First-Generation College Student Never Thought He'd Wind Up at UVA

Posted: January 24, 2018, 12:00am


Christian West was a 10th-grader at a Washington, D.C. high school back in 2002 when the unexpected happened. West’s grandmother had fallen ill; the next thing West knew, his mother had moved the family to a rural Virginia town so that they could tend to her. For West, Louisa – located about 35 miles outside of Charlottesville – may as well have been Pluto. “I went from catching the subway to school every day to living on a 100-acre farm in the middle of Virginia,” West said. “That was quite the change.” What West didn’t know at the time was that the change would lead him to the University of Virginia, initially as a first-generation college student and, later, to a fulfilling professional career in admissions at UVA. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Whitelaw Reid)

Journalist Offers Advice to Divided Nation in MLK Celebration's Keynote Address

Posted: January 24, 2018, 12:00am


Joy Reid, a national correspondent for MSNBC, informed, challenged and encouraged a full house at the Paramount Theater Tuesday night with her remarks as keynote speaker of the University of Virginia’s Community Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Moderator Douglas Blackmon, director of public programs at UVA’s Miller Center and executive producer of “American Forum,” led a lively conversation with Reid after her address, calling her “the smartest woman in television.” The audience gave her a standing ovation when she came out to the lectern, as well as at the end of her speech. (READ MORE

Source: UVA Today (Anne E. Bromley)

This Alumna's Book Just Debuted on the NYT's Children's Best-Sellers List

Posted: January 15, 2018, 11:00pm

A self-challenge posed in a tiny, sublet room last January in Brooklyn has taken a University of Virginia alumna to a place she never expected: the New York Times best-seller list. Vashti Harrison, who graduated in 2010 with a double major in media studies and studio art, moved to New York City in December 2016 to see if she could make it in the big city. Soon she was working full-time as a free-lance illustrator and finishing up drawings for a children’s book called “Festival of Colors.” In the late hours of Jan. 31, 2017, in that small room, a thought came to her: Why not draw one African-American woman every day for the month of February in honor of Black History Month? She would post her art on her Instagram account as a way to challenge herself. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Jane Kelly)

This is How the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Came to Speak at UVA in 1963

Posted: January 12, 2018, 12:00am


The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 visit to the University of Virginia was the result of a small-but-determined group of students fighting an uphill battle for racial equality at a time when the nation was deeply divided. Wesley Harris, then an African-American student raised in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood and now a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was at the center of that effort. (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Jane Kelly)

Inspiring Events Commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: January 9, 2018, 12:00am


Every year, the University of Virginia’s Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, along with dozens of UVA departments and offices, partners with local organizations to offer a variety of events that echo and continue the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work for social justice, from interfaith services to talks with leading intellectuals and artists. This year’s schedule runs from Jan. 15 – which is officially recognized as Martin Luther King Jr. Day – through Feb. 5. The theme for the 2018 Community MLK Celebration is “Be the Difference.” (READ MORE)

Source: UVA Today (Anne E. Bromley)