People drawing
Illustration of three women

Racial Justice and Equity

We are in the midst of an important national reckoning on race and injustice in America. Whether this historic moment proves to be a turning point for our nation or merely another episode in the painful chronicles of violence and apology will depend on what we decide to do together and how hard we are willing to work. At the Batten School, we are committed to developing the kind of people and ideas that will solve humanity’s toughest challenges. We are called not just to observe, but to participate in the change we wish to see. In confronting issues of racial justice and equity, we have an opportunity to bring forward the very best thinking of our social psychology and leadership colleagues, our economists, our political scientists, our public administration and democracy scholars, and our policy and action practitioners. With the commitment of our faculty, and our students and alumni, we are eager to contribute meaningfully to this national dialogue, with courage, ambition, humility, and hope.

Below is a collection of recent activities on this issue by the Batten community. These are neither the beginning nor the end of our efforts. Please continue to visit this page as new work is posted, but more importantly, please get involved. Join us in a spirit of common purpose to spur, enact, and sustain foundational change.

Dean Ian H. Solomon

Research and Commentary

News

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Aug 26, 2020

Learning from Tragedy

In 2017, a group of UVA deans and other members of the University community offered recommendations in the wake of the Unite the Right rally. Three years later, Risa Goluboff, dean of the law school, spoke with Dean Ian Solomon about what the group learned and how our nation has evolved.

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Aug 20, 2020

Remembering August 11th and 12th

Last week, on the third anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, three witnesses spoke on a panel moderated by Batten’s dean, Ian Solomon. Now famous around the world, the rally spanned two days and brought white supremacists and counter-protestors together in a violent clash that killed one demonstrator and injured many others.

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Jun 18, 2020

'It’s Never Been Uncomplicated for Me:' a Black-Jewish Voice for Hope

“It was a huge wake-up call for me,” Ian Solomon told me. “It’s too easy to put the blame on individuals and not recognize what’s below the surface. We put all the blame on a person’s failings, and they do have failings. But my brother did not fail to be a human being, right? It’s easy to dehumanize people for their errors, for their mistakes, for their addictions, for their pasts.”

Events

The third event in the series will take place directly following the announcement of the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. This panel event will include a discussion of the verdict between community organizers, activists and scholars with expertise in organizing advocacy efforts, collective healing and trust-building in response to instances of racial injustice.

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As part of an ongoing series, UVA Law professor Anne Coughlin and Batten School professor Brian N. Williams will co-moderate a panel discussion that draws upon subject matter experts to discuss a range of police topics, including the history of the profession, its culture, standards and training, accountability mechanisms and future efforts to reform.

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As part of Batten's Black History Month programming, please join us for a special Batten Hour double header, featuring remarks from Dean Solomon on the IDEA Project Competition, followed by our guest speaker, Dr. Keesha Middlemass, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Howard University.

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Virginia Sen. Jennifer McClellan ’97 will offer a glimpse into the real-world and challenging task of policymaking to address racial inequities.

McClellan, who has served in the Virginia General Assembly since 2006, is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate for the 2021 election. If elected, she will be the first woman to serve as governor of Virginia, and the first Black female governor in the nation. 

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