University Expands McDonald’s Role to Include Community Partnerships

Posted: September 28, 2020, 12:00am

As part of an ongoing effort to strengthen the University of Virginia’s community engagement initiatives and the University’s relationship with the Charlottesville community, Kevin McDonald will take on an expanded role as vice president for diversity, equity, inclusion and community partnerships.

McDonald, who joined the University as vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion in August 2019, will now serve as a connection point for a variety of community-based initiatives across Grounds and will work closely with the President’s Council on UVA-Community Partnerships. (READ MORE

Source: UVA Today (Wesley Hester)

Board Votes on 5 Renaming, Landscape Recommendations

Posted: September 14, 2020, 8:44am

On Friday, the University of Virginia Board of Visitors approved five recommendations from UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force regarding changes to UVA’s historic landscape.

“My view, and I know this is shared by my entire leadership team, is that this moment offers us a unique opportunity to take action that will leave a lasting and positive impact on the university we all love,” UVA President Jim Ryan said Friday. “Actions that will make this place more clearly and obviously welcoming to all, and where all have an opportunity to thrive.” (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Caroline Newman)

UVA Board of Visitors Endorses Goals Presented by the Racial Equity Task Force

Posted: September 14, 2020, 8:41am

The University of Virginia Board of Visitors on Friday endorsed several goals articulated by UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force and requested that UVA leadership develop a plan for funding, implementing and measuring progress toward those goals.

The goals stem from the task force’s report, released in August, which UVA President Jim Ryan described as “a call for us to be the very best version of ourselves and to live our stated commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion to become a better university.” (READ MORE

Source: UVA Today (Caroline Newman)

UVA Health Enhancing Support for Patients with Disabilities

Posted: August 31, 2020, 11:32am

UVA Health is improving its procedures to better meet the needs of patients with disabilities. When individuals visit UVA Health for care, health system team members will ask more questions about patients’ disability status and accommodations.

A health equity steering committee has reviewed existing practices and recommended a more coordinated approach to understanding patients’ disability status and the types of accommodations they need. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Health Newsroom (Eric Swensen)

Statement on the Shooting of Jacob Blake

Posted: August 28, 2020, 6:09pm

The shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr. by a police officer, represents another senseless shooting of a Black person whose life has always mattered and whose life will now never be the same. His shooting once again casts a bright light on the need to eradicate our nation’s structural racism.  The violent incidents targeting Jacob Blake, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others underscore the need for systemic change nationally, in our greater Charlottesville community, and across Grounds.  

Reform cannot be an optional undertaking, but an imperative exercise that these unwarranted acts necessitate. We have individual and collective responsibility to remove all of the barriers that have served as impediments to racial justice and racial equity, and the time is not tomorrow, but today.  We recognize that well-intentioned messages condemning racial violence are insufficient.  What is needed is a commitment, accountability, and transformative action.  Mychal Denzel Smith warns that “Incremental change keeps the grinding forces of oppression—of death—in place,” and David A. Graham suggests “that achieving racial justice, or even moving closer to it, requires a movement, not a moment.”  The Racial Equity Task Force has provided UVA with a path forward that will enable us to ensure that racial equity is central to who we are as a community.  We must now come together, so that we can turn the ripples of racial justice and equity into sustainable waves.