Diversity Richmond Celebrates spotlights those who have worked to improve the fortunes of the local LGBTQ community.
Marilyn Drew Necci | November 28, 2017
Tonight, Diversity Richmond will announce 2017 grant recipients and honor a diverse list of people who’ve contributed positively to the local LGBTQ community with Diversity Richmond Celebrates. What with it being #GivingTuesday and all, it’s the perfect night on which to both celebrate the contributions Diversity will make with their grant program this year and thank those who’ve contributed so much to us.
Diversity Richmond started their grant program back in 1999, and over the years since, they’ve given nearly a million dollars to non-profit organizations working on issues affecting LGBTQ residents of the Richmond area. “We raise most of this money through Diversity Thrift and we take the proceeds and put as much of it back into the community as we can,” Diversity executive director Bill Harrison told WRIC’s Morgan Dean in an interview. This year, Diversity Richmond gave out $15,000 in grants, and the recipients of those grants will be announced tonight as part of the event.
“We also take this as an opportunity to recognize outstanding leadership,” Harrison continued, and the event tonight will feature a variety of recognitions for local community leaders and activists. Along with Governor Terry McAuliffe and VCU President Michael Rao, both of which have acted during their tenure to improve the fortunes of LGBTQ people, the event will also recognize lesser-known activists who’ve contributed positively to the community over the years.
“We take a lot of pleasure at looking back through history and bringing people to the forefront who helped us get where we are today,” Harrison told WRIC. In particular, he spotlighted the efforts of Willie J. Dell, one of tonight’s honorees, who was the first African-American woman elected to Richmond’s City Council. “She unsuccessfully tried years ago to include sexual orientation in the personnel policy procedures for the City of Richmond,” Harrison said. “So a real pioneer for us.”
Dell will be honored along with over 20 other important contributors to the welfare of the local LGBTQ community as part of the ceremony this evening. This along with the unveiling of Diversity Richmond’s 2017 grant recipients makes this event an important addition to the social calendar. Also, as Harrison reminded us on WRIC, “It’s a great way to say thank you for what we’re thankful for this year.” And in the wake of Thanksgiving, who couldn’t use a little more thankfulness?
This event will take place at Diversity Richmond, located at 1407 Sherwood Ave, tonight from 6-8 PM. It is a business casual affair that is free and open to the public. Light refreshments from Nacho Mama’s will be provided. To RSVP, click here.