Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Working in community to build inclusive spaces
Building Inclusive Public SpacesBristol's Community Remembrance Project

Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The DEI Program works in collaboration with community partners to create inclusive spaces. By highlighting our shared history, sense of community and providing education and enrichment programs, the DEI program creates connections that impact the lives of children, youth, and families in our region.

Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective.  Populations that have been-and remain- underrepresented among practitioners in the field and marginalized in the broader society.

Equity is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.  Tackling equity issues requires an understanding of the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.

Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed.  Inclusion outcomes are met when you, your institution, and your program are truly inviting to all.  To the degree to which diverse individuals are able to participate fully in the decision-making processes and development opportunities within an organization or group.

Learn About Implicit Bias

Research on implicit bias suggests that people can act on the basis of prejudice and stereotypes without intending to do so. While psychologists in the field of “implicit social cognition” study consumer products, self-esteem, food, alcohol, political values, and more, the most striking and well-known research has focused on implicit biases toward members of socially stigmatized groups, such as African-Americans, women, and the LGBTQ+ community.

In October 2022, Appalachian Promise Alliance hosted a bias habit-breaking training by Dr. William Cox. This video provides a brief overview of “accumulation of bias” from Dr. Cox’s online training series. 

Building Inclusive Public Spaces

When we look at public spaces in our region, whose history is being told? Prior to 2021, no historical markers in Bristol, Virginia, or Bristol, Tennessee, acknowledged the shared history of our African American community. Tina McDaniel of Appalachian Promise Alliance partnered with the Bristol Historical Association and Black in Appalachia for the installation of two important historical markers in Bristol.  A marker remembering Dr. Charles Spurgeon Johnson, the first black president of Fisk University, and a marker recognizing Lee Street Baptist Church are now located in Cumberland Square Park in Bristol, Virginia.

To learn more about Dr. Charles Spurgeon Johnson, Lee Street Baptist Church, and the importance of these historical markers, please read this press release posted by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Bristol’s Community Remembrance Project

The Community Remembrance Project is a nationwide movement begun by the Equal Justive Initiative, an organization that supports efforts to memorialize victims and educate communities about the history of racial injustice. With community collaboration, the Bristol Community Remembrance Project seeks to memorialize documented victims of racial violence and foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice.

An Intense Feeling:
The Lynching of Robert Clark

*This video contains historical imagery of a lynching*

About the Project

The Bristol Community Remembrance Project seeks to commemorate the Robert Clark lynching that occurred in 1891 in Bristol, Virginia, and to foster dialogue about the past, present, and future of our community.

As part of the project, members of the community joined in reading and discussing On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century by Sherrilyn A. Ifill. This book is a reflection on the impact and legacy of lynching on local communities. Kerry-Lynn Paulson, librarian at King University, led the book discussions at the Bristol Public Library.

Future goals of the project include collection of soil from a location in Bristol, VA, and the placement of a historical marker near the site of the lynching.

Historical Marker

As part of the project, a historial marker will be placed near the site of the Robert Clark lynching in Bristol, VA. Below is a similar state historical marker in Wise County, VA. 


The Bristol Community Remembrance Project is a collaborative effort among of numerous citizens, local leaders, and members of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture. Additionally, the Equal Justice Initiative has provided valuable guidance throughout the course of the project.

Tina McDaniel and Preston Mitchell – Community Remembrance Project of Bristol, VA, Co-Coordinators

Tina McDaniel

Tina McDaniel

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Program Coordinator

Tina D. McDaniel worked as a human resource professional for a telecommunications corporation prior to retiring in 2017. Upon retirement, she became involved with the YWCA of Northeast TN and Southwest VA where her passion aligned with the organization’s mission of Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women. While at the YWCA, she was one of the organizers of Bristol’s first annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. Her passion has facilitated partnerships with several community organizations.

Tina has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP). She has completed Cornell University’s Diversity and Inclusion certificate program. Tina has served on ETSU’s Roan Scholar selection team, currently serves on the advisory board for King University’s Institute for Faith and Culture, is a board member for Arts Alliance of the Mountain Empire (AAME), and board member for the newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Alliance for Northeast TN and Southwest VA, as well as a member of Northeast State Community College’s Inclusive Excellence advisory committee. She was formerly employed as a Human Resource Manager for Ballad Health in Russell County, VA. Tina currently resides in Bristol, TN with her husband William.

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