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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

43 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

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!

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

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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1 Guy L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am continually impressed with the ability of The Virginia Center For Inclusive Communities (VCIC) to effectively and efficiently carry out the mission of bridging the human divides that exist throughout our Commonwealth. The benefits created by the VCIC reach into our schools and work places, and bring peace to and among our citizens.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When the purpose of an organization is to change the way people think about themselves and their community, expressing the benefits of the organization to others is challenging. When you experience the benefits first hand or vacariously through others, then expressing the benefits is a passion. The Virgnia Center for Inclusive Communities has such a purpose and the impact in our community is life changing. Through the VCIC, children and adults discover how to create an environment in which every person has the opportunity to achieve their passions and maximaize their potential as a part of the community. Throughout the year the VCIC facilitates hundreds of programs in Virginia , addressing issues such as bullying, predjudice and violence by building great citizens who in turn become passionate about building their communities. The VCIC is unique, effective, life changing and community changing.

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

Not only am I a VCIC board member, but I have also benefited from the services of the VCIC in both my current position at the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College, and as the director of Community Engagement at WHRO Public Media. The VCIC has delivered programming at both institutions that ranged from an anti-bullying workshop for public school guidance counselors to facilitation training for college students.

One of my most meaningful experiences was when, at WHRO, I coordinated a community town hall event to address the high school dropout problem. Two very articulate young men who attended the town hall separately, reunited as graduates of VCIC's "Emerging Leaders Institute" for high school students. Each had gone on to separate colleges and were at WHRO in their respective adult roles as mentors to vulnerable youth. One was running for city council and was working with youth in Newport News VA. The other, as a student at Norfolk State University, had started a mentoring program for vulnerable male elementary school students. Both are shining examples of emerging leaders who are giving back to their community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wonderful, dedicate staff. Excellent and impactful programming.

1 Jo__3

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC has been around for many years and has continued to be flexible to meet the changing needs of the community. During the past year, the fantastic staff (led by Jonathan Zur) & volunteers reached over 20,000 people in a year. The programs reach secondary schools, universities, businesses & the community at large.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with VCIC (formerly NCCJ) for close to 40 years as a program participant, partner agency. volunteer & now board member. Under the leadership of Jonathan Zur, & the staff & volunteers with whom he works, the organization has been able to respond to the needs of the community. VCIC works with the organizations to help assess & identify their difficult issues around inclusiveness & then creates programming to help address these issues. The willingness & ability to adapt programming to fit the changing needs of the agencies, schools, businesses & community at large is what makes VCIC excel in making a difference.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

In pursuit of its motto of "success through inclusion", VCIC offers programs that are highly effective in addressing issues of diversity and inclusion. Management cover a lot of ground with limited resources, so it is a very efficient operation making the absolute most of all resources available. And in an area where results tend to be hard to measure, they focus on producing measurable results from their programs, and have hard data to show their impact in all sorts of schools, communities and organizations.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is the pre-eminent organization addressing issues of inclusiveness in our region. The Executive Director and his team are extremely effective in making the most of limited resources. I frankly am amazed they can accomplish as much as they do, all while maintaining the highest level of quality and acountability in the programming. VCIC addresses a very important set of issues and is a very valuable asset to our community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) has been extremely successful in working with middle schools, high schools, colleges and businesses in helping students and employees become more understanding of the beliefs of others. It provides individuals with the strategies to work with individuals and groups on both sides of issues to provide a more harmonious school and workplace regardless of whether the issue is racial, cultural, religious, or ethnic misunderstanding. One principal told me that VCIC "had a greater impact on the culture of his high school than any other activity since he had been working at that school."

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated with VCIC for about 10 years, first as part of my job at another non profit and after my retirement as a volunteer. As an educator I have seen VCIC bring about great and greatly needed change in several Virginia schools and school systems. The change can be seen in the administration, teachers and students in both academic and social issues. I am very proud to be part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Outstanding leadership in programming, community involvement and strategy in addressing timely issues.

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

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is an amazing organization that illuminates the diversity in our lives (at schools, in the workplace etc.) and guides us all to embrace that diversity for more successful and positive experiences. I have had the pleasure of volunteering at both their Prejudice Awareness Summit and Diversity Dialogue Day and was amazed at the issues young people face today and their capacity to make change if they have the right support from adults. VCIC truly touches and changes lives for the better!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VCIC is a wonderful organization, dedicated to really impacting the community through amazing programs. I personally attended a program as a child and now to be able to be a part of the board is such an honor. Achieving success through inclusion is something very near and dear to me with ensuring that our programs reach schools and also that we are able to impact the workplace too. I know that this organization is making a difference and I can't think of a better non-profit organization!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization truly makes a difference enabling people to take a stand, be more inclusive and accepting of the other. Their involvement trickles down to their organization or their school with real results showing - a more caring and considerate populace!