• During Disabling Normalcy, a disability studies symposium hosted at the University of Virginia in February 2013, panelists discuss Disability Across Disciplines: Listening, Bonnie Gordon from Music; The Presumption of Competence, Vikram Jaswal from Psychology; Tom Thumb’s America at War, Jean Franzino, Ph.D candidate from English; and Selected Poems: A Reading, Paul Guest from English – Creative Writing.

    Disabling Normalcy

    During the February 2013 disability studies symposium hosted at the University of Virginia, panelists discussed disability across disciplines.

  • Honoring Those Who Came Before Us

    The President's Commission on Slavery and the University partnered with community members to commemorate U.Va.'s African American Cemetery. (Photo credit: Sanjay Suchak)

  • Recognizing Leaders for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Each year, the Office for Diversity and Equity recognizes an outstanding University student, faculty, or staff member who demonstrates a dedication to leadership and the ability to create a setting in which the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion is paramount. 

  • A U.Va. volunteer assists a community member with registration as part of the annual Community Health Fair.

    Investing in the Health of Our Community

    Each year, the Office for Diversity and Equity works with community partners to hold the annual Community Health Fair, which provides free health screenings to members of the Charlottesville community in Washington Park.

The Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI)  assists and monitors all units of the University in their efforts to recruit and retain faculty, staff, and students from historically underrepresented groups and to provide affirmative and supportive environments for work and life at the University of Virginia. We commit ourselves to a vision of leadership in diversity and equity, not out of a reluctant sense of obligation but because only by enriching ourselves and embracing diversity can we become the leading institution we aspire to be.

ODEI provides leadership, information, consultation, coordination, and assistance to the various units and constituencies within the University of Virginia in an effort to embrace diversity and equity as pillars of excellence, synergize actions at all levels of the institution, and cultivate inclusiveness and mutual respect throughout the community. We also reach beyond the University to establish beneficial relationships with individual and institutional partners who share mutual goals and interests. At the University of Virginia, we envision a community of understanding, tolerance, and respect.


The University of Virginia's Commitment to Diversity

Diversity stands with ethics, integrity, and academic excellence, as a cornerstone of University culture. The University promotes an inclusive and welcoming environment that embraces the full spectrum of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. When people of different backgrounds come together, they exchange ideas, question assumptions (including their own), and broaden the horizons for us all.  A University of Virginia community rich in diversity affords every member equal respect and provides a forum for understanding our differences as well as our commonalities.



October 14, 2019


Community leaders and University of Virginia faculty and administrators have teamed to launch a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to build better relationships between UVA and the Charlottesville community and tangibly redress racial and socioeconomic inequality.

Organizers say the new Equity Center aims to transform UVA’s presence in local classrooms and community centers where young people gather; in public housing, where some residents make their homes; and in all of the environments where its neighbors live, work and play. They also hope the center’s work will become known nationally as a new and effective way of approaching town-gown partnerships. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Caroline Newman)

October 10, 2019


In the “Disability and Media” course that she teaches, University of Virginia media studies assistant professor Elizabeth Ellcessor has been pleased to see her students gaining a vocabulary for talking about disability with respect, and becoming aware of lingering stereotypes in the mainstream media.

“While disability remains underrepresented, it is actually a very important theme for understanding a wide range of media content,” Ellcessor said. “Superhero films, popular documentaries, Oscar winners, teen dramas and reality TV all routinely deal with themes such as mental illness, acquired disability, bodily difference and the pursuit of (able-bodied) health.”

Students in Ellcessor’s course consider a range of issues, from disability onscreen to amateur creators, the history of closed captioning and changes in streaming media access.

“Disability in media is a growing area of research,” Ellcessor said, “and we’re lucky that UVA is one of a handful of universities where courses on this topic are available for undergraduates.” (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Whitelaw Reid)

October 3, 2019


On Saturday morning, 22 University of Virginia students boarded a bus outside the Curry School of Education and Human Development and made the winding, 45-minute drive to Montpelier, home of Founding Father James Madison, America’s fourth president.

They stood in the small room where, bedridden in his final years but sharp as ever, Madison would insist on opening the doors to the dining room so he could join in conversation with visitors. Then, standing in the same room, they learned about the life of Paul Jennings – a man born into slavery at Montpelier who would eventually publish his own memoir. They listened to the voice of Rebecca Gilmore-Coleman, a descendant of the enslaved community at Montpelier, discuss the legacies of slavery in contemporary society. They discussed how James Madison, who helped enshrine freedom in the American constitution, never freed a slave.

Through real, human stories, past and present, they learned about the history that is recorded and the history that is lost – and, perhaps most important, the history that is still being uncovered. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Laura Hoxworth)

Diversity Dashboard

The Diversity Dashboard provides data on the composition of U.Va.’s faculty, staff, and students.

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