Past, Present and Future of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UVA

Posted: August 2, 2019, 12:00am

Comments delivered at Old Cabell Hall during Black Alumni Weekend
April 6, 2019
Dr. Marcus L. Martin

Good morning! Greetings everyone. Welcome back black alumni, family, and friends. I hope you are enjoying your return to UVA. We are expecting about 2,000 participants for this wonderful weekend of events. Thank you very much for inviting me to speak.

So, this is what retirement looks like. I officially retired January 1, 2019, took a 30-day sabbatical and returned in a temporary capacity until the new Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hired, and President Ryan agrees I can retire again.

I was asked to address the past, present, and future of diversity, equity and inclusion at UVA. There is a lot to consider, so I will do my best in 30 minutes to paint the picture from my collective experiences as a father, faculty, physician, mentor, advisor, and chief diversity officer and Vice President under the 7th, 8th and 9th UVA presidents. (READ MORE)

Learn More about the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA

Posted: August 1, 2019, 12:00am


“Honoring the enslaved laborers who built this University is a crucial step in fully recognizing our history as a university,” President James E. Ryan said. “I am delighted that we will be matching funds raised for this important memorial.”

A recommendation of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, the memorial’s design and location won approval in June 2017. The memorial is to be situated near the Rotunda on the grassy area between Brooks Hall and the Corner. Construction is anticipated to begin later this year. (READ MORE)

New UVA College Tour for First-Generation Students a Huge Success

Posted: May 31, 2019, 12:00am


University of Virginia President Jim Ryan has said one of his missions is that UVA “opens wide the door to opportunity for first-generation, low and middle-income students.” A group of students embraced that spirit even before Ryan joined the University last year and this past semester, opened their arms to local first-generation students with a day of programing tailor-made for them by current first-gen students at UVA. “Rise Together,” a UVA-founded nonprofit group-mentoring program that pairs UVA students with first-gen students at local schools, brought a group of students from Monticello High School to UVA this spring for a day-long tour given from the perspective of first-gen students who are also University Guides – students who give tours of Grounds to the public. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Jane Kelly)

Student Researchers to Explore Black Experience, Gardens in the Academical Village

Posted: May 30, 2019, 12:50pm


A graduate student and an undergrad will conduct research in the University of Virginia’s historic Academical Village this summer, exploring the Lawn experience for black students and the history of the pavilion gardens. Christian P.L. West, a doctoral student in UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, and Sophia McCrimmon, a rising third-year student double-majoring in American studies and history with a minor in historic preservation, will receive research funds from the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund of the Academical Village, which awards grants supporting students who conduct summer research projects that increase public understanding of the University’s original, Thomas Jefferson-designed precinct. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Matt Kelly)

Black Alumni Weekend Panel Highlights Memorial Design

Posted: May 30, 2019, 10:22am


As part of the University's biennial Black Alumni Weekend held April 5-7, 2019, the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Community Engagement Committee hosted a panel discussion and construction site tour for participating alumni. The panel included Jessica Harris (UVA Undergraduate Student, College '19, Curry '20), Devon Henry (CEO and President of Team Henry Enterprises LLC), Mary Hughes (University Landscape Architect), and Eto Otitigbe (Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Design Team). Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, welcomed the group and John Macfarlane, who chairs the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers Campaign and is a former member of the University's Board of Visitors, provided opening remarks. Many members of the audience braved the cold, rainy weather to tour the Memorial construction site after the panel concluded. See photos below.

(All photos by Sanjay Suchak)


Four panelists sit at a table in the Rotunda Dome Room.


A group of people holding umbrellas stand on the construction site.


A woman reaches out to touch a mock-up of the carved stone of the Memorial.