Building Inclusive Communities

Contact us

Janice Altman

Jan Altman, Ph.D.
Director for Cultural Competence and Education
(804) 828-8947

Building Inclusive Communities (BIC) is the VCU initiative to support the university community in creating an engaged, diverse and inclusive campus environment.

BIC works to foster effective interaction between people and groups across a range of similarities and differences. Success will be measured by demonstrated competence in bias reduction, valuing differences, and diversity and inclusion skills.

The Building Inclusive Communities (BIC) Workshop provides a framework for participants to take personal responsibility for creating a truly engaged diverse and inclusive campus environment and to stay current with the diversity, equity and inclusion needs/issues of our changing VCU community. 

The BIC model promotes a safe, non-blaming learning environment in which participants learn an approach to recognizing bias and its impact. Through discussion and experiential activities, participants are encouraged to continually examine their own assumptions and perceptions and to overcome obstacles to becoming culturally competent leaders.

Key components of the workshop include developing participants` skills to address the attitudes, pitfalls and conditions (often unconscious and unintentional) that perpetuate disparities in power and access. Together we can develop a culturally informed VCU community that empowers each of us to strengthen communication and effectively address the needs of diverse groups. 

Workshop and training opportunities are available for VCU faculty, administrators and staff.

Workshop activities include:

  • Learning a common language for discussing diversity and inclusion
  • Identifying and discussing historically marginalized and privileged group dynamics
  • Assessing personal experiences of privilege, inequity and oppression
  • Addressing how thoughts, feelings, behaviors and practices contribute to cycles of inequity and oppression
  • Creating a personal plan for changing inequitable behaviors and practices

Registration is open for Fall 2018 BIC workshops for faculty, staff, and administrators:

  • January 8-9, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • February 8-9, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • February 26, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • February 27, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • March 19-20, 2018 (MCV Campus)
  • April 2, 2018 (MCV Campus)
  • May 9-10, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • June 4, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • June 5, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • June 21-22, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • July 9, 2018 (MCV Campus)
  • July 13, 2018 (MCV Campus)
  • August 16-17, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
  • September 7, 2018 (MCV Campus)
  • September 10, 2018 (MCV Campus)

BIC workshop for students, only:

  • Jan 26-27, 2018 (Monroe Park Campus)
You can also register by going to the VCU training site and use the keyword: diversity.  Please note that seating is limited.  If the January 2018  workshop is full, please contact Dr. Jan Altman at:  She will contact you if openings become available.

Building Inclusive Communities Facilitators

  • Holly Alford, School of the Arts
  • Jan Altman, Division for Inclusive Excellence
  • Lisa Beck, University Counseling Services
  • Thomas Briggs, Department of Insurance and Risk Management 
  • Erin Brown, Division of Community Engagement
  • Deborah Butler, Department of Psychology
  • Kendra Cabler, Division of Strategic Enrollment Management
  • Leslie Choplin, School of Social Work
  • Christine Davison, Office of Research and Innovation
  • Curtis Diesselhorst, VCU Police
  • Jennifer Elswick, College of Humanities and Sciences
  • Thaddeus Fortney, Focused Inquiry
  • Daryl Fraser, School of Social Work
  • Nicholas Garcia, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
  • Leslee Gensinger, Office of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Moe Debbagh Greene, Global Edfucation Office
  • Lyons Hardy, School of Nursing
  • Jeanette Hickl, Division of Student Affairs
  • Shajuana Isom-Payne, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
  • Laura Middlebrooks, School of World Studies
  • LaTina Pitts, School of Nursing
  • Johanna Plummer, Institute Contemporary Art
  • Shana Ryman, School of Medicine
  • Tara Stamm, VCU Sociology
  • Logan Vetrovec, Office of the VP for Health Sciences

For additional information, call: (804) 828-8947, or send an email to