DEI Learning Resources
In order to deepen our understanding and knowledge of race-related issues, including the history of racism both within our department and in a broader context, we offer a range of self-learning opportunities. These opportunities encompass formal seminars featuring guest speakers from diverse backgrounds who can address a wide array of topics pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Examples of such topics include the history of eugenics as well as the philosophy and sociology of science. Additionally, we organize workshops and provide access to external educational resources that focus on intervention techniques, bias training, and community building, among other relevant subjects. To assist you in your self-education journey, we present websites below that serve as valuable learning resources.
The University of Virginia, as a whole, is reckoning with its own long history of racism and exploitation. UVA was founded by slave owners and built by enslaved workers. As the university grew, Black communities were displaced to accommodate the university’s expansion. We need look no further than the white supremacist rally of 2017 in the community of Charlottesville to be reminded that these aspects of our past continue today.
This UVA Today article describes the eugenics movements promoted by some prominent faculty members in the department of biology and the medical school at UVA in the early 20th century. They perpetuated eugenic beliefs and policies based on common racist attitudes within and beyond the university.
Eugenics is an inaccurate theory linked to historical and present-day forms of discrimination, racism, ableism and colonialism. It has persisted in policies and beliefs around the world, including the United States even today.
The University was designed to educate southern white gentlemen. It was built by enslaved laborers, on Monacan tribal land, and enslaved and free Black people provided the labor and capital that supported the students and faculty through the Civil War.