Equality Virginia

EV is building a fully inclusive Commonwealth by educating, empowering, and mobilizing Virginians to ensure all LGBTQ people are free to live, love, learn, and work.

Richmond, VA   |  www.equalityvirginia.org


Founded in 1989 as Virginians for Justice, Equality Virginia (EV) is the leading advocacy organization in Virginia seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. EV is building a fully inclusive Commonwealth by educating, empowering, and mobilizing Virginians to ensure all LGBTQ people are free to live, love, learn, and work.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Narissa Rahaman

Main address

PO Box 17860

Richmond, VA 23226 USA

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Formerly known as

Virginians For Justice Education Fund

Equality Virginia Education Fund



NTEE code info

Lesbian/Gay Rights (R26)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Transgender Leadership Coalition

Since 2014, Equality Virginia has been providing tailored, direct support to organizations that specifically serve the transgender and non-binary community. Too often trans and non-binary leaders face burnout and the organizations they lead have historically lacked adequate funding and large leadership benches due to the many unmet needs in the community.

In the summer of 2019, EV re-imagined how we could best work in collaboration to serve Virginia’s trans-led organizations, build the capacity of trans and non-binary leaders, and increase visibility for the entire trans community. With input and interest from the community, EV launched the Transgender Leadership Coalition of Virginia (affectionately called “the Coalition” for short).

Who are we?
The Coalition brings together transgender and non-binary leaders who represent organizations specifically serving trans and non-binary Virginians.

The Coalition envisions a Commonwealth where all trans and non-binary Virginians are free from discrimination and have access to resources that allow them to thrive and flourish.

The Coalition exists to provide mutual support to trans-led organizations of all types with information and resources, opportunities to build their capacity, and space to connect and build statewide community. Through these actions, we hope to create increased trans leadership, visibility, and empowerment.

Through the value of trans visibility, the Coalition collaborates to provide workshops and advocacy opportunities for trans and non-binary led organizations to build understanding and support for their local trans community.

Through the value of trans empowerment and leadership, the Coalition:

-Builds up each member organization’s capacity
-Cultivates each representative’s skills in leadership, resilience, and self-care
-Facilitates access to resources and information
-Provides opportunities to build community among organizations serving trans and non-binary Virginians

What do we do?
The primary way the Coalition works together is through monthly meetings that occur on the last Wednesday of every month from 6:00-7:00pm. At meetings, EV staff and Coalition members lead educational discussions on a topic of interest that members have voted for. Past meetings have included discussions on trans voting rights, trans homelessness, Two-Spirit advocacy, Black Trans Lives Matter, and so much more! Additionally, there is always dedicated time to share resources and information, make connections, build community, and get advice from other trans and non-binary leaders.

Moving forward, the Coalition is hoping to get more involved in direct advocacy for transgender, non-binary, and LGBQ Virginians, with a particular focus on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.

The Coalition keeps in touch through a private Facebook group where we share resources, pose questions, make collective decisions, and forge meaningful long-lasting relationships.

In a post-pandemic world, EV and the Coalition will host an annual meeting for members to come together in person to continue building community among trans and non-binary leaders representing organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

Finally, EV maintains a directory that Coalition members can opt into so trans and non-binary leaders can stay connected more easily.

Democracy in Action:
The Coalition operates on democratic principles so that all members are empowered to be leaders within the group.

-Each organization gets to vote on the monthly meeting’s educational discussion topic
-There is an anonymous feedback form where members can leave their input and, if they choose, request that it be discussed at a future meeting
-Coalition decisions are made by consensus during monthly meetings and in the Facebook group

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Transgender people
Intersex people

Our Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau offers faith communities, businesses, non-profits, and community organizations the opportunity to host a transgender or non-binary speaker. One story at a time, we are helping to foster deeper connections and build understanding for Virginia’s trans and non-binary community.

Equality Virginia works with organizations to coordinate an hour-long discussion, which will be facilitated by one of our trans or non-binary speakers. They will discuss their life and the landscape for LGBTQ equality in Virginia. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and get connected to different opportunities for engagement.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children of LGBTQ parents
Intersex people

Virginia TIES (Transgender Information & Empowerment Summit) is an annual conference in the fall that serves the needs and interests of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming Virginians of all ages as well as their friends, family members, partners, and allies. More than anything else this means building connections and strengthening our communities.

For the first time ever, TIES 2020 took place over multiple days and occurred completely virtually. In recent years, TIES has been particularly focused on building connection in harrowing times, uplifting the racial justice work happening in the trans and non-binary community, and making TIES more accessible.

What made TIES 2020 so special

-This year, TIES welcomed nearly 700 participants from across Virginia and the country, with half being transgender or non-binary and the rest being allies, family members, providers, and partners. That makes this year’s conference was the most attended TIES ever!

-The conference offered 24 unique workshops, featuring 37 presenters and facilitators, on topics varying from health care access to implicit bias to the work of Black trans-led organizations in Virginia, and so much more. Check out our online program to see the workshop descriptions. Thank you to our presenters and volunteers who made these workshops possible! You can see materials from some of the workshops by clicking here.

-TIES hosted four powerful keynote discussions featuring Black trans and non-binary leaders and change makers like Stonewall Veteran and trans revolutionary Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Dominique Morgan, the Executive Director of Black & Pink – the largest prison abolitionist organization in the US, as well as youth and adult advocates fighting for Black trans lives in their community.

-The first-ever TIES conference app, Whova, allowed hundreds of participants and dozens of community partners to connect with each other virtually, chat one-on-one, schedule meet-ups, post photos, and plan their days.

-Overall, folks sent over 3,000 messages and shared over 150 photos with each other.

-Daily social events and chill spaces were available to unwind, relax, and come together with other participants at TIES. Congratulations to our talent show and trivia winners!

-Almost 20 people, the most ever, made use of the TIES Wellness Center offering free conversations with trans-affirming medical and mental health providers. The Wellness Center offered services in Spanish for the first time as well.

-Interpretation between English and Spanish was available for the majority of the sessions at TIES thanks to Trans Terps DC. Conference materials were available in Spanish and English thanks to volunteer translators. Haga clic aquí para leer más sobre TIES 2020.

-Over 65 community organizations partnered with Equality Virginia to support the event, spread the word about the conference, and connect with TIES participants.

-The TIES Legal Clinic served 41 people with free assistance on the name and gender marker change process, also went digital. Thanks to our friends at the Virginia Equality Bar Association and the University of Richmond, the clinic occurred in the two weeks after TIES where participants met with an attorney virtually. Services were offered to both English and Spanish speaking clients.

-For the first time ever, Equality Virginia hosted an Inclusion Advisory Committee where 12 community members who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) as well as Spanish speakers of all backgrounds came together to share their vision of a more inclusive and diverse TIES that centers the needs of BIPOC and Spanish speakers in outreach, programming, and accessibility.

Population(s) Served

Statistics show that knowing someone within the LGBT community increases support for LGBT rights. This positive correlation makes coming out a critical component of the movement's future progress.  In light of the importance of being out to the LGBT movement, Equality Virginia recognizes OUTstanding Virginians who have represented the community with distinction each year at our annual Commonwealth Dinner. OUTstanding honorees are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians who have made a mark. Some are activists whose courage and dedication to equality have influenced our movement. Others are LGBT elected officials, entertainers, or business leaders who have achieved great success. We encourage the community to nominate individuals to receive this distinct honor by sending a recommendation to the EV office or filling in the information on our website's OUTstanding Virginians page.

Population(s) Served

All students have the right to feel safe at school regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT students frequently are the subjects of harassment and bullying by peers, teachers, and school officials. Such harassment and bullying undermines the positive learning environment that schools try to create which leads to lowered self-esteem and can contribute to depression. School professionals have an obligation to provide a positive environment for all of their students, but they need to be educated on the risk and protective factors for LGBT youth and how to support these youth effectively given the unique challenges they may experience at home, school and in the community based upon their sexual orientation and gender identity. Through this program, EV works towards the adoption of anti-bullying policies within individual school districts, and insuring that these school districts have the proper resources in place to help them successfully implement said policies.

Population(s) Served
LGBTQ people
Children of LGBTQ parents
Transitioning children

Where we work


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We envision a future where...
-LGBTQ people are celebrated members of their communities.
-LGBTQ young people are affirmed in their schools and homes.
-LGBTQ community organizations across the state are connected and collaborating.
-LGBTQ people are safe from violence in their communities.
-Legal protections are being successfully implemented and improving the lives of LGBTQ people
-LGBTQ people have access to informed, affirming health care.
-LGBTQ people are well-represented in elected office and appointed positions.
-LGBTQ elders have access to affirming care and resources.
-LGBTQ-affirming faith leaders demonstrate support and engage in interfaith equality efforts.
-LGBTQ people do not face disparities in health, safety, education, and economic outcomes, including those experiencing multiple forms of oppression.

Our Organizational Strategies:
-We empower people to tell their stories and advocate for themselves and others.
-We convene and connect LGBTQ leaders and organizations across the state.
-We invest in deep relationships to educate elected officials on both sides of the aisle.
-We foster inclusive communities by changing hearts and minds.
-We build power to sustain long-term efforts to win change.
-We develop and share expertise through training and public education.
-We respond to the needs of our community, particularly those experiencing multiple forms of oppression.
-We center racial and gender equity in our work.
-We mobilize Virginians to participate in government and build opportunities for increased civic engagement.

The 2020 General Assembly session was historic and life-changing for Virginia’s LGBT community! Never before has our state legislature passed so many pieces of LGBTQ-friendly legislation. We are moving forward with a changed legal landscape where LGBTQ Virginians can proudly live, love, learn, and work in a more inclusive Commonwealth.

One huge wine being The Virginia Values Act, patroned by Senator Adam Ebbin and Delegate Mark Sickles, bans discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public spaces. The Senate version of the bill (SB 868), passed the Senate 30-9 After the House added a substitute and passed it 54-46, the Senate agreed to the substitute 27-13. On April 11, Governor Northam signed the Virginia Values Act into law, making history as Virginia became the first state in the South to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their daily lives. Twenty states and D.C. already ban discrimination against LGBTQ people.

We all worked hard to achieve continued legislative success for LGBTQ Virginians during the 2021 General Assembly session! The state legislature passed 11 pro-equality bills including protections for LGBTQ elders and people living with HIV, affirming the right to marry, repealing harmful legal loopholes, and recognizing diverse family structures.

Additionally, in terms of racial justice work, we host bi-weekly meetings of the Racial Justice Committee within our Board of Directors, collaboration with a Planning & Equity Committee for our TIES conference, and a year-long investment with True North EDI, a racial equity consultant, to work with our staff to craft a plan for long-term systemic changes. We will also create opportunities for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Middle Eastern and North African, Asian, and Pacific Islander community members to make decisions affecting the course of our work. These commitments mark the beginning of this process, knowing the work is never complete.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve LGBTQ+ and Allied Virginians across the state.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Ahead of TIES 2021, EV launched the TIES Planning & Equity Committee as part of our commitment to anti-racism. This committee is for community members who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Northern African, and/or Spanish speakers to be decision-makers about the direction, programming, and focus of TIES 2021 – including around areas of racial equity and language access. The committee is open to cisgender family members, partners, and allies, though transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people’s voices are prioritized.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It is an ever growing process, but it has helped create as sense of transparency between the community and EV.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,


Equality Virginia

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Equality Virginia

Board of directors
as of 05/09/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bryan Price

University of Virginia Cancer Center

Term: 2020 - 2021

Diana Maurer


John Osterhout

Chesapeake Public Schools

Bryan Price

University of Virginia Cancer Center

Bianca Rey

Kaiser Permanente

Carol Schall

Virginia Commonwealth University

Joe Cobb

Christine Carter

Charley Burton

Black Trans Men, Inc.

Crystal Suber

Crystal Clear Financial Solutions

J. Christopher Reyes

Supreme Court of VA

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/9/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.