For 40 Years, This Office has Enhanced the Lives of African American Students

Posted: December 13, 2016, 12:00am

Before the Office of African-American Affairs became a stalwart foundation for black students attending the University of Virginia, a dedicated group of students in the early 1970s brought attention to the need for such a center.

In the 40 years since its founding, the office and its programs have helped create a sense of belonging to the UVA family and enhanced the University as a whole over the years, emphasizing African-American student achievement and building on past successes. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Anne E Bromley)

Can Better Classroom Instruction Close the Racial Discipline Gap?

Posted: December 7, 2016, 12:00am

Better classroom instruction is one answer to reducing the racial discipline gap, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia, Rutgers University and University of British Columbia. The finding, reported in the current issue of School Psychology Review, has important implications for addressing one of the most alarming and persistent trends occurring in high school classrooms across the country – that African-American students are typically disciplined, suspended and expelled at much higher rates than adolescents from other racial backgrounds. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Kathy Neesen)

Local Residents Mull Design Issues for UVA Memorial to Enslaved Laborers

Posted: December 5, 2016, 12:00am

About 40 local residents joined design consultants, University of Virginia representatives and students Friday night to consider ideas about what a memorial to the enslaved African-American workers who helped build and maintain the University might convey.The idea of a memorial to UVA’s enslaved laborers has gained momentum and support over the past several years. It was built into the mission of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, which President Teresa A. Sullivan established three years ago. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Anne E. Bromley)

Letter from VP-CODE (November 2016 Edition of Our Grounds: Dimensions of Diversity)

Posted: November 16, 2016, 1:08pm


Greetings, Friends,


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

Studying Abroad, at Home: Language Houses Offer Local Immersion Experience

Posted: November 15, 2016, 12:00am

Residents of UVA’s language houses have the opportunity to experience cultural immersion while enjoying a nontraditional living arrangement on Grounds. (Photos by Dan Addison, University Communications)Though each of UVA’s three official language houses is greatly diverse, their missions are very much the same: to encourage their residents to experience complete language and cultural immersion. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Kaylyn Christopher)