Celebrating the 2016 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment
April 4, 2016
Members of the university and Richmond communities, along with the 2016 PACME recipients' family and friends, joined in celebration of the honorees and their commitment to multicultural enrichment: Read all about it
VCU Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion
November 18, 2015
VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., held an hour-long Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion on November 18, 2015, following a student rally held in support of black students at the University of Missouri to protest discrimination.
The forum allowed students, faculty, staff and administrators to share their concerns about diversity and inclusion at VCU, including a lack of black faculty, the need for cultural competency training, hiring an ombudsperson to respond to student concerns, and more financial support for cultural student organizations.
Students help clean up a long-neglected African-American cemetery — and uncover the past
April 13, 2016
At the overgrown, long-neglected East End Cemetery, the Richmond burial site of untold thousands of African-Americans dating back to 1880,Virginia Commonwealth University professor Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., and her students were picking up trash and clearing brush and ivy from a grave plot on a recent Friday when Bodnar-Deren spotted something buried amid the mud and debris.
Josselinne Robles, a senior international studies major, brought over a jug of water to wash away the grime, revealing a small headstone marking the plot as the final resting place of Rebecca Jones, who died in May 1931.
The discovery of Jones’ lost headstone is just one of many that have been part of the East End Cemetery Clean Up Project. Volunteers, including students at VCU, the University of Richmond and Virginia State University, have worked to clear the historic cemetery of brush, ivy and years of accumulated illegally dumped trash.
“Genealogy got me into this, and visiting cemeteries,” said John Shuck, volunteer coordinator of the project. “There’s a website called Find a Grave, and I started looking for cemeteries in Richmond to photograph and I came across [East End]. I saw what it looked like, and figured I’d clear a plot or two. Now, almost eight years later, I’m still at it. Just trying to get this place in order, from chaos.”
This semester, VCU students in Bodnar-Deren’s Sociology of Aging and the Life Course service-learning class are cleaning up the cemetery as a way to serve the community, but also to gather cemetery demography data recorded on the headstones.
VCU symposiums to explore race and policing, terrorism and radicalization
March 16, 2016
The Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs will host symposiums this semester that explore the topics of race and policing in communities, and terrorism and radicalization in an open society.
The first symposium, “Race and Policing in Communities,” will be held on Thursday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Forum Room of the University Student Commons.
The second symposium, “Terrorism and Radicalization in Open Society,” will take place on Thursday, April 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the University Student Commons Theater.
“Each event will be an open, informative and constructive conversation with some speakers talking from their perspective as researchers, observers and expert analysts and others speaking from the perspective of their experience,” said Henry Brownstein, Ph.D., the center’s director and the Wilder School’s associate dean for research.
An audience question-and-answer session will follow each panel.
Black Lives Matter co-founder to speak at VCU
March 16, 2016
Opal Tometi, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, will speak at Virginia Commonwealth University on March 31.
Tometi, an activist who has worked at the intersection of racial justice and immigrant rights for more than a decade, will speak at 7 p.m. at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St. in Richmond.
Tometi, along with Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, created the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, prompting activism nationwide and introducing the banner under which this generation’s civil rights movement marches.
Tometi’s talk, “#BlackLivesMatter: Hashtag in Action,” will be free and open to the public.