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Roll the dice to improve race relations and communication in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Community leaders are preparing for an event unlike any other, intended to improve race relations and communication in the Richmond metro.

“Diversity Day” takes place October 21. Speakers will each share strategies and programs that are working, identify challenges, and vocalize ideas important to them.

“How can we complain if we stand back and do nothing?” said Diversity Day participant Jerry Brown.

“This is a heart issue, so the first thing we need to do is understand one another have a change of heart then we can have a change of head and change of hand and start working together and helping the community,” said “Diversity Day” organizer David Dise.

The goal is to “lock arms in understanding” and address “diversity and inclusion.”

“We saw what took place in Orlando and Dallas,” said Dise. “I always thought you are either part of the solution or part of the problem so instead of blaming or pointing fingers, we can be part of the solution here by reaching out to some of these leaders and getting them to experience the game.”

To prepare for the first of a kind event, planners were introduced to “Winning the Training Game.”

“It is a 4 foot by 5 foot literally oversized board game,” said game founder Kay Taylor. “There are five categories.”

She said that eight to 16 folks play together and that they learn together.

“One of the key points is they learn and they answer in teams so nobody is on the hot spot nobody gets worried if they are going to know the answer because they are working together,” she said.

Dozens of leaders from the area will sit around the oversized board game Friday.

The goal is to promote teamwork and open communication and break down barriers in this case, on diversity and inclusion.

“Whether white, black, gay, straight, male, female we all share the same heart, and the  goal is if we can get those hearts beating together than we can start making some real change and real difference,” said Dise.

“I think we all need to be part of the solution,” Brown said. “Standing back saying it really isn’t about me, it involves all of us.”

While explaining the rules of the game, Taylor told trainees, “Remember, it’s how much of this play money you end up with at the end.”

At the end of Diversity Day, organizers say, the real winners will leave the table rich in knowledge on diversity and inclusion.

“Diversity Day" takes place this Friday from noon to 4 p.m., at PLANT ZERO, 500 Stockton Street Richmond, VA.  For more information call 804-441-1825.

“Winning the Training Game" ( was developed in Glen Allen and has been successful within our military and in schools like Chesterfield County to improve SAT scores.