Please meet some of the members of our hard-working and dedicated staff.
Bill Harrison, President and Executive Director
Bill Harrison has served as our president and executive director since 2012. Bill brings years of nonprofit experience, having served with the Fan Free Clinic as development and community resources during the height of the HIV epidemic. He was also the first public information officer with the Virginia Department of Health’s Bureau of STD/AIDS. Before joining the Diversity team, for 17 years he was the Government and Public Affairs Director with the American Red Cross, Greater Richmond Chapter. He served the month of October, 2001 at Ground Zero following the terrorist attacks of 9-11.
A longtime activist, Bill co-chaired Richmond’s first pride festival in 1978, also serving with a number of LGBT organizations such as Dignity-Integrity, the Episcopal Diocese Commission on Human Sexuality Communities and the Richmond Gay Pride Coalition.
A prolific writer, Bill’s op-ed that was printed in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “Gay Marriage, the Biggest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time,” was recognized by the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America with the “2104 Best In Show Award.” In 2015, Virginia Pride recognized Bill with the inaugural “Fireworks” award. Other recognitions include the ROSMY “Catalyst Award,” for his dedication to LGBT youth programs; the Nationz Foundation Humanitarian Award in 2016 and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities Humanitarian Award in 2017.
Under Bill’s leadership, our rebranding campaign which included a name change, along with greatly raising the community’s awareness of our organization, are but two of our accomplishments. In 2015 the Association of Fundraising Professionals named Diversity Richmond as “Foundation Philanthropist of the Year,” the first time an LGBT organization had received the recognition.
Dia Idleman, Controller
Dia Idleman has been with the Richmond Gay Community Foundation since February of 2010. She has been working in accounting and financial management since 1998 and in the non-profit sector since 2001 when she began working for Warren Whitney and Sherwood, a Richmond area management consulting firm. She then moved to Preservation Virginia where she worked as Accounting Manager and then as the Statewide Retail Manager. Prior to 1998, Dia was a designer and small business owner in the fashion accessories industry.
Aurora Higgs, M. ED, Program Director
We were very pleased when Aurora Higgs (she/they) joined our team as Program Director in July 2021. Her educational resume is as impressive as her activism. She received her Bachelor’s in Science from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by a Masters in Education (Leadership Studies, School of Education with concentration in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education.) She is now a Doctorial candidate at VCU.
She shares, “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.”
Victoria Banks, Events Coordinator
Victoria Banks became our Events Coordinator in 2021. She brings years of experience in event planning as she served as the Event and Conference Coordinator for Christopher Newport University for several years. During her tenure at Newport, she coordinated all aspects of events in size from 5 to 1,400 attendees while managing a staff of 85 employees. Victoria joined our team just as the impact of the pandemic began to lift and has been instrumental in reviving our events schedule. She has been embraced by customers, new and old, and brings her own certain flair to our event planning process.
Please reach out to Victoria for information on Diversity Richmond event space at .