Partnering in Diversity

Discover the joy of a culturally expansive education.

Due government restrictions, the 37th Annual Virginia Homeschool Convention has been canceled.
This difficult decision was not made lightly, but with drastic, new restrictions in place, there is simply no other choice.

Read more information here.
If you’re registered for the convention, please check your email for your refund information.

Partnering in Diversity

Exploring different cultures, traditions, and lifestyles makes for a well-rounded education!

We’ve all heard the “What about socialization?” question at some point in our homeschool journey. As homeschoolers, we know that one of the most significant–and perhaps unexpected–blessings of homeschooling is the ability of families to acquire social skills, values, and understanding through real social experiences rather than classroom constructions. 

Join us this weekend for some unique opportunities to explore true biblical diversity with fellow homeschoolers of color, language, or culture that may be different from your own.


Connecting at the Convention

NBHE Tours

Even if you spend time in Richmond, you may not know about some of these critical historical sites right in our own backyard! Tours begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Greater Richmond Convention Center

Meet & Greet

Hosted by the National Black Home Educators from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, this event is a wonderful opportunity to meet with the leaders of the NBHE as well as embrace other homeschoolers in our area.


Three workshops presented by Joyce and Eric Burges offer insight into teaching a with expansive and culturally diverse materials to help students become sensitive, respectful, and well-rounded adults.

Eric and Joyce Burges

Eric and Joyce founded the National Black Home Educators (NBHE) resource network in 2000, which endeavors to empower parents to educate their children for excellence. Eric was president of Christian Home Educators Fellowship of Louisiana for three years and now serves with the board of directors. He is also an artist, speaker, songwriter and singer, as well as a licensed minister. Joyce is a gifted singer, homeschool teacher of five, advisor, and lecturer. She has spoken to many women locally and nationally, and she is a frequent speaker to young girls’ homes, encouraging them with the principles of healing past hurts, finding your identity in your image, valuing your integrity, and maintaining a great love for yourself through serving others.

Joyce & Eric Burges’s Workshops

How to be Sensitive to Another Family’s Culture

Have you ever wondered if you’re giving your child an all-around educational experience; a wise mixture of quality resources and curriculum materials? Being a parent, I wanted to give my children the best learning experience possible. They learned all about Addy and her family to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frederick Douglass to Stephen Douglas, and Lawrence Dunbar to Robert Louis Stevenson. The incorporation of different books can offer opportunities for our children that may give insight into another person’s culture or learning experience, as well as shed light on a lifestyle that’s different from your own.

What Families Need to Know About Other Families

There are three things that are very important as we build relationships with other families who may be different. While many families have good intentions and characteristics, sometimes we judge each other based on a lack of knowledge and understanding. KNOWING that we are all different is the first key to truly understanding another family. Being FRIENDLY is the next key to moving toward forming a relationship, and lastly RESPECTING those differences can move us to embrace each other’s history, traditions, and cultures.

Why National Black Home Educators (NBHE)?

During the 80s and 90s there wasn’t an organization exclusively designed to showcase the black experience as it relates to resources, events, workshops, and materials dedicated to our heritage (music, art, poetry, literature, etc.). So, in July 2000, NBHE was created by Eric and Joyce Burges, and exists to empower all parents as they educate their children for excellence. NBHE is committed to continuing this legacy as more families are choosing to be at the forefront of their children’s education. It is NBHE’s desire that all families, no matter who they are, would be delighted to learn about our wonderful materials, and share it with their friends.

Thursday Walking Tour

Just $5 per Family

Brand new to the convention: Join us on Thursday at 9 a.m. for a historic walking tour of some of the most interesting buildings designed or owned by black American leaders as well as the sites of pivotal events in American history. And they’re all in our own backyard!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Sign up when you register for the convention or call the office at 804-278-9200 to add this event for your family.

Walking the Ward: Guided Historic Tour Jackson Ward in Richmond

By Gary L. Flowers

Known as the “birthplace of Black Capitalism,” Jackson Ward is rich in African American history and culture and boasts a beautiful collection of preserved antebellum architecture and historic cast iron porches, as well as contemporary murals and public art. Join us for a walk through of the “Harlem of the South,” as we explore stories of community change makers and talk about the neighborhood’s status today as a beloved historic district.

  • Tour time: 2 hours
  • Valentine walking tours are typically between 1 to 2 miles long. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.
  • People of all abilities are welcome to join us. If you have accessibility challenges or need accommodation, please let us know in advance.

Originally called the Richmond Colored Normal School in the 1870’s by the Federal Freedman’s Bureau, the Armstrong High School was opened by the Richmond Public School System in 1909. Armstrong was one of two racially segregated high schools in Richmond from 1909 until 1956 (The other was named for Mrs. Maggie L. Walker).

In 1867, following the American Civil War, and being licensed by Virginia Law to become a pastor, Reverend John Jasper who was formally enslaved founded Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. As blacks and whites regularly attended Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, the most famous sermon of Reverend John Jasper was, “The Sun Do Move”, which was delivered to legislators in the Virginia Genera Assembly.

Following President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System legislation in the 1950’s, as was the case with most cities, the Interstate I-95 was deliberately built through African American neighborhoods. Such was the case in Richmond. The  black populated Jackson Ward area was divided in two, and the African American section of Navy Hill was obliterated.

In 1903, The Independent Order of St. Luke, which was and African American organization dedicated to providing “proper” burials for black citizens, moved into the building. The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902 had racially segregated most aspects of daily life for residents of the Commonwealth to include cemeteries. In 1899, Mrs. Maggie L. Walker became the president of the Independent Order of St. Luke, a role she held for 35 years until her death. Within the building she operated her newspaper, and directed her civic and political causes.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was established in 1884, 19 years after the end of the Civil War. Many religious historians believe the church had the distinction as the first Black Catholic Church in the American South. St. Joseph’s operated the Van De Vyver School for African Americans from the late 1800’s until the late 1950’s. For many of the black children who lived in racially segregated neighborhoods in Richmond the Josephite Priests and the Franciscan Sisters of Mill Hill were the only white faces they saw.

The Richmond Beneficial building had the distinction of being designed and constructed by African Americans. Professor Charles T. Russell, a native of Jackson Ward, designed the building and one of the earliest licensed African American architects in Virginia. Russell received his training in the building arts at Hampton Institute and received further training at Tuskegee. He will design and oversee the major renovations of several notable African American businesses, residences, and churches. Professor Russell was also the founding president of the National Builders Association. The African American firm of Moore and Archer did the construction of this building. Henry J. Moore, of the firm, apprenticed under Joseph Farrar, the father of contractor Daniel J. Farrar. Moore also served on City Council during the 1890s.

Third Street Bethel originated in the Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1828, located on Franklin Street, between 14th and 15th Streets, in an area of Richmond known as “Locust Alley”. In 1844, as the issue of American Slavery was dividing the White Methodist Episcopal Church, a number of free black people worshipped who had been restricted to worship in the churches balcony began to organize a new church. In 1850, free blacks led by Thomas Hewett organized with Third Street Church to form Third Street Bethel AME Church.

Attorney Oliver W. Hill was one of America’s most impactful lawyers. Mr. Hill graduated from the Howard University School of Law with Thurgood Marshall (later Justice Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court of the United States), and they were on the legal team that won the historic Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial discrimination in American public education, and Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, which enforced the Brown ruling. Mr. Hill and his law partners, Samuel W. Tucker, Henry and Harold Marsh formed the historic civil rights law firm of Hill, Tucker & Marsh, which was successful in over 250 civil rights, and 50 school desegregation cases in Virginia alone. Among other distinguished partners, many of whom were confirmed as municipal, state, and federal judges, Mr. Hill was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton. Both Mr. Hill and his former partner, Judge Spottswood Robinson are honored with their names on courthouses in Richmond, and a monument on the Virginia Capitol grounds, The cases the historic law firm of Hill, Tucker & Marsh won changed the law in Virginia towards equal justice for all citizens of the Commonwealth.

In 1883, several black businessmen in Richmond organized the Southern Aid and Insurance Company to provide adequate and affordable insurance protection to African Americans, and to promote jobs for unemployed black youth. Southern Aid was among the first black-owned and  operated  insurance companies in the United States of America. Founding officers included W.G. Carter, Charles Johnson, Jr., W.A. Payne, John E. Taylor, and W.R. Coots. By 1937, under the leadership of A.D. Price the company employed more than 300 black men and women in branches in Virginia and Washington, DC.

Mrs. Maggie Lena Walker was not only the first African American woman to charter and direct a bank in United States History, but a suffragist women’s right to vote, retail business owner (Emporium), newspaper publisher, political candidate and an educator. At 14 years of age, she joined the local council of the Independent Order of St. Luke, an African American fraternal burial society, established in 1867 to aid the sick and promote self- help within the black community.

Opened in 1914, the Hippodrome Theatre hosted black entertainers such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Sarah, and Cab Calloway. Many such entertainers performed in racially segregated hotels in Richmond, but could not legally be overnight guests in such hotels. Following their gigs, many would return to 2nd Street for late night “jam sessions” at the Hippodrome. Today, the “Hipp” has been restored and hosts a variety of events.

Mr. W.L. Taylor was the founder of an African American owned bank, The United Order of True Reformers Bank. His mansion was considered one of, if not, the largest single-family homes owned by black man in the United States. Today, the Mansion is a restaurant and entertainment venue.

 In 1902, Mrs. Maggie Walker chartered the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. She often used the metaphor of an acorn and tree to symbolize how a penny could grow into a large bank account. Later, she served as the Chairwoman of the Board when her bank merged with the Commercial Bank & Trust Company and the Second Street Savings Bank to form Consolidated Bank & Trust Company.

Broad Street in Richmond was the center of the city’s commerce. Mrs. Walker owned and operated a store on Broad Street known as the “Emporium”. Her intent was to provide fashionable clothes and other items to African Americans and all people. White merchants resisted the presence of a black-owned store and collaborated to persuade suppliers not to sell to the store. Black citizens were pressured by their employers not to support the Emporium. After several years of commerce the Emporium was forced to close.

After considering other locations in Jackson Ward the City of Richmond has designated the corner of Broad and Adams Street for a plaza and statue to Maggie L. Walker. The sculptor is currently working on the statue. The plaza will serve as a “Gateway” to Jackson Ward.

Abner Clay Park was named for a very active civic and community leader in Jackson Ward, Abner Clay. The park serves as a recreational and event space. Annually, the “Black Family Reunion” and Richmond Symphony’s, “Celebrate Jackson Ward: Past, Present and Future” community concert are two major events held in the park.

Located at 00 Clay Street the former house of Rosa Bower became the Rosa Bowser Night School for African American Men and Boys. Mrs. Bowser was a renowned educator who served as President of the Virginia Teacher’s Association. The building also once served as the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

Founded in 1858, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church as played a vital role in the history of African Americans in Richmond. Originally, The Third African American Baptist Church, Ebenezer Baptist was the home of the first public school for blacks in Richmond. Also, the Hartshorne Memorial College for African America women as organized at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Hartshorne Memorial College evolved into Virginia Union University.

The Virginia Volunteers Battalion Armory was the home of the African American Militia Company following the Civil War until 1899. The building was constructed by the husband and Maggie Walker, and served as one of the only remaining black Armories in the south. From 1900 until 1941 the Armory served as a school for African America children. The building is now the home of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

How to Add Events

Sign up for the tours or the meet & greet when you register for the convention.

Already registered for the convention? Add an event for yourself or a family member easily by calling the HEAV office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 804-278-9200.

Convention Sponsors

Thank You to Our Wonderful Convention Sponsors!