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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Intergroup & Race Relations, Leadership Development, Race

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

Results: Since 2006, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities increased the number of programs and events delivered annually by nearly 1,000%, and the organization has been recognized locally and nationally for its effectiveness by groups including the Virginia General Assembly, Diversity Richmond, GreatNonprofits, the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond, Partnership for the Future, the Urban League of Hampton Roads, and the Valentine. VCIC's Project Inclusion program is noted in the book "No COLORS: 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities as “the best…in the nation for sowing the seeds of non-violence, inclusiveness and understanding in a high school.”

Target demographics: schools, businesses, and communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 22,500 Virginians through 363 workshops, retreats, assemblies, and forums

Geographic areas served: Virginia, with chapters in Lynchburg, the Peninsula, Richmond, and Tidewater/South Hampton Roads

Programs: workshops, retreats, and customized programs that improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust.

Community Stories

148 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Ally D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is a dynamic organization which provides excellent programming throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding diversity, inclusiveness, anti-bullying, racial, gender and religious biases. These programs are offered in the schools, private and public businesses and to any organization seeking to educate and dialogue with their staff and constituents. VCIC fills a vital role in helping to make Virginia's communities more diverse and inclusive.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities is a state wide organization providing programming around inclusiveness and tolerance for others. The programs vary in their content including anti-bullying targeted to school age children, inclusiveness and tolerance training for companies, leadership programming focused on the power of inclusiveness in groups, etc. I have personally spoken with many individuals who have participated in these various programs and many of them say they were so well facilitated and effective that they completely altered their perspective on life and those around them.
The staff of the organization is very professional and a pleasure to work with.

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1 Michele122

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Virginia Center for Inclusive communities leads initiatives and workshops that are life-changing. I have always left their events a better person. Their work is an essential component in making the world a more inclusive place to live in. Thank you VCIC for everything you do to support schools, communities, and organizations world-wide.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent! I always leave VCIC programs a better person. It is simply life changing!

Melissa K.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC helps the community through a variety of channels, events, and partnerships; through training and educational events/activities, special events, community forums, and many other avenues as needed. Individuals of all faiths, ages, abilities, and backgrounds are supported by VCIC and the community is able to gain a new/deeper understanding of diversity and inclusion because of VCIC.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Incredible organization that offers programs and services to so many; to include youth, non-profits, and businesses. I have had the fortune to see positive impacts through the annual Prejudice Awareness Summit, Workplace Inclusion Network series, Humanitarian Dinner, and many more events/partnerships.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been associated with this organization for as long as I can remember, due to directorship excellence we are at the top of our game.

Suffice it to say in a disconnected world, VCIC has been, is currently, and will remain an honest purveyor of truth through excellent leadership from the CEO, committed board members and sorely needed mission.

Delivery of the message of inclusion is through multiple programs honed and improved over many years since the founding many generations ago.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The work of this well-run nonprofit is difficult to explain but in my 72-year lifetime it has never been more important. The VCIC helps individuals, governments, educational institutions and businesses be successful through diversity. VCIC-developed programs are replicated by similar organizations across the country. It does crisis-intervention work, holds regular workshops and retreats for high schools and colleges, advises municipal governments and provides training sessions for businesses. The fees is charges those who can pay do not cover its expenses; it is a not-for-profit organization. The VCIC is a strong voice not only calling for inclusion but teaching us how to achieve it.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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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Sarah C.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities leads the way in working to make Virginia a more welcoming and inclusive place. They're diversity, equity, and inclusion training is thoughtfully and brilliantly done.

1 qtschneider

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC's work to make our community an inclusive place is priceless! They continue to open up minds and eyes, young and old. The lives they touch will impact generations to come. Thank you VCIC!!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a teenager when I first encountered VCIC and 25 years later, VCIC is still impacting my life and the life of others. The work this organization does is priceless and can not always been seen immediately. I am proud and honored to be apart of the work VCIC does in Virginia.

1 Miriam D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Outstanding management insuring outstanding service to the community across the state.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have serious concern for the lack of unity that our nation is going through and consequently what my children will have to live through. One of the few things that continues to give me hope is the VCIC. They remain unshaken and still focused on a purpose and cause, which can bring us out of the turmoil. In fact, the VCIC is the only organization that I know of that is capable of, and is taking on, this critical task. This is an organization that deserves all of our support. I continue to be proud and excited to support this wonderful organization and ask that others check it out and support it also.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So often in times of stress, an organization will crack and reveal its true, not so nice nature. I am happy to say that as the smoke of battle clears for a moment, I can see the VCIC still standing strong, as good as, if not better than before. They have kept up with the ever increasing demands for their services without the quality of their services falling. I am proud and excited to continue to support this wonderful organization and ask that others support it also.

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a part of many boards and non-profits. VCIC is superbly run and focused on today's critical need: for our communities to respect all citizens, learn and work on bias that we all have, and equip our young people to be me open and accepting of all types. Current times create a real need for this work and VCIC is doing it!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5


This organization is committed to addressing all forms of biases and prejudices where ever they exist.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a member of the YMCA Hampton Roads, and what makes the Blocker YMCA particularly different from the other branches is that all guest are comfortable coming to this place. I think it has to do with the careful staffing selection by the HR manager in this particular branch. The time there neutralizes my overall experience of Hampton Roads YMCA as I still struggle through other areas particularly the Great bridge Y which btw thru my advocacy is undergoing staffing change to adjust the dynamic trends in this community. If you have time to commend an organization, I suggest the Blocker YMCA. Thank you!

Patty Heath

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never seen a more dedicated or hard working Executive Director. The work done by VCIC over the years in schools and workplaces may have prevented some real tragedies in Virginia.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the leadership of this organization. I have witnessed their dedication and hard work. I am just so happy that a successful organization like this exists to improve the culture inside our schools while the school administrators focus on the academics.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VCIC assists schools with issues of equality. In today’s world, with staff and students balancing tweets, news and the school world, VCIC brings tools to assist.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I find VCIC courageously entering difficult “spaces” and doing the things most needed to build real community: holding the hard conversations and helping to construct diverse relationships; building bridges across ethnic communities, across socio-economic levels, across religions, across races, across genders! --- Those are the spaces where I find VCIC in our region! Besides training middle school students and high school students and regional corporations on diversity and inclusion, VCIC is leading the RVA table talk series, bringing multiple communities and cultures to the table to discuss diversity and inclusion. VCIC is collaborating with the Greater Richmond Age Wave Coalition to help our communities understand the impact and health crisis of “ageism”. VCIC has taught tutors and teachers at the READ Center, helping tutors to understand implicit bias and to think about how to be inclusive when teaching adult students from multiple cultures who struggle with low-level literacy. Because I’ve met new friends and know existing friends in all these spaces who say VCIC’s efforts make a difference in their lives, then I want to be in these spaces, too. So, I eagerly volunteer with VCIC! I know that giving time and resources to VCIC contributes to increased inclusion for all in our region.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I rate VCIC as "far exceeds expectations" because VCIC is changing multiple generations and multiple cultures, helping us to see, hear, value, and actively support each other! I have assisted with facilitation of small groups at VCIC's Predjudice Awareness Day, Diversity Dialogue Day, and at the week long summer Connections Institute. What impressed me most about VCIC at these sessions for middle school and high school students, is how effectively VCIC is able to take students from awareness to desire for change; and then from desire for change to personal engagement and action planning to make change happen! I am encouraged to see this younger generation commit to a future where multiple cultures and people groups are openly embraced and accepted and where the beauty of diversity is a foundation belief. But, that's not all! I desired to see my generation (boomers) more effectively engaged and helping to drive change needed in our very segregated communities and schools! VCIC agreed to facilitate 3 workshops at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (a community of those 50 and older with a passion for lifelong learning) where participants engaged in open conversations about race and priviledge. Participant feedback was all positive -- describing the process that VCIC uses and the expertise demonstrated as very effective at making participants aware of issues and of their own need to know and understand and accept others of different cultures and backgrounds better. I have seen the same thing happen at the Standing Together RVA community events, where participants from various religious backgrounds have come together to pledge support for each other and for those marginalized in our society. And, finally, I have personally become more aware of my own biases and I have committed to making the changes needed to fully embrace inclusion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with this nonprofit in a volunteer capacity for nearly a decade, and don't have enough good things to say about them. The CEO and all of the staff care intensely about the mission of inclusiveness, and work tirelessly to create new programs and improve already existing ones. I was a delegate at one of their programs when I was a student myself, and was inspired by my personal experience to return to the same camp. I continue to volunteer because I see the students changed from what they experience at these events each time that I participate. The world is a more thoughtful, generous, and caring place because of this organization.

1 jojosmurph

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC continues to grow & adapt to meet the needs of the community it serves. The staff, led by Jonathan Zur, is committed to the organization's mission & enthusiastically & professionally provides needed services to partner schools, agencies & businesses.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC has increased its capacity to serve students, teachers and business personnel to help them reach their goals through inclusiveness. Yearly, VCIC conducts over 125 programs for 7,000+ participants who return to their community to effect change. The core values of Inclusion, Integrity, Effectiveness, Relevance and Openess make this a truly special organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities came to my institution, changed the way we thought, and created a phenomenal action plan for us to follow once they conducted their workshops. It was impactful, timely, and relevant. Our institution has become a more inclusive place because of them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Tremendous team of people doing outstanding work in a very important area - diversity and inclusion. They cover a lot of ground with limited resources and make the absolute most of every dollar available for their programming. They offer life-changing perspectives on achieving success through inclusion - something that is in high demand in these days of increasing divisiveness in our society.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is the only organization in Virginia of which I am aware that is dealing directly with very difficult issues of prejudice and lack of cultural awareness. These issues are of great importance in helping our communities create opportunities for all and eliminate the great social and economic cost of prejudice. The management team is by far the most effective I have had the experience of working with. They are devoted, tireless and extremely efficient and effective. I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to assist them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The VCIC is a non-profit that is extremely well managed, with input and participation from many community partners and local board members. Your support for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities has a great and lasting impact on the success of our citizens and the positive growth of our community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities sets the standard for effectiveness and efficiency in building and supporting successful, peaceful and productive communities.

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1 Melissa P.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization offers solutions to the problems of society. My life has been changed in a positive way. Thanks to VCIC, I recognize my privilege and have taken steps to bring change.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have collaborated with VCIC across three school systems as a teacher and administrator. They have facilitated staff training and development and student workshops and awareness with tremendous results! Bringing teams of students to the Diversity Dialogue Day and Prejudice Awareness Summit should be mandatory for all schools! I have seen first hand the changes in students that result from these experiences and the most powerful aspect is that VCIC encourages student lead initiatives by having the students create action plans to implement at their schools. There is no way to leave a session with VCIC without understanding a new perspective and growing in empathy.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is truly committed to education and equality. I am a donor, a participant and a life-long supporter of their great work in the community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VCIC works non-stop in the greater Richmond area (and throughout the state of Virginia) with a vast variety of groups (youth, schools, corporations, non-profits, public sector, etc.) to educate and build inclusivity. Jonathan Zur is a wonderful leader for this organization and the staff are all dedicated and committed to their mission and to helping others. THANK YOU VCIC!

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VCIC provides ground-breaking workshops that help educate and inform our community. They are friendly, accessible, and educated about diversity in all of its forms. We are so appreciative of their work in our community and the greater areas!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Microsoft office is a full application suite of many applications like PowerPoint presentation, Microsoft word, Microsoft excel, Outlook, and many others.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC does what few or perhaps no other organization does in our State.... It is on the front lines to actively educate the community, especially youth, to become aware and to confront and combat racism, religious intolerance, and any other forms of discrimination which tear down the fabric of society. We are grateful for tireless dedication of the leadership and staff of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a school counselor I took a group of 8th graders to the prejudice awareness summit. It was an awesome experience -- well run and through provoking!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started as a counselor and am now serving as a board member. I have had the opportunity to see this organization grow and become the outstanding leader in opening minds and hearts of all individuals who have had the pleasure of participating in any of the workshops, seminars, etc. I have observed teens arrive for said programs with little enthusiasm and leave excitedly enriched and wanting to continue to share their experiences with others. This organization knows how to "reach" participants like no other!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

VCIC is an incredible organization. We've had the opportunity to work with them during workshops with our faculty and staff and our students. All programs are facilitated in a professional, respectful manner which allows for sharing and growth. Each member of their staff is compassionate and gives 110% to the people with whom they are working. The topics addressed can be very personal and revealing, but thru their facilitation it is done in a non-judgmental, reflective way that allows for personal and organizational growth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My students in Newport News Public Schools grow every time we attend a VCIC program. Through the Project Inclusion experience over the last 5+ times my students have participated even those students that appeared to be closed off to the experience took something away from it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Incredibly great resources, information, and advocacy for the "little man"

2 Herb3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 Glenn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1 Katie135

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.