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Southwest Virginia Community College and Emory & Henry College partner to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

A Bridge to Change

CEDAR BLUFF, VA — Southwest Virginia Community College and Emory & Henry College are partnering to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion education, not only within the colleges themselves, but to the community as well. The partnership is entitled “Bridge to Change: The New Freedom Movement in Southwest Virginia.” The colleges will be hosting two virtual events this spring as part of this partnership. 

We are excited to work with Southwest Virginia Community College as we work towards a more inclusive Southwest Virginia,” said John Holloway, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Emory & Henry. “The Bridge to Change is a partnership between Emory & Henry College and Southwest Virginia Community College for the purpose of platforming, promoting, and championing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Southwest Virginia. We hope to continue to partner on many more events as we move forward.”

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

In celebration of Black History Month, A Bridge to Change: Celebrating Black History Month & the Freedom Movement with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will be held on February 10 at 7 p.m. Dr. Dyson is an academic, author, ordained minister, and radio host. He is a professor in the College of Arts and Science and in the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Dyson has authored or edited more than 20 books dealing with subjects such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Marvin Gaye, Barack Obama, Illmatic, Bill Cosby, Tupac Shakur and Hurricane Katrina.

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, poet Nikki Giovanni will present a virtual lecture on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. Giovanni, from Knoxville, Tenn., is one of America’s foremost poets. A frequent lecturer and reader, Giovanni has taught at Rutgers University, Ohio State University, and Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been a priority at Southwest Virginia Community College,” says Dr. Tommy Wright, president of Southwest Virginia Community College. “Now more than ever we are doing our best to expand on these efforts by educating, informing, and acting. Part of this renewed initiative is to bring in diverse voices of people from all over and to share the stories of our local community with those in other places. We are excited to partner with Emory & Henry College in encouraging open dialog on these important topics within our communities and beyond.”

To register for these events, please visit


About Emory & Henry College: 
Emory & Henry College, situated in the scenic hills of Southwest Virginia just off Exit 26 on I-81 in Emory, Virginia, offers a community filled with engaged students who choose to contribute to society and make a difference. With more than 80 academic majors, students discover their pathways and are connected to the world of work through its distinctive van Vlissingen Center for Career & Professional Development. Through a connected liberal arts education and hands-on experiences all students work with connection teams to integrate their classroom experiences and projects with travel, internships and civic engagement. For more information, visit

About Southwest Virginia Community College: 

Since 1968, Southwest Virginia Community College has primarily served the counties of Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, and Tazewell. Offering over 80 programs of study across three physical locations as well as online, Southwest has served over 109,000 students. In addition to credit-based programs, Southwest’s Workforce & Continuing Education department offers fast-track training for employees and customized solutions for employers. For more information, please visit

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