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University of Virginia Equity Center Launches Community Events for Students and Partners; Addressing Racial Inequality

UVA Equity Center - Giving Thanks Community Dinner

UVA Equity Center - Giving Thanks Community Dinner

UVA Equity Center Logo

UVA Equity Center Logo

UVA Equity Center College Application Event

UVA Equity Center College Application Event

New ‘Equity Center’ combines UVA resources with community leadership to impact racial inequity beginning with college application events and a local celebration

The purpose of public education is to serve the community.”
— Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew, Equity Center Faculty Director
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, USA, November 25, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Racial and socioeconomic inequity divides the Charlottesville community. Generations of local leaders have worked to address pervasive and persistent inequity; in education, housing, health and elsewhere. A new University of Virginia initiative brings university resources to join local leaders in creating an environment that provides equitable opportunity for every member of the Charlottesville community. The university will partner with the community to advance social justice.

The University of Virginia (UVA) Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity Through Community Engaged Scholarship or ‘Equity Center’ launched with community events designed to prepare local students for college and celebrate local leaders.

After hosting a faculty event with educators from across the university, FAFSA and College Essay Parties were held on November 13 and 14 at schools, churches, and community centers throughout the city of Charlottesville. On November 15, 2019 the Giving Thanks Dinner was held at the Omni Hotel Ballroom in Charlottesville, VA.

“The purpose of public education is to serve the community,” said Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew, Equity Center Faculty Director and UVA School of Law professor. “The community has identified employment, education, housing, and health as their greatest needs and so helping to eradicate the vast racial and socioeconomic inequities in those sectors will be the work of this new the Equity Center.”

Designed to build the pipeline of local students of color attending UVA or wherever their educational desires take them, the FAFSA and College Essay Parties assisted local students and parents with completing the FAFSA and other college-entry paperwork. UVA professors and community leaders supported students in writing competitive college essays and personal statements. These events are a first step in addressing educational inequality in Charlottesville, VA.


“I’ve worked over the years with many faculty who venture off grounds to do community work,” said Equity Center Community Director Karen Waters-Wicks. “To see community-centered education and genuine partnership applied institution-wide is a great shift. I largely commend UVA President James Ryan’s leadership, the leadership of the Equity Center, and community members for coming together to effect change.

At the Giving Thanks Dinner, the ‘Equity Center’ thanked local leaders and advocates who have worked to address racial inequity for years. This includes many members of the ‘Equity Center’s’ Local Steering Committee who have worked for over a year to build the Equity Center at UVA. During the dinner, local Equity Center grantees also provided an update on their work.

Honorees and Attendees included:

Nikuyah Walker, Mayor of Charlottesville
Daniel Fairley, Charlottesville Youth Opportunity Coordinator
Traci DeShazor, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth
Diantha McKeel Albemarle Board of Supervisors
Charlene Green, Charlottesville Office of Human Rights
Siri Russel, Albemarle County Director of Diversity and Inclusion


Moving forward the Equity Center will continue to provide support for local students and parents applying to college and will partner with local organizations and advocates.

Charlottesville area students and parents may contact Melody Jackson (mj2fd@virginia.edu) for support with applying to college.

Visit http://virginiaequitycenter.org for more information about the Equity Center.



ABOUT THE UVA ‘EQUITY CENTER’

The purpose of public education is to serve the community. The University of Virginia (UVA) Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity Through Community Engaged Scholarship or ‘Equity Center’ serves the Charlottesville- Albemarle community and surrounding counties by employing university resources to address racial and socioeconomic inequity. Through partnerships and innovation, the Equity Center works to create an environment that provides equitable opportunity for every member of the local community. Visit www.virginiaequitycenter.org to learn more.

Brandon Andrews
UVA Equity Center
+1 202-735-3554
email us here


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