The Equity Center

A UVA Democracy Initiative center for the redress of inequity through community-engaged scholarship

Priorities

Community’s 12 Priorities That Guide The Equity Center’s Work

The Equity Center’s priorities will be guided by what we heard during our community listening sessions held in August and May 2018, and by the 3000+ responses from community members to the survey the UVA – Community Working Group completed in March 2019.

1. University-Community Relations Reform the perceived parasitic and exploitative research practices involving community members in projects that do not benefit or respect community members or their lives, do not give access to or ownership of data collected, and do not meaningfully involve communities in decisions about how and how often they are asked to participate in UVA research.

2. Jobs and Wages End employment disparities preserved by low University wages, and disparate hiring and training practices.

3. Youth, Schools, and Child Care Develop pipeline programs that employ UVA research and resources to addressearly and K-12 educational disparities that produce attainment gaps and limit access to UVA and other institutions ofhigher education, especially for working families with limitedmeans to enrich and empower youth.

4. Business and Finance Diversify and strengthen the pool of potential UVA employees and contractors through community outreach, mentoring, training, and advising for business development, especially entrepreneurs among formerly incarcerated community.

5. Housing, Planning, Public Spaces End community development and land-use policies that raise local housing prices to unaffordable levels and exclude community members from public spaces or at minimum communicate unwelcome to low-income and minority neighbors.

6. Law Enforcement End inequitable discipline, honor system, and policing practices on and off UVA grounds.

7. Immigration Rectify absence of University financial and other support for undocumented DACA students such as work study, sensitivity training for faculty and staff (e.g., not asking for SSN), and mental health support.

8. Food Security Intentionally serve the objective of advancing equitable food systems that cultivate community food security through multisectoral research rooted in a deep understanding of unethical past and present practices as well as oppressive strategies that build inequities in food access across race, class, gender, and nationality. UVA should also partner with local growers, restaurants, health care providers, food banks and others to operate the UVA Catering, Dining, and Health Services to intentionally and sustainably reduce food insecurity throughout the region.

9. Health Care Genuinely confront past racist practices that continue to hamper current equal access in order to make UVA Hospital a place of first resort for disadvantaged communities that were subjected to segregation, discrimination, and the effects of eugenics. Accurately collect, intentionally respond to, and publicly share data revealing disparate population health patterns in our region. Invest in preventive, population health care through collaborations with housing, education, employment, food security, criminal justice and public health professionals to meaningfully address inequitable social determinants of health that burden disadvantaged patient populations in UVA Health System catchment areas.

10. Power Differential and White-washed History Engage in a truth and reconciliation process, beyond important steps of erecting memorials or changing building names, to accept responsibility for creating and sustaining inequities through development, education, land use, research, labor and other practices.

11. Transportation Dedicate UVA resources to addressing transportation barriers faced by regional employees.

12. Art Enhance regional pipeline and educational programs for disadvantaged youth through arts education and mentoring to help close achievement gaps and increase access to UVA and other institutions of higher education.