $60,000 in wages and benefits, with no hourly employee earning less than $15 an hour. This project also can bring more than jobs, it can bring career opportunities. The Cordish Companies, one of the country’s most experienced developers and operators of casino entertainment resort destinations, will develop and operate the Live! Richmond project. Their Live! brand is one of the top entertainment brands in the country. Cordish – with decades of experience at similar projects across the country – will bring its proven workforce development programs to Richmond. These are programs that not only prepare employees for that first job, but also equip them with the skills and training that they need to grow in their careers and move on to other opportunities. For those Richmonders struggling to find that first, or right, job, this isn’t just a paycheck for next month’s rent but a real chance for a lifetime of financial security.

Finally, The Cordish Companies and the Live! brand have been consistent supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, they have been a Presenting Sponsor of the Capital Pride Festival in the Nation’s Capital since 2015 and made cash contributions of $315,000 in sponsorship fees and more than $40,000 of in-kind contributions for festival’s Beverage Garden.

This project is important for Richmond and for the City’s future, and so that is why we want our leaders and residents to be in the best position to make fully-informed decisions. For more information about Live! Casino & Hotel Richmond, please visit

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic May 26

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

No appointment necessary - walk-ups welcome

Diversity Richmond in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health is proud to host a public COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Wednesday, May 26 at our facility at 1407 Sherwood Avenue in Richmond. The vaccination clinic will be held in our Event Hall, the entrance to which is off our parking lot closest to I95. Masks and social distancing while in our building are required.

This clinic will be offering the Moderna vaccine which will require a second dose for maximum efficacy. You will be given an appointment to return to Diversity Richmond for your second dose at the time your first dose is administered.

Simply walk-in or use the following links to register for a vaccine appointment through the Virginia Department of Health’s scheduling system:

Click here to register for a vaccine appointment on Wednesday, May 26 between 9:00am and 11:30am:

Click here to register for a vaccine appointment on Wednesday, May 26 between 1:00pm and 3:30pm:

Diversity Richmond does not control scheduling of appointments and has no further information about the Moderna vaccine, its efficacy or potential side effects. If you have questions about the vaccine, please visit

Sordid Lives to benefit Diversity Richmond

Sordid Lives

Diversity Richmond is honored to be the beneficiary of a special private screening of the LGBTQ classic film “Sordid Lives” on Saturday, May 8 at the Byrd Theatre. The film will be followed by a virtual, live Q & A with Ann Walker who plays LaVonda DuPree and the movie’s writer and director, Del Shores! The ticket includes the movie, free popcorn and soft drinks and the Q & A! Tickets are limited. Buy them here:

View trailer

There is support if you are feeling overwhelmed

sadness mental health

Reaching out is the healthy thing to do

The George Floyd trial. The Daunte Wright killing by a police officer. And right in our own backyards, the Windsor police handling of motorist, Army Officer Caron Nazario. These are stressful, agonizing times.

If you are feeling depressed, isolated or overcome, you are not alone. Reaching out for help is the healthy thing to do and free support is available. Two of our partner agencies offer both one-on-one or group support.

The Virginia Anti Violence Project offers support, be it a ZOOM group or one-on one. If you desire individual mental health services, call 804 925 9242 or email.

Nationz Foundation also facilitates group support. More information can be found on their website or by calling 804-716-7597.

Our community is filled with organizations of people who identify with how you are feeling and want to help. You are not alone. We are all in this together.

Kroger Grocery supports Diversity efforts to battle food insecurity

kroger check

Allison McGee of Kroger Grocery recently presented Diversity Richmond $2,500 in store gift certificates. The funds will be used to purchase food for our quarterly food drives as well as assistance for individuals who are in need. Over the last few months, we have provided a week’s supply of groceries to over 2,300 local families. Much of this is made possible by our community partners such as Kroger, a responsible corporate citizen indeed. Thank you, Kroger Grocery!

Pictured are Raul Cantu, Cheezi Farmer, Allison McGee, James Millner and Bill Harrison

Drive In Drag Is Back!

drive in drag april 2021

Sat., April 24th 6 & 8pm

We're bringing back our fabulous parking lot drag shows for the spring. Get ready to see your favorite queens tear it up with 2 Saturday evening shows! Get your tickets at and we will send you a parking assignment. See you there!

Diversity to Host COVID Vaccination Clinic Soon

Covid shots sign

Plans are in the making for Diversity Richmond to partner with the Virginia Department of Health in offering COVID vaccinations in May. The clinic will be held in our event hall. We have hosted a number of COVID testing clinics in the last few months, with hundreds of people coming through our doors.

VDH will also have their community educational teams staff information tables in Diversity Thrift in the weeks leading up to the vaccination clinics. Updates will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

covid myths

Diversity Richmond food drives

Greenleigh food drive2

“My hands are freezing, but my heart is warm.”
~ James Millner, Recent Food Drive

Cold rainy weather did not deter the Diversity Richmond team from once again providing much needed food to over 500 local families last week. Two drives, one at Sacred Heart Center in Manchester and the second at Greenleigh Mobile Home Park in Chesterfield, supplied fresh vegetables, fruit, milk and frozen meats to appreciative families. Also provided were personal hygiene and feminine care products. We also handed out hundreds of facial masks and coloring books.

During the busy activity at Scared Heart, one woman carrying an infant wrapped in a blanket walked up to the site. She had taken a long bus ride from Hull Street Road to the Center in hopes of taking food back in her arms. We invited her inside the Center to keep warm until a volunteer was located to take her, the baby and a week’s supply of groceries back to her apartment.

That is what our food drives are all about. Most of us have never been hungry, but many people are facing severe food shortages and Diversity Richmond continues to address those hardships. Since late last year, we have assisted over 2,300 families.

As with most any Diversity project, it is a collaboration. Special thanks to Feed More who provided thousands of pounds of food to each drive we have conducted. Also thank you to Diaz Foods, Latinos En Virginia, The Laughing Gull Foundation, Sylvia’s Sisters and Kroger.

By supporting Diversity Richmond, you make projects such as this possible. To donate to Diversity, click on to the below link.

Make a Donation

Photo above: Chesterfield County Police were instrumental in making the Greenleigh Mobile Home Park food drive a success. They, along with other volunteers, packed frozen foods, vegetables and other food in bags for distribution. They also directed traffic and welcomed guests as they arrived.

Photos below: A sampling of the volunteers who helped with the food drives. Center is Raul Cantu of Diversity Richmond who has coordinated all our drives. There was a steady line of cars all morning waiting for groceries.

Greenleigh food drive


It’s official! Diversity Richmond and Virginia Pride are one!

DR VP official

It’s now in writing. On March 22nd, the official vote was taken by Virginia Pride membership unanimously deciding to merge with Diversity Richmond. After over a year of research, study and brainstorming, it is official. We are one.

What does this mean? It means that two of the commonwealth’s strongest LGBTQ organizations have joined forces and will combine resources to work harder than ever to improve life for all of us.

If you would like to help with those efforts or would want more information, email us at .