Feb. 14-27, 2003
Vol. 33, Issue 3
Back Issues
Envisioning diversity
Petri seeks grant for biocontainment lab
Digest -- U.Va. news daily
Architect builds on race and culture in the urban fabric
‘Walk the talk’
What will it take to ‘walk the talk’ n diversity?

Housing fees hiked, bond issue OK’d

Faculty Actions from the February BOV meeting
Term is up
‘Patch’ Adams to give U.Va. dose of his healing humor Feb. 26
‘The Laramie Project’ examines Prejudice
Michaels: Global climate will not change markedly

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Envisioning diversity
A historical perspective
Center: English Professor Lisa Woolfork talks with a student. Left and right: students walk to and from classes.
Photos by Andrew Shurtleff
Center: English Professor Lisa Woolfork talks with a student. Left and right: students walk to and from classes.

For much of U.Va.’s history, diversity was a predicament to avoid rather than a goal to embrace. Women, blacks and other minorities were excluded, leaving the University’s hallowed tradition of intellectual vigor and ethical conduct available to only a privileged few.

Over the last 50 years, much has changed. Women students now outnumber men, Asian Americans and Hispanics have been embraced both in the classroom and in the workforce and — perhaps most dramatically — African Americans have become vital to the life and achievements of U.Va.

But gains do not always mean acceptance, and diversity is still a central concern among employees and students. With this issue, Inside U.Va. launches
a series, “Voices of Diversity,” with two stories: one a historical perspective (at right), the other explaining the “Envision Diversity” initiative started by U.Va.’s leadership. (See “Walk the talk,” page 5.)

By Paul M. Gaston

The response to President Casteen’s call for an examination of the history of the University’s racial beliefs and practices could take us back a long way and run to many hundreds of pages. I go back 100 years to broach one part of that examination: How racial segregation was brought to an end here.

In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line.” For African-Americans this “problem” was a white problem, rooted in the dominant race’s determination to maintain what was loosely called white supremacy. Here in Virginia, a brand new constitution had just been adopted to fortify the color line. Its architects — as, indeed, most white Virginians — thought the denial of citizenship rights to black people stemmed from natural forces resulting in what they called “The Negro Problem.” Full story.


© Copyright 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

News Publications Editor
Dan Heuchert

News Graphics Editor
Rebecca Arrington

Senior Editor
Anne Bromley

Interim Assistant Vice President for University Relations, Director, News Services
Carol Wood

Robert Brickhouse
Charlotte Crystal
Jane Ford
Lee Graves
Matt Kelly
Fariss Samarrai

Web Editor
Karen Asher

Send questions or story suggestions to Dan Heuchert or Carol Wood or call (434) 924-7116.

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