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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

42 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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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.

1 Michele122

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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.

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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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is about getting people together to address issues that hold them back - religion, race, gender. VCIC teaches teachers, helps student learn free from bullying and gives a chance for communities to heal. The people who work for and with the organization truly care about their neighbors and their surroundings and it has been a pleasure to be associated with them and the good work of the programs.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the opportuninty to speak with students who have been through VCIC programs and seen first hand the transformative nature of the experiences the organization delivers. Sitting with young people and hearing them talk with passion and an unexpected level of maturity gives you a feeling that they are going back to their schools to change attitudes and make a diffeerence. VCIC does much more, but meeting the young people who uave been to leadership programs renews my desire to help VCIC in its work.

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1 Randy8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a real pleasure to once again be a part of the VCIC Connections Institute staff. Each year, I travel from New Jersey to volunteer my time as I believe very strongly in the mission of the organization and am confident the program has an impact on the participants.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been able to work alongside the folks at VCIC for a number of years. The programming provided embraces diversity in all its forms and challenges participants to look inside and empowers them to make a positive in their community.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

VCIC is an organization near and dear to my heart. I have worked with this group, students and other teachers in the Lynchburg area for ten years and have been part of many workshops and retreats conducted by VCIC. The students and teachers that I have worked with have come away from these programs with a better understanding of their peers and themselves and a desire to make their schools, communities and the world around them a better, more compassionate and inclusive place for all individuals. I am amazed, with each different experience, at the work this organization does.

1 Stephanie218

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience volunteering with VCIC has been life transforming. Their different workshops, forums and immersive activities provide the perfect platform for discussion about diversity and inclusion among youth and adults.
I believe this approach is effective at getting participants to be open to discuss topics that otherwise they would not talk about. The impact that the organization has in the community is unmeasurable. I look forward to volunteering with them for many more years to come.

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Tidewater Board member and have served in this capacity for several years. This organization does wonderful programming all across the state of Virginia to promote inclusiveness, stamp out bullying and educate our school children and others in our communities on the great advantages gained by diversity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Virginia Center for Inclusive communities provides valuable services to the entire range of citizens in Virginia. From youth programs which teach tolerance, understanding and fairness to antibullying to programs for adults in the workplace that combat racism ,gender bias and economic inequality.
This is all done with a very small and dedicated staff who performs at the highest level of. professionalism.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for almost 20 years, since my wife and I were honored by the Tidewater chapter. I have attended many workshops and youth activities over the years and personally spoken with young people who attended one of VCIC's training institutes. They always say that THE EXPERIENCE CHANGED THEIR LIVES. Since the organization became independent it's activities have expanded to include workplace seminars. VCIC strives to make this an" inclusive" world. The staff is dedicated to the concept of inclusion and is supported by a board that is equally committed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've seen this organization's positive impact on young people time and time again. I've never seen another organization conduct programming that so successfully engages youth in conversations about difficult topics.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spoken with both E.C. Glass High School and Lynchburg College students who have been in VCIC-sponsored programs. All of them have told me what a difference the programming made in how they perceive people who are "different" from themselves. Without exception, they view their VCIC program experience life-changing.

VCIC has truly mad a difference in my community!

1 Sal O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization changed my life in one of the most intense programs I have participated in. I learned so much through their work about the world around me and how to solve real problems. The lessons learned and the emotions I experienced were truly eye opening and ever-lasting. I made new relationships that will benefit me for years to come and I would participate in the program again and again given the opportunity. VCIC is a leader in educating people about the world and I encourage as many people as possible to participate in their programs.

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VCIC is doing a wonderful job to help students understand and respect each other regardless of their ethnic or religious background. They teach leadership skills to them to deal with bullying. They also work with teachers and administrators to help them build curriculums and class rooms to not be discriminatory.