Our organization traces its roots back to 1935 in Virginia. With a lengthy and rich history, we have been destined to change with the times, even as we work to change the times in which we live. Originally founded as the Virginia Region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities became an independent organization in 2005. Today, we are connected to many affiliates across the country to become the cornerstone of a new movement creating inclusive, respectful, and just communities.
Jonathan C. Zur is President & CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. Under Jonathan’s leadership, VCIC increased the number of programs delivered annually by nearly 600%, and the organization has been recognized locally and nationally for its effectiveness.
An experienced facilitator and consultant on issues of diversity and inclusion, Jonathan has been a selected presenter at a number of international, national, and regional conferences. His program work with VCIC 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.” In the community, Jonathan supports a variety of organizations. He is Vice Chair and Operations Coordinator for the National Federation for Just Communities, Education Committee Chair for Leadership Metro Richmond, First Vice Chair for the Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People, and a member of Senator Mark Warner’s Interfaith Advisory Group, the Hampton Roads Diversity & Inclusion Consortium Board, Hope in the Cities Council, and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement Advisory Council.Jonathan earned his B.A. from the University of Richmond and he received a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. For his professional work and community involvement, Jonathan received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award, the Leadership Metro Richmond Ukrop Community Vision Award, a 900 Men Strong Community Service Award, and the Stettinius Award for Nonprofit Leadership, among other recognitions. Additionally, Jonathan was a finalist for the Richmond Times Dispatch's 2015 Person of the Year, and he was named one of Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40" in 2009.
The Educational Equity Initiative develops a critical mass of educational stakeholders who are passionate, committed, and prepared to lead efforts to eliminate disparities based on race in all areas of school life and academic achievement. These disparities include, but are not limited to: lower scores of Latino and African American students as compared to their white and Asian peers; their under-enrollment in honors and advanced placement courses; higher rates of suspension and enrollment in special-needs classes; and rates of high school graduation and college and university preparedness, acceptance, attendance, and completion.
The Harold M. Marsh, Sr. Connections Institute (formerly Metrotown) is the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ signature high school program. Serving students from across the commonwealth since 1993, Connections is an intensive 5-day, 4-night human relations experience that takes place each summer. Schools send teams of up to 5 students to participate in Connections, and those delegates explore prejudice, identity, and diversity in interactive workshops and small discussion groups with peers from throughout Virginia. They also build communication and conflict resolution skills and develop action plans to share the Connections message with their schools.
The PAS curriculum takes participants through a process of awareness to action. Students learn to recognize prejudice and intolerance, and to respect others. They work closely with their peers from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Trained adult and high school facilitator teams guide the students through small group learning activities that explore personal experiences with discrimination and develop conflict resolution skills. During the PAS, educators receive professional development training that compliments the student learning. Jointly, students and educators develop follow-up plans to take back to their schools to share the PAS message with the larger school community.
Founded in 2001 by the local chapter of Jewish Women International, the PAS is today sponsored by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities with the support of a coalition of community organizations.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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