Since my last communication, there has been an increase in bias-motivated incidents around Grounds. The University administration condemns these hateful acts that violate our core values of diversity and inclusion. This link will take you to a recent response from the Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity & Equity, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. During this post-election season, we are paying close attention to the climate on Grounds and any incidents that may occur.
At the end of September, the University of Virginia held a charrette, sponsored by the Provost’s Office, to address our environment and culture. A charrette is a meeting where all stakeholders work together to design a solution to a particular challenge or develop the means to achieve a goal. Over one hundred leaders including faculty, staff, students, administrators, and surrounding community members met to develop concrete action items that will help cultivate a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming community at UVA. During the charrette, I presented information on resources currently in place that may enhance the University’s culture, environment, and respect, both on Grounds and in the local community. The resources document is included in this edition of Our Grounds. The list is not exhaustive but presents examples of what resources are currently in place, spanning the administration, schools and deans, student body, faculty and staff, alumni, and the neighboring community. While we may not be able to measure the effectiveness of all these resources, I believe they have helped us make advancements and can help shape the foundation for our future. We hope to update you throughout the year about further progress in our efforts to improve the culture and environment at UVA.
Thanks to many of you, after years of fundraising, the Julian Bond Professorship of Civil Rights and Social Justice in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences was officially announced during the “Keep the Movement Comin’ On” symposium organized in remembrance of Julian Bond last month. This professorship is a way for Julian Bond’s legacy to live on here at the University for years to come, and will allow students to further engage in issues of civil rights and social justice.
As we are approaching the end of the semester, I extend an early Thanksgiving wish to each of you.
Marcus L. Martin, M.D.
Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity
Professor of Emergency Medicine