The Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ dedicated staff members bring years of experience to their work helping schools, businesses, and communities achieve success through inclusion.  Meet our team below, and contact VCIC to be in touch with a member of the staff.

Executive

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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 has quadrupled the size of the budget and staff, and the number of programs the organization delivers annually increased by 3,000%.  Additionally, VCIC has been recognized locally and nationally for its effectiveness.

An experienced facilitator and consultant on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Jonathan was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, formed in the aftermath of the tragedy in Charlottesville in August 2017.  In 2016, Jonathan was a speaker at the inaugural White House Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government.  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.”

Active in the community, Jonathan has served in recent years as a member of the Virginia Commission on African American History Education, the Virginia Complete Count Commission, the Virginia Task Force on Culturally Inclusive School Meals and Calendars, the Leadership Metro Richmond Board of Directors, the Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People Board of Directors, and the Asian & Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central Virginia 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, he received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award, the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, and the Leadership Metro Richmond Ukrop Community Vision Award, 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.

Programs

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Paula Bazemore

Hampton Roads
Program Manager

Paula L. Bazemore is the Hampton Roads Program Manager at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she serves as the link between VCIC and community partners in Hampton Roads through designing, facilitating, and convening diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops.

Paula has a diverse background that includes program development and implementation, partnership development, fund development, public event organizing, and curriculum development. Past employers include three different Girl Scout councils, the National Kidney Foundation, WHRO, and the American Cancer Society where she created an award-winning program concept. Prior to joining VCIC, Paula served as the Executive Director for Peninsula READS, an organization that provides literacy skills for adults.

Paula was among the first group of staff members trained to be Diversity Facilitators in the American Cancer Society’s Mid-Atlantic Division.  She is a former commissioner for the Hampton Citizens’ Unity Commission, is the past President of the Southeastern Association of Volunteer Administrators and is currently on the board of the Professional Development Consortium of Hampton Roads.

Paula received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and has a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the TCC Academy of Nonprofit Excellence.

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Tally Botzer

Director of
Educational Programs

Tally Botzer is Director of Educational Programs at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, Tally facilitates educational programs on diversity and inclusion for schools across the Commonwealth, including retreats, forums, professional development, consulting sessions, and customized workshops.

With over a decade of nonprofit experience, Tally has worked in formal and informal education in Richmond since 2013. Most recently, Tally managed youth and family programs at the American Civil War Museum, where she designed programs primarily for students and educators on diverse topics, including the complicated roots and legacies of race and racism in the United States. She has presented at local and national conferences for educators–like the National Council for History Education and the Virginia Conference for Social Studies Educators–on topics including teaching difficult subject matter and countering historical bias.

Prior to her time at the museum, Tally was a classroom teacher in Richmond Public Schools. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in writing and her Master of Education in Elementary Education, both from the University of Mary Washington.

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Charm Bullard is Senior Advisor to the CEO at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she designs and facilitates educational programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion for institutions across Virginia. Charm particularly specializes in VCIC’s workplace and community programs.

Since joining the VCIC team in 2016, Charm has had the opportunity to conduct over 400 workshops across the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is particularly known for her warmth and humor as a facilitator. Prior to joining VCIC, Charm spent 11 years working in various student affairs roles on collegiate campuses throughout the Southeast. It was during that time that she found her passion for encouraging and supporting diversity and inclusion. One accomplishment she is particularly proud of is founding the Connecting Women of Color Conference at the University of Richmond, which was featured in Women in Higher Education and Essence magazines.

Charm received her Bachelor’s degree in English from Lander University and her Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.

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Chris Burton

Vice President
of Programs

Chris Burton is Vice President of Programs at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In his role, he designs and facilitates educational programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion for institutions across Virginia. Chris particularly specializes in VCIC’s workplace and community programs.

Born and educated in Brooklyn, Chris is a writer for himself and others. He previously taught English and Special Education in both public and independent school settings.  Chris serves as an ambassador for the Lupus Foundation of America as well as an Inaugural Social Justice Fellow for The Memorial Foundation. He is also an avid podcaster and co-hosts a podcast about race, culture, and soul care called CrossStreets.

Chris is an alumnus of Davidson College, received his Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary, Master of Science in Education from St. John’s University, and is back at Union as a Doctor of Ministry Candidate.

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Emma Cox

Educational Programs
Associate

Emma Cox is Educational Programs Associate at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she designs and facilitates educational programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion for middle school and high school students across Virginia with a specific focus on planning and carrying out VCIC’s one day forums and youth retreats.

During her undergraduate career, Emma became heavily involved with diversity, equity, and inclusion programming. She has work, internship, and volunteer experience with The Literacy Lab (through AmeriCorps), YWCA Madison, the Center for Religion and Global Citizenry, and Our Wisconsin.  Emma’s passion for community-based empowerment led her to Virginia, where she volunteered with several VCIC programs before joining the staff in 2021.

Emma received her Bachelor’s degree in Community and Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Certificate in Criminal Justice.

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Jessica M. Hawthorne is Vice President of Programs at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion.  In her role, she designs and facilitates educational programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion for institutions across Virginia. Jessica particularly specializes in VCIC’s programs for K-12 schools and higher education. She also leads VCIC’s program evaluation efforts.

In the community, Jessica has served on the faculty of the Koinonia School for Race and Justice at Richmond Hill, and she was a member of both the Juvenile Justice Collaborative Youth Violence Prevention Workgroup and the Trauma-Informed Community Network.  Jessica was also a community facilitator for the Unpacking the Census program.

Prior to her time with VCIC, Jessica worked for her family’s local small business as their office and social media manager. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in Religious Studies, concentrating in African Religions and Islam.  Jessica also earned a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University along with a Certificate in Religious Education.

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Michael Jackson

Program
Associate

Michael Jackson is Program Associate with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion.  He has primary responsibility for supporting program planning, logistics management, data entry, and general administrative tasks.

Prior to joining the VCIC staff, Michael had been a volunteer for the organization for four years.  During that time, he facilitated several of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ middle school and high school programs, including Diversity Dialogue Day, the Harold M. Marsh, Sr. Connections Institute, and the Prejudice Awareness Summit.  Michael also has experience as a Presidential Inaugural Fellow for the National Day of Service, and as a former Deputy Field Organizer.

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Jacquie Johnson

Director of
Professional Development

Jacqueline “Jacquie” Johnson is Director of Professional Development at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she designs, coordinates, delivers and evaluates diversity, equity, and inclusion programs conducted for VCIC’s workplace clients across Virginia.

Jacquie has a diverse background that includes workplace diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) strategy, instructional design, and underrepresented community outreach and engagement. Jacquie is especially interested in how DEI practices, adult learning, and inner self-work build and better workplaces and the broader community for everyone to thrive. Jacquie currently serves on the board of The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access, and Diversity (The LEAD Fund).

Prior to joining VCIC, she managed special projects and training programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation; American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity; and Morgan Lewis, an international law firm. Jacquie received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and her Master’s degree in Anthropology from George Washington University in Washington DC.

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Alejandro Prince

Educational Programs
Coordinator

Alejandro Prince is an Educational Programs Coordinator at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In his role, Alejandro designs, coordinates, and facilitates programs, events, and conferences on diversity, equity, and inclusion primarily for educators and students across the Commonwealth.

Prior to joining VCIC, Alejandro worked with a Community Action Agency delivering programs centered on violence prevention, trauma-informed education, healthy relationships, and college and career readiness for youth. His research and experience with curricula development center on the connections of moral philosophy, racial justice, gender & sexuality, history, and psychology. He is especially interested in the role that educators play in positive human development for peaceful communities and just societies.

In the community, Alejandro serves on the Governing Body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. Before moving to Virginia, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Azusa Pacific University and his Master’s in Theological Studies with a Certificate in African American and Diaspora Studies from Vanderbilt University.

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Emma Yackso

Community Programs
Coordinator

Emma Yackso is Community Programs Coordinator at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she designs, coordinates, delivers, and evaluates diversity, equity, and inclusion programs for non-profit organizations, community groups, and government agencies across the Commonwealth.

Emma comes to VCIC with a strong background in justice-oriented work, including a decade of experience in LGBTQ+ advocacy and support, community organizing, and southern-focused racial equity work. Most recently the Director of Programs at Side by Side, Emma is a clinical social worker who has worked in communities in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, LA, and Richmond and Charlottesville, VA. She is passionate about fostering spaces for authentic conversations that are genuinely led by and empower folks in and of their communities. She has worked with folks to build their voices around LGBTQ+ (specifically trans/gender non-conforming) equity and inclusion, community policing, non-profit equity, and more.

Emma received her Masters of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and she is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Virginia. She earned her undergraduate degree from George Washington University.

Administration & Fund Development

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Katie Hathaway

Director of
Events & Marketing

Katie Hathaway is Director of Events & Marketing for the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she is responsible for planning and executing the organization’s Humanitarian Awards Dinner events and conferences across the Commonwealth.  She also supports VCIC’s marketing efforts through graphic design and online media management.

Prior to joining VCIC, Katie was Operations Manager at Initiatives of Change/Hope in the Cities, where she planned and organized events, supported the organization’s communications efforts, and oversaw office operations. During her tenure, Katie managed the “Unpacking the 2010 Census” program, “The Trust Factor” Conference in Washington DC, and served as head of the Conference Operations department at an annual international conference near Montreux, Switzerland.

Katie holds an M.A. in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, with a focus on intercultural/diversity training and consulting. She earned her B.A. in International Relations from Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland.

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Karen La Forge

Executive
Vice President

Karen La Forge is Executive Vice President at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, business, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, Karen plans, organizes, and leads the administrative, human resources, and fund development work of VCIC.

Karen has over 25 years of nonprofit fundraising, program development, and administrative experience. Prior to joining VCIC, she served as Executive Director of The READ Center, an adult literacy organization. During her time at READ, Karen helped to grow the organization’s programs, staff, and revenue. She was named Virginia’s Outstanding Adult Education Executive Director in 2019. Before READ, Karen served as Director of Development and Executive Director of the statewide education program, Agriculture in the Classroom.

Karen received her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from James Madison University. She also has certificates in Nonprofit Management and Nonprofit Marketing from the University of Richmond’s School of Philanthropy.

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Eric Luu

Development &
Operations Associate

Eric Luu is Development & Operations Associate at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In his role, Eric supports the organization’s fund development and marketing efforts, and he works to ensure the efficient operation of the VCIC State Office.

Eric has been a volunteer and long-time supporter of VCIC for many years. He has facilitated and supported the Diversity Dialogue Day and the Harold M. Marsh, Sr. Connections Institute programs. In addition, he provided administrative and programming support as a VCIC intern in 2014 and 2018.

Prior to joining the VCIC staff, Eric worked for B-boy & B-girl Dojo as their Community Manager. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Journalism and a cognate in Marketing from Virginia Tech.

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LaTina Pitts

Executive
Assistant

LaTina Pitts is Executive Assistant with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion.  She has the primary responsibility of providing administrative support to the President & CEO while also assisting VCIC in fulfilling its mission throughout the Commonwealth.

Prior to joining the VCIC staff, LaTina provided 10 years of administrative support to Virginia Commonwealth University. While at VCU, she became a certified facilitator through the Building Inclusive Communities Train-the-Trainer Initiative, and also served on the VCU Task Force for Individual, Institutional & Systemic Bias, the VCU Leveraging Diversity Task Force, and the VCU School of Nursing Committee for Cultural Action.

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