Much of the research discussed below has been collected in the Call for Reflection and Action; we are soliciting feedback and input on our findings. Please read it and comment!
From the beginning, one of UCARE’s goals has been to help identify specific policy changes around key topics emphasized by community members. The format of this information is currently in development, but our goal is to prepare a policy document that catalogs a.) the historical context of this topic at UVA, b.) contemporary reasons that emphasize the need for change, and c.) the change request. We hope to employ the expertise of those involved at UVA and community members to inform the development of these documents and crafting the change request. We will be approaching dozens of people in the fall of 2010 to help guide us in this effort. Our current topics, developed at our October 2009 Roundtable Session, include the following:
- Economic and Hiring Practices
- UVA Medical Center
- Internal Diversity Processes
- University and State/Lobbying for Change
- Community Outreach & Interaction for Equity and Social Justice
The idea for these meetings grew out of a recognition in our action group sessions that many different groups and people are interested in the same topics, but do not know each other and do not how to connect. These sessions are open to all community members, regardless of previous participation in a UCARE event. The format for these sessions continues to evolve, and will be based on the feedback we receive from participants. The premise is to introduce the topic, introduce the participants, and allow time for people to connect and talk through programs, ideas and needs on an individual basis.
Students at U.Va. are a transient population and 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.
“RACE AND REPAIR” CLASS
The University gives rigorous academic attention to a wide variety of subjects; why not its own and Charlottesville’s own racialized history? In response to this need, UCARE participants designed a class to educate both University students and Charlottesville residents about our collective history and to bring people together from different walks of life.
In Spring 2010, UCARE joined Charlottesville’s Quality Community Council in sponsoring a class cross-listed in the History, Urban Planning, and Architectural History departments called “University of Virginia History: Race and Repair” HIUS 4591/PLAN 4500/ARH 4500. The class focused on “the university and the surrounding community of Charlottesville with a special emphasis on issues of race. Students will explore the history of the University from its founding and construction to the late twentieth century, exploring both the documented history and the community’s perception of that history” (from the syllabus). The class was co-taught by U.Va. professors Dr. Frank Dukes and Dr. Phyllis Leffler and Karen Waters of the Charlottesville Quality Community Council (QCC). Importantly, the class was open to U.Va. students as well as Charlottesville residents. UCARE saw the class as an overwhelming success. The complete syllabus is available here: Syllabus-01-19-10-Race and Repair.
CHARLOTTESVILLE ACTS FOR RACIAL EQUITY
For more information click this link: Charlottesville Acts for Racial Equity