The UVA Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity through Community Engaged Scholarship (aka The Equity Center) represents a new model of community engaged scholarship, imagining the university as not just an anchor institution, but also an authentic community resource. We work across multiple sectors in the Charlottesville regional community, providing holistic support to organizations focused on affordable housing, food insecurity, youth and education, transportation, jobs and wages and healthcare. We partner with nonprofits, grassroots organizations, and community leaders to elevate their voices in decision making efforts. Our community partnerships and advocacy within the University work in tandem to create a more equitable culture.
The Equity Center grows out of many years of social justice advocacy in Charlottesville and the surrounding region and leaders that have worked tirelessly to call on our university to redress racism in the local community. Through community focused research areas, our goal is to reduce the inequitable distribution of decision-making power, access to data and access to educational resources for underrepresented youth in Charlottesville and surrounding counties.
For the first three years—AY 2020, AY 2021, and AY 2022—or the “incubation period” preceding achievement of independent, institute status, the Equity Center will be affiliated with and report to the Democracy Initiative.