Posted: November 3, 2016, 12:00am
Two years ago, a group of University of Virginia students came together with the mutual goal of advocating for a multicultural center on Grounds. That effort became known as “the Multicultural Student Center Initiative,” and now, the students’ mission to create a space to support underrepresented groups while cultivating an inclusive and diverse University community has come to fruition on the lower level of Newcomb Hall. (READ MORE)
Source: UVA Today (Kaylyn Christoper)
Posted: November 2, 2016, 12:00am
As you are aware from prior emails from University leaders and coverage in the local media, bias-motivated incidents at the University have increased this fall. There are several theories for why this may be occurring, including the tone and tenor of the ongoing national election. In the past day, we have seen additional incidents of hateful acts, including a racial slur used against African-American students and a homophobic slur placed on another student's door, both occurring in on-Grounds residential communities.
The University administration condemns acts of bigotry and bias. An academic community should be a place of comfort and safety, where students come to focus on their studies and explore challenging topics and fields. We have been steadfast in expressing support for the foundational principles of freedom of expression and association, while also reminding the community that acts of vandalism as well as certain speech threatening or harassing an individual is not protected. Moreover, as a community, each of us has the right to speak out against speech we deem contrary to our values, for speech itself is often the best response to hateful rhetoric.
Moving forward, there are several initiatives we are developing in response to these recent acts. First, we are compiling data on bias reports received through the Just Report It system and plan to post it on the websites of the Office of the Dean of Students and Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights in the coming weeks. These statistics will be periodically updated to reflect new reports received by us. In this way, we can achieve transparency within our community while also moving away from the use of periodic emails that draw attention to only some, but not all, reports. Second, we are forming a Bias Review Team, composed of University officials across several offices, who will meet periodically to review reports of bias and consider trends or other information that may assist us in developing response strategies. Third, for some months we have been developing an online module on implicit bias, working closely with the experts at Project Implicit. This training module will be rolled out to all entering students in June 2017. The research around implicit bias is solid, and we believe this focused online training will be helpful to each of us in moving forward to a better understanding of both the presence of bias and ways to consciously combat it. Fourth, training for faculty and staff on issues of diversity and inclusiveness is also being developed in consultation with academic leadership.
The students, faculty, staff, and alumni who form the UVA family are committed to building a community in which all individuals are valued and respected. We must foster a climate in which students are challenged intellectually on difficult topics yet also free from hateful acts of bias that targets them for who they are. These objectives are not incompatible.
As we move forward, each of our individual voices remain the most powerful tool in combating hatred and bias. We hope you will speak out when you see something you know to be wrong. You may also use the Just Report It system to report an incident of concern.
University support resources available to you include:
- Counseling and Psychological Services (daytime: 434-243-5150; after hours: 434-297-4261), located in the Student Health building on Brandon Avenue;
- University Police Department (non-emergency: 434-924-7166; emergency: 911), located at 2304 Ivy Road;
- Office of the Dean of Students (434-924-7133), located in Peabody Hall, including ODOS Multicultural Student Services staff (434-924-9250), located on the lower level of Newcomb Hall;
- Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (434-924-7179), temporarily located in the lower level of Madison Hall; and
- Office of African-American Affairs (434-924-7923), located on Dawson's Row.
Marcus L. Martin
Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students
Assistant Vice President, Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights
Posted: November 2, 2016, 12:00am
When Walter N. Ridley earned his doctorate from the Curry School of Education in 1953, he was the first African-American student to graduate from the University of Virginia. Ridley, who was already a distinguished educator, went on to become a champion for black education. He inspired generations of Curry graduates to become active advocates for their students, and every year, the school honors his legacy with the Walter N. Ridley Distinguished Speaker Series. In the latest edition of the series on Wednesday afternoon, the school hosted U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. as its Ridley speaker. King began his career as a high school social studies teacher and then a middle school principal – experiences that taught him the importance of preparing children for success as early as possible. (READ MORE)
Source: UVA Today (Katie McNally)
Posted: November 1, 2016, 12:00am
Hundreds of students, faculty and members of the Charlottesville community gathered at the University of Virginia on Tuesday evening for a public conversation with Khizr Khan, the father of U.S. Army Capt. and UVA alum Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The elder Khan rose to prominence when, standing with his wife Ghazala, he eulogized his son at the Democratic National Convention in July and waved his pocket-sized copy of the Constitution, which he carries regularly. (READ MORE)
Source: UVA Today (Jane Kelly)
Posted: October 26, 2016, 12:00am
The project occasionally reminded 1987 University of Virginia graduate Michael Russell of his college days. He was working with classmate Zena Howard, a 1988 School of Architecture graduate; and a UVA professor, Elizabeth K. Meyer, was reviewing their work. The stakes, however, were much higher. All three were working on the Smithsonian Institution’s highly anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in September. (READ MORE)
Source: UVA Today (Caroline Newman)