The Equity Center, U.Va.

The Equity Center

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

 

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Institutional Inequality

Project Leadership

Equity Center: Susan Kools, Shantell Bingham
University Partners: Office of the President, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

 
Overview: 
In order to enact our mission of redressing inequity within the communities we are embedded, it is necessary for us as a public institution of higher education to continue to build our capacity for equity and racial justice. From the level of executive leadership through each internal stakeholder group, including students, staff and faculty, we need to develop institutional equity literacy with common understandings of principles of equity, historical underpinnings of our social location, and methods of redress, including respectful community engagement and scholarships and reparations.
 
The Equity Center will support deep and sustained training efforts, as well as initiatives to reform internal structures, systems and policies that promote systemic racism and other forms of bias and discrimination. We will work closely with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Associate Deans and Directors for Diversity and Inclusion group to promote internal capacity building and reforms.
 
Highlights: 
The Racial Equity Task Force was charged by President Jim Ryan to synthesize and prioritize recommendations and demands made by students, staff, faculty, and community members in the days following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and several other unarmed Black Americans, which sparked protests across the United States and globally. The Task Force was instructed to be bold and thoughtful with our recommendations, to adopt the pace of a sprint rather than a marathon, to complement other important work already underway on UVA/community partnerships—all while focusing on the ultimate objective of improving racial equity within UVA.
 
Reports and Publications:
Kevin McDonald, Ian Solomon, and Barbara Brown Wilson, Audacious Future: Commitment Required, Racial Equity Task Force, August 10, 2020, https://racialequity.virginia.edu/sites/g/files/jsddwu356/files/2020-08/RETFFinalSigned.pdf
 
Sam Powers, Ben Allen, Christian West, Michele Claibourn, Elgin Cleckley, Kimalee Dickerson, Sarah Medley, Michael Salgueiro, Janie Day Whitworth, Barbara Brown Wilson, Jeremy Boggs, Stacey Evans, Haley Gillilan, Charlotte Hennessy, Morgan Smith, and Brandon Walsh, “Voices for Equity,” The Equity Center, A UVA Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity through Community-Engaged Scholarship, August 2020, http://voicesforequity.virginiaequitycenter.org/
 
Caroline Newman, “Progress Continues on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives,” UVA Today, February 23, 2021, https://news.virginia.edu/content/progress-continues-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-initiatives
 
Wilson, Barbara B. and Gough, Meghan Z., “The University as Anchor Institution in Community Wealth Building: Snapshots from Two Virginia Universities,” in Community Wealth Building and the Reconstruction of American Democracy: Can We Make American Democracy Work?, Eds. Melody C. Barnes, Corey D.B. Walker and Thad Williamson, Edgar House Publishing, in publication.