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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Racial Equity Task Force

 

In May 2020, faculty, student, and community activists called for concrete and immediate action towards racial equity at the University of Virginia following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. UVA President Jim Ryan asked the Racial Equity Task Force to create thoughtful and bold recommendations for racial equity at the University in response.

But thoughtful and bold recommendations already exist.

The calls to action made by students, faculty, and community members through protests, petitions, and working groups represent decades spent on this very task. To credit those activists and to contextualize the present moment, we collected 50 years of documents addressing racial inequity at the University of Virginia written by students, faculty, staff, and working groups, analyzed them for common themes, and created an interactive library format to share our findings and start a conversation. They can be viewed in our analysis and interactive timeline on our Voices for Equity website.  

This is a living, breathing work. We know there are other documents that should be preserved alongside the ones we currently have in our records. If you would like to contribute, please do partner with us to make this a more inclusive and accurate historical record. If there are additional documents you believe should be reviewed, please email us a link or a copy of the document at racialequity@virginia.edu.

We recognize that this is the start of a conversation so let's continue it beyond this website. Tweet us @EquityCenterUVA #VoicesForEquity with reactions, key takeaways, or any questions about the project. Or reach us through email -- racialequity@virginia.edu -- to share your insights and thoughts. And stay tuned for the recommendations released by the Racial Equity Task Force. We will use this website to document their recommendations and keep the University accountable in its subsequent response.

The Task force is composed of Kevin McDonald, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Ian Solomon, Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and Barbara Brown Wilson, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and co-founder and Faculty Director of UVA’s Equity Center.

We are seizing the opportunity now to tackle this complex issue and not shy away from it.  Black lives matter, and we intend to redress the negative impact that systemic racism has had on the experience of many students, faculty, staff, and community members. Our work is also about fixing a problem and removing an obstacle that stands in the way of UVA achieving its full potential as an institution.