Oct. 13-19, 2000
Vol. 30, Issue 33
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West speaks on race matters
Envisioning the University transformed: Casteen seeks comment on 2020 reports
Foundation to fund biomedical research
U.Va. scientist leads team in atmospheric research in Africa

New faculty beef up psychology department

Hot Links -- Brooks Hall
Notable -- awards and achievements of U.Va. faculty and staff
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West speaks on race matters
Stephanie Gross
Cornel West

By Adam Bronstein

Just the presence of African-American studies scholar Cornel West striding on-stage in Old Cabell Hall Oct. 6 brought the overflow crowd to its feet. The author of Race Matters, West was the third speaker in a series dedicated to improving minority health and sponsored by the U.Va. Cancer Center, the Humanities in Medicine program and other health, academic and student groups.

West, the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. Professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy of Religion at Harvard University, covered health as one of several concrete examples that allow people to hear "the blue note of dissonance and divide" and to explore the topic of race in America. Only through something tangible, like inequities within the health care system, can we truly gain compassion and empathy for others. Only then, West asserted, "can you get in the skin of others."

He admitted that he was particularly fond of the blues, since it contains the dissonance so prevalent in American society. For him, music like George Clinton's "Funk" helps to understand other people.

West rejected the notion that race is exclusive to the dissonance that is found between blacks and whites. Indeed "any serious discussion of race," he said, "has to discuss the lives of indigenous people [in the U.S.]." He asserted that it is immature if we do not confront the "night side" or "underside" of our human predicament. Full story.

Envisioning the University transformed: Casteen seeks comment on 2020 reports

Staff reports

After an estimated 25,000 person-hours -- many spent in biweekly meetings beginning as early as 7:30 a.m., and many more spent late at night basking in the glow of computer monitors -- the 122 members of the four Virginia 2020 planning commissions have released their recommendations.

Now it's your turn. The four reports, on Science and Technology, the Fine and Performing Arts, Public Service and International Activities, are published at http://www.virginia.edu/virginia2020. The next step is a period of review and comment open to the entire University community -- faculty, staff, alumni and students. Full story.

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