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2017 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 over 600%, 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 Museum. 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 20,000 Virginians through over 240 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

120 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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently, when I look around at our nation, I see the seeds of hatred, bigotry, and division. I have real concern for what my children will have to live through – for what my country may become. One of the few things that give me hope is the VCIC. In the midst of the current societal chaos, it is one of the few organizations that remain unshaken and still focused on a purpose and cause, which can bring us out of the storm. What more important work is needed at this time? What better organization to facilitate peace and harmony in the commonwealth? The VCIC is the only organization that I know of that is capable of, and is taking on, this critical task. The VCIC deserves all of our support.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The VCIC is still standing strong, delivering an incredible service to the community. Skilled and caring individuals, working together as a close-knit team, continue to meet the rapidly growing concerns of the communities that they serve. The fact that a dramatic increase in the requests for services and the organization’s quick response, without turning anyone away to date, demonstrates the strength, flexibility, dedication and belief the VCIC has in their mission. I continue to stand strong in my support of the VCIC as the best non-profit organization that I have ever worked with. Also, in addition to being a board member, I volunteer extensively during the year to help with the actual programing.

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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

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!

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

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

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.

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities has incredible professional leadership and effciently applies resources with great community impact. Participants routinely emerge from VCIC programs with life changing experiences and an eagerness to positively change their communities.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

1 Michele122

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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.

2 Cynthia111

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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2 Michael250

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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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