Cultural diversity: Region's cultural mix is ever changing

Hampton Roads is rich in cultural and ethnic diversity. These are among groups that foster diversity, ethnic identity and tolerance in the region.

Academic Year in the USA: A non-profit organization promoting global learning and leadership through high school exchange programs. Families needed year round to host students, who will attend local high schools. Teacher exchanges also available, as well as work/study programs. Linda Dyer, regional director, 672-2045, www.ayusa.org

Academy of Music: Community instruction for all who can benefit, regardless of ability to pay. 902 Colonial Ave., Norfolk. 627-0967, www.aomva.org

Adoptions From The Heart: Private, non-profit, non-sectarian adoption agency, offering international and domestic adoption, pre-adoption and post-adoption education and home study services. 870 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake, 361-0008, www.adoptionsfromtheheart.org

Advocating 4 Kids: Educational advocacy services for parents of children with cognitive, emotional, and learning disabilities. Cheryl Poe, 306-1942, www.advocate4kids.org

American Diabetes Association: African-American Program increases awareness of diabetes and early diagnosis and treatment. Project POWER helps churches include diabetes awareness and healthy living into the life of the family and church. 870 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake. Juanita Thompson, 424-6662, Ext. 3277, or www.diabetes.org

American Red Cross Foreign Language Bank, Southeastern Virginia Chapter: Volunteer emergency translation services in about 40 languages. 440-1111.

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral: Sunday services; Greek Festival in mid-May, celebrating Greek tradition through cuisine, music and dance. 7220 Granby St., Norfolk. 440-0500, www.annunciation.va.goarch.org

Asian Indians of Hampton Roads: Promotes cultural heritage and involvement of Indian Americans in mainstream America, including voter registration and information on economic, social and political issues. Meets second Saturday monthly in Virginia Beach libraries. Annual India Fest in August at Old Dominion University, Norfolk. President. Ms. Jagdish A. Singh: 484-8770, ladyjayh@hotmail.com, www.aihr.org

Asian Pacific American Heritage Organization: Shares cultural heritage, customs, arts and crafts and food of Asian Pacific culture with mainstream America through Asian Fest each May. Member countries include India, China, Pakistan, Philippine, Thailand, Cambodia, Korea, Pacific Islands and Sri Lanka. Other Asian countries invited. Ms. Jagdish A. Singh, Chair Public Relations. 484-8770, ladyjayh@hotmail.com

The Baha’i Faith: Follows the teachings of Baha’u’llah and promotes elimination of prejudice, equality of men and women, adoption of world auxiliary language, spiritual solutions to world ills and world peace. Meetings on Wednesdays and Sundays. Pat Eelman, eelman1@cox.net or visit www.Bahai.org

Bells Mill Historical Research and Restoration Society Inc.: Has three divisions: ECA Associates Press, sponsor of the Hampton Roads African Heritage Book Expo in Norfolk; Early Childhood Associates Training Institute; United States Colored Troops Descendants, organization of Afro-Union Civil War soldiers’ descendants. E. Curtis Alexander, 547-5542, or P.O. Box 15004, Chesapeake, VA 23328.

Center for the Study of Religious Freedom: Located at Virginia Wesleyan College, initiatives that educate both the mind and the heart. NEXUS interfaith dialogue series ,open to public. 1584 Wesleyan Dr., Norfolk. 455-3129, csrf@vwc.edu, www.vwc.edu/academics/csrf

Character, Culture and Achievement: Building Success for All Students A 45-hour training program for educators. Serves Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Norfolk. 120 S. Lynnhaven Road, Suite 203, Virginia Beach. 301-7414.

Chinese Community Association of Hampton Roads: Educates its members and the public about Chinese culture and history. Operates the Chinese community center at 722 Newtown Road, Virginia Beach, and participates in cultural festivals throughout Hampton Roads. 499-2675, Membership@ccahr.org, www.ccahr.org

Church Women United, International, Norfolk Unit: Church women from all denominations, service projects. Meets on first Friday, 10 a.m., various churches. Evelyn Proctor, secretary, 2141 Haverford Dr., Chesapeake. evey2141@aol.com, 424-0905

City of Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission: Advocates human rights in the community through educational and informational programs. Referral to appropriate organizations to individuals who believe their rights have been violated. Meets first Thursday of every month, 4 to 6 p.m., Department of Human Resources, 2424 Courthouse Drive, Municipal Center Building 18, Virginia Beach. 385-8374, www.VBgov.com/hr

Citizens’ Unity Commission: A department of Hampton city government to promote healthy race relations and cultural diversity. 5th floor, Hampton City Hall, 22 Lincoln St., Hampton. 728-3279, unity@hampton.gov, www.hampton.gov/unity

City of Norfolk Division of Youth Development: Addresses issues, needs and resources for city youth from diverse backgrounds. 441-6042, www.norfolk.gov/rpos/youth_development.asp

Community Mediation Center: Celebrates diversity to improve relationships and foster communication. Diversity classes led by trainers experienced in conflict resolution. See Website for meetings calendar. 586 Virginian Drive, Norfolk, 480-2777, kimh@conflictcrushers.org, www.conflictcrushers.org

Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater: Umbrella organization for 17 Filipino groups in Hampton Roads. The Philippine Cultural Center, at 4857 Baxter Road, Virginia Beach, is the cultural center for 45,000 Filipino-Americans in Hampton Roads. Sponsors several pageants and events throughout the year. Board meets every first Sunday. Dr. Manuel Hipol, chairman, 490-7600, CUFOT@philippineculturalcenterofva.org, www.philippineculturalcenterofva.org

Filipino American Center: Old Dominion University, 1411 W. 49th St., Norfolk. 683-5099.

Filipino American National Historical Society, Hampton Roads Chapter Promotes understanding, education, enlightenment, appreciation and enrichment through the identification, gathering, preservation and dissemination of the history and culture of Filipino Americans in the United States. 497-2988, www.fanhs-hr.org

First Chinese Baptist Church: Founded in 1901 in Norfolk to serve Hampton Roads and southeastern Virginia, with emphasis on those of Chinese heritage. Sunday worship services at 9:45 a.m. (in English) and 11:15 a.m. (in Chinese). 288 Pritchard Road, Virginia Beach. Pastor Amos Wong, 340-6069, awong@fcbc-va.org or Pastor TimLiu, tliu@fcbc-va.org, www.fcbcva.org

First Lutheran Church: Mother church of area Lutheran Christianity. Worship Sundays, 8:30 and 11 a.m., and other times as announced. 1301 Colley Ave., Norfolk. 625-1953, http://flcnorfolk.com

Global Cultures: Promotes respect, equality, and focus on the similarities, rather than the differences, among world cultures. Meets quarterly. Angel Morales, 481-3654, ltcolalm@cox.net

Hampton Roads Families with Children from China (HRFCC): Open to any family with children adopted from China or those considering adoption from China. Holds three large formal annual events for Chinese New Year, Moon Festival and the Kite Festival. Educational events, playgroups, waiting family events, informal meetings and other events throughout the year. 498-8034, hrfcc@yahoo.com, www.hrfcc.com

Hampton Roads Network for Nonviolence: Promotes peace and nonviolence through educational programs, peace and nonviolence activities, and networking with other organizations. Monthly meetings on Website. Whit Peace, whitpeace@cox.net, http://hamptonroadsnetworkfornonviolence.org

Hindu Temple and Community Center of Hampton Roads: Religious, social and cultural activities. 217 South Dominion Blvd., Chesapeake, 382-7777 or vagarwal@odu.edu, www.hindutemplehr.org

Indian American Forum for Political Education, Hampton Roads Chapter: Facilitates informal exchanges of ideas between forum members and political leaders, involves members in community, and public affairs. Jagdish A. Singh, 484-8770 or ladyjayh@hotmail.com

Irish-American Society of Tidewater: Promotes and preserves Irish culture, including music, art, history, folklore, dance. Irish. Open to all with an interest in the Irish. Meets 7 p.m. on first Thursday of each month at Church of the Ascension, 4853 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach. Mike Bromley, 572-2835, or thebrom@verizon.net, www.irlusa.org

Islamic Center of Tidewater and the Muslim Student Association: Located on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Classes, Sunday school, religious and social activities, open to all Muslims. The Muslim Community of Tidewater meets here monthly. 1442 W. 49th St., Norfolk, 423-8609. www.odu.edu/ao/msa

Juneteenth Festival: Celebrates signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery in America. Sheri Bailey, 397-5963, sheri@juneteenthva.com, www.juneteenthva.com

Life In His Word Christian Center: Diverse congregation including Filipino, French-Canadian, Jamaican, African- American, Hispanic and Caucasian. 5516-B Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. 473-8700, lfnHisWord@msn.com, www.lifeinhisword.org

Making A Difference Foundation: Volunteer community foundation focusing on education, mentoring, health education, gang and juvenile violence, fatherhood programs and Hispanic Outreach. 512 S. Independence Blvd., Suite 202, Virginia Beach. 375-8195, 373-7916, aliciabobulinski@yahoo.com

Mid-Atlantic Alternative Volleyball Association (MAAVA): Multi-level recreational gay/gay-friendly volleyball league for men and women. www.MAAVA.org

Masjid (Mosque) William Salaam: Friday prayer service and Islamic studies and comparative religion classes Sundays at 1 p.m. 614 W. 35th St., Norfolk. 626-0734. Mosque and Islamic Center of Hampton Roads; Classes in Islam, worship, group prayer times, and Al-Huda Islamic Weekend School, 22 Tide Mill Lane, Hampton, 838- 4756, www.Hamptonmosque.Zoomshare.com

Multicultural Student Services: Library, newsletter, special events. Old Dominion University, 2109 Webb Center, Norfolk. 683-4406, www.odu.edu/mss

NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People): Addresses political, youth and education issues and makes referrals. www.naacp.org; www.virginianaacp.org; Branches: Virginia Beach: 490-7799, www.naacpvb.org; Williamsburg: 229-3113

Nansemond Indian Tribal Association: People descended from the historic Nansemond, one of the remaining tribes of the Powhatan empire. Dedicated to keeping the Nansemond heritage alive. Holds annual pow wows in Suffolk and Chesapeake. 986-3354, www.nansemond.org

National Association of Women Business Owners, Southeastern Virginia Chapter: Advances women in economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. Seeks diverse and inclusive membership. Meetx third Wednesday of each month, 5:30-8 p.m. Vivian Honeycutt, 962- 7522, president@nawboseva.org, www.nawboseva.org

National Council on Islamic Scouting: Islamic Sea Scouts meet on the USS Wisconsin at Waterside Drive in Norfolk. Scouts take a religious test and take part in interfaith meetings with scouts of other faiths. They learn the rules of the sea. Mrs. D. M. Al-Um’matallah, IslCommishBSA@aol.com, http://hometown.aol.com/alislam4/

National Council of Negro Women: Mission is to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities. Meetings monthly on the second Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Oakmont North Family Investment Center, 7241 Oakmont Drive, Norfolk. Laleise Curtiss, 729-2264, www.ncnwnorva.com

Nederlands Contact of Tidewater: Cultural club for Dutch-speaking people. Meets Monthly September through June. Peter Syswerda, 426-8457, syswerda@hotmail.com

NEXUS Interfaith Dialogue Program: Interfaith panel programs on various topics held at Virginia Wesleyan College, with small interfaith dialogue groups held throughout the region. BetsyWrightRhodes@earthlink.net

New Life Metropolitan Community Church of Hampton Roads: Diverse Christian church meets Sunday at 11a.m., 5701 Thurston Ave., Virginia Beach. 460-5805, nlmccprayers@aol.com

People to People: Contributes to the improvement of race relations and the quality of life for citizens. Monthly and quarterly meetings. Herbert V. Kelly, 873-8027.

Phi Zeta Phi Foundation Inc.: Meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month at various locations. A mature social society for career professionals in Virginia. 239-9999, www.phizetaphi.com

RACE: Recognizing All Cultures Equally: Train groups to become involved in leadership opportunities that will educate youth and citizens in promoting diversity and acceptance. Dr. Margaret R. Buxton, 397-0517, 287- 5387, Jbuxton376@aol.com

Rap Session: Study group on race relations, celebrating peace and diversity. Meets quarterly for potluck. Maizelle Brown, 627-0139.

Sangeet Sargam Indian Cultural Society Of Hampton Roads: Promotes music and dance from the Indian subcontinent. President Dr. Bidhu Mohanty, 427-0196, info@sangeetsargam.org, www.sangeetsargam.org

Saint Andrew’s Society of Tidewater: Provides assistance to those of Scottish heritage; promotes the study of the history, traditions and culture of Scotland. Dinner meeting first Monday of each month; Burns Nicht Supper each January, Saint Andrew’s Day Dinner each November. PO Box 64007, Virginia Beach, VA 23467-4007; inquiry@tidewaterscots.org www.tidewaterscots.org

Saturday Academy for Positive Self-Development: Supports programs that provide positive, caring influence and standards of conduct for young people and their families. Meets Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in The City of Portsmouth Department of Community Relations and Leisure Services. Contact Dr. M. Julius, 965-3041, mjhayes@excel.com, or Michelle Eady, 393-8481, Ext. 4112.

Scottish Society of Tidewater: Preservation and study of Scottish culture, including music, art, history, folklore, dance, literature and athletics. Meets first Wednesday of each month, 7:30 p.m at the Virginia Beach Central Library. Early 2007 meetings will be held at other locations; check Website for locals. Edward Brash, 753-2831, president@tidewatersco ts.org, www.tidewaterscots.com

Simon Family Jewish Community Center: Mission is to create a community of learning Jews and build Jewish memories through programs that address Jewish values, practices and life cycles. Services including sports and fitness, summer camps, preschool and programs, a speaker’s series and a Jewish film festival. 5000 Corporate Woods Dr., Virginia Beach. 321-2338, info@simonfamilyj.org, www.jccshr.org

Slavic-American Cultural Association: First, second and third generation Slavic- Americans seeking to foster and promote awareness of Slavic culture, languages, customs, cuisine, folklore and music. Countries include Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Provides a scholarship for ESOL classes for adults, provides an Eastern European culture club for children adopted from Slavic countries, and holds Slavic Culture Days in January. Monthly meetings held at the St. Nicholas Community Center, 621 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach. 468-0631, SACA@hamptonroads.com, groups.hamptonroads.com/SACA/

Southeastern Virginia Arts Association (SEVAA): An Umbrella art organization promoting the art and culture of African Americans, with emphasis on theatre, music, and dance, visual and literary arts. Promotes a musical theatre summer arts workshop for inner city youth, and African American Festival (Afr’Am Fest), an outdoor festival held Memorial Day weekend in Town Point Park, Norfolk. 420 North Center Dr. Suite 263, Norfolk. 216-7518, Executi veDirector@sevaa.org, http://www.sevaa.org

Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association (TUCA): Promotes awareness of Ukrainian culture and history throughout eastern Virginia. Activities focus on humanitarian, cultural and social events, with meetings several times a year open to anyone with an interest in things Ukrainian. Andy Grynewytsch (TUCA secretary), AndyGryn@aol.com, www.thetuca.org.

Unitarian Church of Norfolk: Welcomes people of every religious and ethnic origin, race, age, gender or sexual orientation. Sunday services are at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. 739 Yarmouth St., Norfolk, 627-5371, www.ucnorfolk.org

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Outer Banks: Members form a diverse group with various religious backgrounds. Sunday meeting at 10:25 a.m.; monthly gatherings around the region celebrate various aspects of humanity. Intersection of Kitty Hawk and Herbert Perry Road, Kitty Hawk, N.C. (252) 261-2801, www.uucob.org

United Jewish Federation of Tidewater/Tidewater Jewish Foundation; Work together to help ensure a thriving Jewish community. Allocates funds directly to local Jewish agencies and publishes “The Jewish News.” 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200, Virginia Beach. 965-6100 or 965-6111, bjacobson@ujft.org, www.jewishva.org

Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities: Human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America. Contact the local chapter through the state office, (804) 515-7950, contact@inclusiveva.org

Voices of Expression Gospel Choir: Led by Dr. Sylvester K. Starkes, promotes appreciation for human differences regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, handicap, age, or sexual orientation. 420-6510.

Wat Pasantidhamma Buddhist temple: in Carrollton. 14289 Chapmans Lane, 238-3461, watpa@watpa.iirt.net, www.watpa.iirt.net

West Indies United Family organization preserving West Indian/Caribbean culture through education, networking, sports and socialization. Monthly potluck dinners, holiday parties and other social events. 496-6006, wiussc@yahoo.com, www.westin diesunitedva.org

Young Achieving Teens: Therapeutic foster care for ages 16-21. Meets third Wednesday each month. 5752 Princess Anne Rd., Virginia Beach. Jennifer Davis, 461-5098, jdavis@community-solutions.net, www.Community-solutions.net

YWCA of South Hampton Roads: Eliminating racism, empowering women. 5215 Colley Ave., Norfolk. 625-4248, Helpline: 625-5570, sout hhamptonroads@ywconnect.org, www.ywca-shr.org

— Compiled by Kay Reynolds


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