Students at U.Va. are a transient population that are often unaware of the historical, cultural, and social implications of the University in Charlottesville. UCARE has been working with various student groups to help develop trainings that focus on illuminating alternative framings of the University’s past and educating students on how to be more sensitive to the racial and cultural realities of the area.
To this end, curriculum for cultural competency training for student groups at the University was created in the summer of 2010. It had various components and activities within it, namely histories of Charlottesville, backgrounds of the student group itself, social justice activities like identity worksheets, and vignettes to encourage multiethnic dialogue. The Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), Early Visions Program (UVa Art Museum), and The Curry School of Education’s Educational Psychology and Applied Developmental Science (EP-ADS) Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) have all participated in the training.
Although YWLP could not incorporate the entire training into its course, it is infusing some of the activities throughout the academic year and plans to evaluate mentor effectiveness pre and post delivery. Early Visions participated in 2 trainings and reported excellent outcomes with their members and child partners from the community, and SURP interns noted feeling more able to handle issues if they arise during the summer with each other.
UCARE is continuing to develop this curriculum for use in many other U.Va. student programs.