• Kenneth Crooks, Jr.
    Executive Director Emeritus

  • As times change, what previously was a ‘dialogue about race’ has evolved into a holistic approach to diversity in our community and beyond.

    One Columbus, has also evolved, strengthening its core mission: striving to inspire, motivate, promote diversity, and ensure that each member of the community is respected and valued. Recognizing and appreciating diversity is an obligation to which each of us must be committed. If we accept and act on this challenge, then Columbus will truly become a ‘One Columbus’.


Mission Statement

To create unity and respect within a diverse community.


To promote and encourage multi-cultural dialogue among all sectors and at every level of the community.
To develop educational programs and activities that will push back the barriers of ignorance and recognize efforts that dignify all persons.

About One Columbus

One Columbus, is Columbus’ longest standing and most prominent diversity organization. The organization began as a result of the movements and groups that had focused on diversity in the region following the Civil Rights movement, which had, among other achievements, highlighted the need for increased inter-racial interaction and dialogue.

One Columbus’ goals are focused on building bridges between all segments of society in the Columbus community, including Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and many other minorities. Not limited to race relations, One Columbus has sought to further address all issues concerning diversity through its activities in the area including social class, religion, gender and sexuality and immigration issues.

One Columbus believes that the composition of the community requires that we comprehend and value diversity as it an integral aspect for our success and progress here in Columbus, and beyond. As a grassroots organization, One Columbus seeks to promote understanding and valuing diversity in Columbus by striving to reach and involve all sectors and areas of the community through its activities.

One Columbus started in 1992 with two Columbus church leaders, Rev. J. H. Flakes, Jr. of the Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church and Rev. Charles Roper of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.  The two leaders moved forward after time to develop a Unity Service. The Unity Service, ‘Valley Interaction Ministry involved people from all segments of the Columbus community for informal conversations with the aim of ‘building bridges’ between racial, economic, religious and social issues. The meetings worked towards diminishing barriers and drawing people together who may have otherwise felt affected by the continuing divisions within the South over the years.

Born out of these early community dialogues were many One Columbus meetings, conferences, and events. Most prominently was the 1999 Race Relations Summit, from which One Columbus was directly established.  One Columbus, Inc. today is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation.  One Columbus programs include events in all segments of the community, from corporate boardrooms to student study circles, prayer groups and public addresses.