Unity Week

Join us for a week-long inclusive celebration and acceptance of others. The City of Virginia Beach presents Unity Week from Oct. 17-23 with various action-oriented initiatives.
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Why Unity Matters

Initiated by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation's (VBPR) Inclusion Services unit in 2018, Unity Week is a celebration of individual differences and a movement towards embracing the unique aspects that set individuals apart with positivity and acceptance. 

Today, Unity Week is an organization-wide initiative that also comprises of community partners including Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and the Hispanic Chamber of Coastal Virginia. 

We invite Virginia Beach to take part in Unity Week 2021! This year we encourage you to take action by picking three ways to show your support!



 Take Action

Take Action: Pick Three

The City of Virginia Beach celebrates Unity Week from Oct. 17-23 with various action-oriented initiatives. Unity Week is a celebration of individual differences and a movement towards embracing the unique aspects that set individuals apart with positivity and acceptance.  

This year, individuals can pick a minimum of three out of four actions to take before November 30 to show their commitment to communicating accurately and respectfully with one another. The four action options to select from are: 

Pronouns.pngOption 1: IDENTIFY YOUR PRONOUNS

Proper use of gender identity terms, including pronouns, signals courtesy, acceptance and respect. Take action by adding your pronoun to your email signature, social media profile, or Zoom screen name label (or whichever video conferencing tool you may use). 

Better yet, create a video sharing your pronoun on social media using the hashtag #VBunity and tell us why you’re supporting Unity Week. 


Video.pngOption 2: WATCH VIDEO 

Individuals can select from a variety of videos including three videos on this page featuring “Growing Our LGBTQ+ Acceptance on National Coming Out Day”; “Islam & Judaism: Everything You've Wanted to Know But Afraid to Ask”; and “Race: A Conversation About Solutions for Sustainable Changes.”  The videos mentioned above can be accessed in the Listen & Learn tab on this page or on our #VBUnity youtube playlist

Videos average approximately 15 minutes in length. 

Event.pngOption 3: ATTEND AN EVENT  

Various options include virtual panel discussions about unity through the lens of public health and ethnicity; in-person discussions about pandemic-related inequities, and even a Unity Line Dancing Party hosted by Parks & Recreation. Featured for Unity Week is the “Stamped from the Beginning Community Read Project,”  a VBPL read program series featuring writings by Ibram X. Kendi and its youth and teen adaptations. VBPL will provide a series of programs that examine the history and current reality of racism and injustice in Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach, including book discussions, local history and genealogy workshops and discussions about systemic racism and its local impacts. 

Orange.pngOption 4: WEAR ORANGE 

Oct. 20 is Unity Day, the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. 

Show your support on this day by wearing the color orange. Orange is the recognized color of anti-bullying, as it is associated with safety and visibility.  



 Listen & Learn

Listening & Learning: Online Conversations to Promote Unity

This year's conversations:

Unity Through the Lens of Public Health

October 19, 12-1:30 p.m. on WebEx
A panel of local experts will discuss the effects of public health on unity in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads. This virtual panel will be moderated by Dr. Cynthia Romero, director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Registration: Click Here

Unity Through the Lens of Inclusion

October 21, 2021, 12-1:30 p.m on WebEx
.Join a panel of local experts to learn about unity and inclusion in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads. This virtual panel will be moderated by Sebrina Lindsay-Law, Ed.D., Coordinator, Equity & Opportunity at the Virginia Beach City Public Schools Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Registration: Click Here

2020 Recordings

Watch highlights from 2020 Unity Week.


Growing Our LGBTQ+ Acceptance on National Coming Out Day
Guest speakers:
  • Michael Berlucchi | Virginia Beach Council Member
  • Cole Werkheiser | Hampton Roads Pride 
  • Neva White | LGBT Liaison to the City Manager
Our panel shares their personal experiences, answer questions from the community, and provide perspective on actions that each of us can take in our everyday lives to become allies and foster positive change.

Islam & Judaism: Everything You've Wanted to Know But Afraid to Ask
Guest speakers: 
  • Rabbi Marc Kraus  
  • Imam Rachid Khould 
Our guest speakers moderate an open discussion about:
  • Q&A about the Jewish and Islamic faiths 
  • Discuss discrimination and perceived biases about members of these faiths including speakers' personal stories
  • Promote unity in the community through deepening your understanding of these faiths and be an advocate for the freedom of religious beliefs even if they differ from your own 

Race: A Conversation About Solutions for Sustainable Changes
Guest Speakers:
  • Dr. Amelia Ross-Hammond Founder and Chairman, Virginia African American Cultural Center, Inc. Chair, Mayor's Commission on Diversity Equity and Inclusion, City of Virginia Beach 
  • Dr. Sebrina A. Lindsay-Law Coordinator Equity and Opportunity Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Virginia Beach City Public Schools 
  • Debbie Woodbury, MPA, CPRP, CPM Regional Program Director, Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities City of Alexandria
Our panel presents an honest and open discussion to answer questions and share experiences regarding racial equity.






 

 #VBUnity Videos

What Does Unity Mean to You?

vbunity.pngCity of Virginia Beach leaders and staff share their thoughts on celebrating our differences and bringing our community together. Watch below or access the full playlist

What does UNITY mean to you? Share your thoughts and photos with us on Facebook and use the tag #VBUnity. Take a look at last year's Unity Week photo album.





 

 

 

 




 

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Why We Celebrate

 Unity Week Events

​Library Unity Week Events:

FAMFISHCLINIC.png "Stamped from the Beginning"
Join Virginia Beach Public Library for a community read program series featuring "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" by Ibram X. Kendi and its youth and teen adaptations. VBPL will provide a series of programs that examine the history and current reality of racism and injustice in Hampton Roads, including book discussions, local history and genealogy workshops, and discussions about systemic racism and its local impacts.

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Living Room Conversations: How Were You Affected by the Pandemic? | Saturday, October 16th, 2021 | 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Come join us at Kempsville Area Public Library for coffee, cookies, and conversation as we share how the pandemic affected our lives and listen to how it affected others. This event is for adults 18+.  Registration is required beginning August 2nd. 
Register Now


FAMFISHCLINIC.png Sensory Storytime & To-Go Kit | Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 | 10:00am - 10:30am
Enjoy a small-group virtual storytime designed to allow children to explore a variety of sensory experiences. While fun for all children, this program is appropriate for children with specialized sensory processing needs to explore sensory stimulation through stories, music, activities and more. Not all activities are appropriate for every age and ability. Caregivers, please plan to assist your child in safely exploring the materials and activities. Ages 3-10.Learn More

FAMFISHCLINIC.png Unity Line Dance Party | Thursday, October 21 | 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Join us for a celebration of UNITY at Bow Creek Recreation Center as we dance the night away with pop and dance music that honors positive energy and fun vibes.
We'll explore different dance styles taught in a line dancing style format.

Register Now


 ‭(Hidden)‬ Kid-friendly Video Resources

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Creating Conversation