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Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Rating: 4.96 stars   108 reviews 4,226

Address:

5511 Staples Mill Road Suite 202 Richmond VA 23228 USA

Mission:

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion.

Results:

During a recent 9-year period, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities increased the number of programs and events delivered annually by over 475%. VCIC's program work has received a number of awards and recognitions: - Received Partners in Progress Award from Diversity Richmond (2015) - Named a "Top-Rated Nonprofit" by GreatNonprofits.org (2014, 2013, 2012) - Received the Pacesetter Award for Excellence from Partnership for the Future (2013) - Received the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond's Clergy & Community Organization Award for promoting interfaith harmony (2013) - Commended in House Joint Resolution No. 790 by the Virginia General Assembly (2013) - Received the Vivian C. Mason Award from the Urban League of Hampton Roads (2012) - VCIC's Project Inclusion named "The best program we have seen in the nation for sowing the seeds of non-violence, inclusiveness and understanding in a high school population" in No COLORS: 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities (2012) - Named a Richmond History Maker by the Valentine for "Improving Social Justice" (2011) - Received the GuideStar Exchange Seal for organizational commitment to transparency (2011)

Direct beneficiaries per year:

over 20,000 Virginians through over 200 workshops, retreats, assemblies, and forums

Geographic areas served:

Virginia, with chapters in Lynchburg, the Peninsula, Richmond, and Tidewater/South Hampton Roads

Programs:

ALLIES INSTITUTE (Four-day retreat for college students to foster inclusion on campus) | BREAK THE CYCLE: BE THE CHANGE (Assembly program on roots of prejudice for middle schools, high schools, and colleges) | CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS (Workshops and consultation tailored to particular needs of sponsoring institution) | DIVERSITY DIALOGUE DAY (One-day forum for high school student leaders) | EDUCATIONAL EQUITY INITIATIVE (Educator professional development to reduce racial and socio-economic achievement gap) | HAROLD M. MARSH, SR. CONNECTIONS INSTITUTE (Five-day retreat for high school students from across Virginia) | INCLUSIVE WORKPLACES INITIATIVE (Professional development for businesses and non-profits) | PREJUDICE AWARENESS SUMMIT (One-day forum for middle school student leaders) | PROJECT INCLUSION (Retreat for high school students from one school/district) | PUSHED: EXPLORATIONS INTO BULLYING (Assembly program focused on bullying for middle/high schools)

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

804-515-7950
http://www.inclusiveva.org

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Reviews for Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

4 people found this review helpful

This is a top-notch organization with an incredible understanding of inclusion. Personally, I am a different person because of my exposure to the VCIC's programming and employees. I celebrate individuality, and I no longer overlook differences - I embrace them. I've seen this program figuratively and literally change lives of the students who participate and I strongly believe that this is the way to change the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...If I had to make changes, I would want to see more of it. More funding, more staff, more scholarships for students to attend, just more. There is never enough of an organization like this.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Eight years ago, I had my first experience with VCIC as an elementary principal. The school division mandated that all instructional leaders attend a workshop on educational equity and inclusive practices. I was pleased that the county recognized the need for such training, but was pessimistic that a one day workshop would do justice to such a robust topic. To my surprise, VCIC superseded my expectations. The facilitators, content, materials and activities were highly useful and very engaging. I was so impressed that I took Jonathan Zur up on his offer to bring the training to my elementary school. The entire staff embraced the training and realized that we just did not know, what we did not know to really have an impact on ALL of our students. Throughout the workshop, teachers felt empowered in ways that reminded us all why we got into education. Jonathan and the team from VCIC provided ongoing training throughout the school year that motivated, educated and inspired the entire school community. Our school experienced increased student performance, decreased discipline, and a culture emerged that made our school a great place to learn and a rewarding place to teach.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

VCIC does a tremendous job of raising awareness around issues of prejudice and inclusion throughout the state. The programs for youth and adults are highly engaging and interactive and truly result in people giving deeper thought not only to their own actions but to the systems of bias that remain in place today.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

VCIC helps people from all across Virginia to understand more about how prejudice affects our daily lives, not only in history but in the present. Through engaging, interactive programs and discussions youth and adults are able to explore their own biases and the presence of different forms of injustice in the world around us. VCIC works with schools, workplaces, and community groups to spread their message. More recently, VCIC has partnered with school districts from Newport News and Richmond to address some of the issues surrounding the achievement gap in in schools. Specifically, educators discuss how issues of race and socioeconomic class play into the success of their students and explore ways to address the factors that cause differences in achievement. VCIC is truly a needed and valuable resource in the community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This organization has helped my students and I develop knowledge on a variety of issues related to diversity. Without this organization Newport News Public Schools would miss out on a great opportunity for our youth. VCIC is helping shape the future of our students and future citizens.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have contacted and collorabated with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for over 3 years now. Because of their readiness to help communities our locality has been able to experience their expertise in the field of Inclusion. They are on "the cutting edge" of social research and experts at implementing that research in diverse settings. Looking forward to more work with VCIC to ease the atmosphere of bigotry rising up in our country.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I first connected with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) 3 years ago to inquire about their programming for high school students and how the Roanoke Valley of VA could participate with them Since then they have held trainings and meeting for and with us and collaborated with our local group to Promote Inclusion. In addition I have had the unique experience of serving on their staff for the summer residential camp program for high school youth. Knowledge, experience and professionalism characterize the VCIC staff and the programs they deliver all with a spirit of collaboration.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Incredible support, organized and expert staff!

VCIC is a priceless resource for the Virginia community. Particular to my experience, their engagement with schools public and private means a consistent, professional and up-to-the-moment cultural competency message for youth around the region -- and (maybe more importantly) for faculty and administrators who MUST toe the mark on equity, empathy and inclusion in schools to give our students the 21st century skills we promise as educators. VCIC can make an educator's job easy in this respect. They are so willing to collaborate, meet groups where they are, invent paths in previously untrod areas of professional development, and be a real partner in education. I am so grateful for their work and look forward to years of partnership to come. THANK YOU.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2016

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

VCIC is one of the best run nonprofits I've experienced. The executive director oversees a very professional staff that conducts programs and provides consulting services that are prepared to best practices standards, well organized, and yield effective outcomes. The Commonwealth of Virginia is a better place for all of its citizens due to the important and outstanding work of this organization to create a path for inclusiveness for all.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The VCIC works like no other secular organization to promote inclusiveness and diversity. As its reputation inside and outside of Virginia has grown, its staff and work have grown. In the first 11 months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year it has conducted 227 programs or events in Virginia, reaching over 16,500 people. It conducts 3 and 4-day sessions for public schools, colleges and universities, as well as businesses and government agencies. It provides workshops to promote diversity in higher education, inclusive workplace initiatives and community programs. In my hometown of Lynchburg, Va., the city school administration consulted the VCIC following a racial incident at a middle school. The VCIC formulated a plan and conducted multiple public listening sessions and used the public's input to help the city school administration formulate a meaningful, effective community and school response that will have lasting benefit for the entire community. VCIC is a lean, well-run organization with a hardworking, dedicated staff that does vital work to promote a more just, inclusive society.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

In an increasingly crowded and cantankerous world, it is ever more important that we learn to live and even thrive together--to respect and celebrate our differences and draw strength from them. Few nonprofits have as their sole focus teaching individuals and organizations how to do that, and none does it better than the VCIC. It is well-run, fiscally responsible and highly effective and as a result, the demand for its services increases every year.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

No other organization in our state does what theVCIC does. It is a non-religiously affiliated organization that strengthens communities by helping people to understand how religious, racial and cultural diversity helps us build a stronger, more nurturing and more peaceful society. They work through schools, businesses and governmental institutions to train individuals to identify problems and devise concrete plans to address the problems. My daughter attended a VCIC three-day program while in high school and it was a life-changing event. I have observed the VCIC in action at a retreat for college students and was impressed by the emphasis on problem identification and the development of detailed, long-range plans to address the problems, and the plans for follow-up to assure implementation. This organization is about dealing in rigorously effective ways with real-world prejudice.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

triple the budget so the organization could triple its reach within Virginia. I already know that programs it has developed are being used in other parts of the United States. If it had the means, its effect would be even more national in scope.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

In February 2013 I had the opportunity, as a board member, to sit in on a training session for local college students run by the VCIC. This was a three-day retreat; I attended one morning. I was struck by the professionalism of the staff and by the collaborative approach that this organization encourages to address a major social problem--discrimination. Even though I have heard about this organization for years, I was invited to join the board only last year and this was the first time I had seen it in operation. To say that I was impressed would be a gross understatement.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

VCIC is an outstanding organization that promotes inclusion and understanding around topics of diversity. I first got involved with the organization when I went on a 5-day retreat with high school students. We spent time getting to know each other and discussing topics like race, gender, religion, and sexual identity. These can be challenging topics to talk about, yet VCIC facilitators provided a safe environment in which student delegates and facilitators could learn from one another. I have become a better person and better community member from being a part of this organization and I have witnessed positive change in my students and the high school in which I teach. VCIC has an important vision and they excel at the work that they do.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for about 8 years and I will continue volunteering with this organization as long as I am able. I was introduced to the organization when the high school at which I teach participated in a 5-day program in order to learn about diversity and inclusion; I have kept coming back ever since. I have experienced personal growth as an educator and I have witnessed growth in students, other teachers, and my school community, because of programs that VCIC has conducted. Their programs are the perfect recipe of content learning and the sharing of personal experiences. The people in this organization are passionate about what they do are incredibly professional in their delivery of life-changing programs.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the number of people on the staff so that they could offer more programs.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

VCIC has played a significant role in my life and the lives of students across the state of Virginia. I first got involved in VCIC when I traveled with a group of students to a 5-day conference addressing issues of diversity. The conference used both large and small-group activities and discussion to help foster understanding on issues surrounding race, gender, religious bias, sexual orientation, ability status, and body image. After the conference was over, I observed positive changes in the students who participated; they gained understanding of the issues, became better communicators, and developed conflict management and leadership skills. The semester after students attended the conference, our school experienced some racial tension that had the potential to escalate into violence. In response, the key players in the dispute were invited to dialogue about the issues and several students who had attended VCIC mediated the conversation. A source of conflict in our school was addressed in a positive way, which diffused the conflict, and allowed for the parties involved to reach common ground. In addition, students initiated programs and events to promote the principles that they learned during the conference. As an educator, it is incredibly rewarding to witness these positive changes in students and it gives me a renewed hope for the future.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a serial volunteer, I haven't worked with any organization non-profit or otherwise who is as dedicated to their mission. VCIC spends time not only providing challenging and life changing work through out the state of Virginia but they spend equal time empowering their volunteers to celebrate and champion inclusion and diversity in their communities, and work places. LOVE LOVE LOVE VCIC

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2016

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

By far the best volunteer experience I've had. Great opportunities to learn and develop leadership, facilitation, and community development skills. Amazingly empowering staff. Great, great, great

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is all about people bringing their life experiences to teach, and humanize topics that are often hard to talk about. They create opportunities to dialogue about tough issues in a safe open place. Having had the opportunity to volunteer with many different organizations the way VCIC allows people to connect to one another is rare and highly impactful. I'm honored and always excited for opportunities to volunteer with VCIC.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more offline spaces where people can connect monthly or even weekly to support each other in creating and strengthening our inclusive communities.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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