Reflections from our sister chapter in Virginia!

Thank you to our President, Peggy Zone-Fisher for uplifting the words of our sister chapter in Virginia and reminding us to stand together in solidarity against bias, bigotry, and racism. The message includes 10 actionable steps that individuals and communities can take to stand together for justice. 
Visit our website to support our mission and learn more about the work we are doing with Ohio community members. The Diversity Center is committed to creating communities where all people are connected, respected, and valued. 

There is No Place for Hate in Virginia and in our country...

We stand in support of our sister chapter and mourn the death of Heather Heyer, the 2 police officers that lost their lives, and all the innocent people that were touched by this heinous act of racism and bigotry.

A Message from the Diversity Center's sister Chapter Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities President & CEO Jonathan C. Zur

It has been horrifying to see the hateful speech and hate-inspired violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. My colleagues and I at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities emphatically condemn the perpetrators of prejudice. Words and actions motivated by racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry have no place in our Commonwealth and country. At this critical time, let us renew our commitment to stand together and to work ever more passionately for inclusion, equity, and justice for all.

Sadly, I must admit that the images coming out of Charlottesville this weekend did not shock me. Instead, they reflect patterns of intolerance that have long festered in Virginia and our country. Attendees of the planned "Unite the Right" rally felt comfortable chanting offensive slogans, displaying hateful paraphernalia, and perpetrating violence in public because of teaching and socialization they received long before this weekend's events. They clearly didn't fear consequences of being seen espousing their prejudicial beliefs. That means that they believed that their personal and professional networks condone or even support overt bias and bigotry.

Some have claimed that these individuals must have come to the rally from other parts of the country. While it may feel more comfortable to believe that, the same forces and beliefs sadly exist in many parts of Virginia as well. Indeed, this weekend's events can be directly tied to reports released back in January of a 21% increase in hate crimes reported in the Commonwealth over a one-year period. They are similarly linked to the fact that between 2015 and 2017, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities has had to respond to a 1,300% increase in requests for support after incidents of bias, bullying, or discrimination. So if you, like me, are horrified by what you saw in Charlottesville this weekend, then we must be just as horrified by the ongoing presence of hatred and injustice in our communities.

How do we move forward? This is no time for empty platitudes. Rather, it is a time for active work to root out the seeds of intolerance and discrimination. It is time to commit to deep, authentic relationships across lines of difference in the service of true inclusion for all those who experience discrimination and prejudice across our Commonwealth. Earlier this year, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and several partners shared a list of "Ten Things You Can Do to Stand Together" at a community-wide gathering hosted by the Islamic Center of Virginia. Here is an adapted version of those actions in light of this weekend's tragic events:

  1. Speak up and challenge bigotry whenever you see it
  2. Talk with your neighbor or someone in your neighborhood you don't know about why diversity and inclusion is important to all of us
  3. Analyze the diversity within your neighborhood, workplace, local school, or house of worship and initiate conversations about where and why there might be a lack of inclusion
  4. Read books that help you to learn about the experiences and perspectives of people from different backgrounds - especially those whose voices are often left out of community conversations
  5. Learn about our community's complex history - including the difficult parts - and consider the residue of that history on the present day
  6. Write a letter to the editor expressing why you value diversity, equity, and inclusion in your community
  7. Contact your elected officials to make sure they know your views, especially about policies that could disproportionately hurt members of marginalized groups
  8. Attend community events that expand your understanding and perspective
  9. Volunteer with organizations that focus on making our communities more equitable and inclusive
  10. Donate to the Diversity Center and other organizations that promote respect, understanding, and justice

The events of this weekend remind us once again that true inclusion requires all of us to stand together against prejudice, discrimination, and hatred. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it provides some of the many steps that can move our communities closer to being places that are truly inclusive and just. It is also important to emphasize that they also must be ongoing commitments. When the rallies are over, let us not pretend that the hatred has left. Instead, let's use the experience of this weekend as continued motivation to root out bigotry and prejudice wherever it may be.

This is the moment for positive, vigorous action. Together, we can prove with one voice and with sustained effort that there is no place for hate in Virginia and our country.


Media Coverage

Read: Student Ambassadors represent Kenston High School at DCNEO Humanitarian Award Dinner November 17

Read:Generational Survey Press Release For Media 7-2017

Read: Diversity Center Celebrates Local Leaders December 2016

Read: Thompson Hine Wins the Law Firm Challenge August 2016

Watch: Peggy Zone Fisher Discusses LeadDIVERSITY on Kaleidoscope August 2016

Listen: Peggy Zone Fisher Discusses LeadDIVERSITY and more on Cleveland Connection August 2016

Read: #RethinkLabels wins a Telly Award!

Watch: WKCY's coverage of Walk, Rock & Run! April 2016

Watch: Peggy Zone Fisher Discusses Walk, Rock & Run on Kaledoscope April 2016

Read: Rizzarr shares #RethinkLabels January 2016

Read: The Goodmen Project shares #RethinkLabels January 2016 shares #RethinkLabels December 2015

 Watch Romona's Kids about Berea-Midpark Titan Leaders program

Read the GG9 article from dated June 6, 2014

Thompson Hine Wins The Diversity Center's Law Firm Challenge Award for the 2nd time! June 2014

Peggy Zone Fisher and Mike Mitchell, Co-Owner of Mitchell's Ice Cream talk about the 11th Annual Walk, Rock & Run May 4, 2013

Sr. Judith Ann Karam, CSA -- Humanitarian Award from Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio December 2012


Now Accepting LeadDIVERSITY Applications August 2018

Medical Mutual's Commitment to Diversity
May 2018

A Letter from Peggy Zone Fisher, President & CEO
December 2016

62nd Annual Humanitarian Award Dinner Sponsorships Available
October 2016 

Save the Date! Humanitarian Award Dinner
August 2016

Now Accepting LeadDIVERSITY Applications
July 2016

Witness Protection, featuring the Mike Petrone Band!
June 2016

2016-2017 School & Youth Programming
May 2016

DCNEO Updates
April 2016

Walk Rock & Run!
March 2016

DCNEO Updates
February 2016

DCNEO Updates
January 2016

Sign up to receive news and updates from The Diversity Center!

Privacy by SafeUnsubscribe