October 13, 2021

'Pick Three for Unity Week' Initiative Encourages Citizens to Take Action in Support of Inclusion & Diversity Awareness

The City of Virginia Beach celebrates Unity Week 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 are encouraged to visit www.VBgov.com/unity to pick a minimum of three actions to take before Nov. 30 to show their commitment to communicating accurately and respectfully with one another. Options to select from are:

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.

Individuals can select from a variety of videos including three videos on www.VBgov.com/unity featuring "Growing Our LGBTQ+ Acceptance on National Coming Out Day"; "Islam & Judaism: Everything You've Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask"; and "Race: A Conversation About Solutions for Sustainable Changes." Videos average approximately 15 minutes in length.

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 Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) 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 and Virginia Beach, including book discussions, local history and genealogy workshops and discussions about systemic racism and its local impacts. Details about this and more Unity Week events can be found at www.VBgov.com/unity.

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.

About Unity Week
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 includes City of Virginia Beach Departments of Parks & Recreation, Public Library, Cultural Affairs, Human Resources, Human Services, Communications, and Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center with community partners including Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and the Hispanic Chamber of Coastal Virginia. For more information, visit www.VBgov.com/unity.

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