Diversity in Northern Virgina


A Welcoming Community for All

Northern Virginia’s diverse combination of cultures is what makes our region so unique. 

Northern Virginia is one of the country’s most racially, ethnically and internationally diverse regions, with a population that includes 27% international residents representing more than 120 countries. This diverse population encourages a unique merging of cultures, backgrounds and identities, which is celebrated in many ways – from delicious international cuisine to musical performances and moreIn addition, many of the companies operating in Northern Virginia are committed to hiring diverse candidates, with 13 of our companies earning a spot on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2020. Diverse entrepreneurs looking to start their own business will join a robust community in Fairfax County, with 41 percent of our small businesses being minority-owned. Here, there’s a community for everyone. 

Diversity in Northern Virginia

Creating Opportunities for All Students

One of the best HBCUs in the nation, Howard University, sits just across the river from Northern Virginia in downtown Washington, D.C. Howard has an enrollment of approximately 11,000 students in its undergraduategraduate, professional, and joint degree programs, which span more than 120 areas of study within 13 schools and colleges. Another local school, the University of the District of Columbia, is a public, Historically Black land-grant university that offers over 81 degree programs across a wide range of education levels and interests. Both of these universities are dedicated to educating students from diverse backgrounds. Bowie State University in Maryland is one of the 10 oldest HBCUs in the nation, founded in 1865. Offering 23 undergraduate majors, 20 master’s degree programs, 14 certificates and two doctoral programs, Bowie State offers students a variety of options with a hands-on approach. 

Thousands of people from across the nation come to the DMV region to study at some of the best Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the country, many of whom stay in Northern Virginia for their careers. The following HBCUs are within a three-hour radius of Northern Virginia:


  • Norfolk State University 
  • Virginia State University 
  • Hampton State University 
  • Virginia Union University 
  • Virginia of University of Lynchburg 

Washington D.C.:

  • Howard University 
  • University of the District of Columbia 


  • Bowie State University
  • Coppin State University 
  • Morgan State University 
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Local Businesses Strive for Diverse Leadership and Employees

13 Fairfax County-based companies were listed on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2020, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Hilton and Navy Federal Credit Union, amongst others. Strong commitments to diversity and inclusion can be found on the Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One and Hilton sites. These companies offer business resource groups for minority members of their staff, including women’s business resource groups, LGBTQ+ business resource groups and multicultural business resource groups that all aim to foster an inclusive environment at each company. With 41 percent of small businesses in Fairfax County being minority-owned, diverse entrepreneurs are welcome here, too.  

Additional resources are listed below