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


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.

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.


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. 


Systemic challenges -- like racism, sexism, climate change, and more -- require systemic solutions. This webinar aims to serve as a “how-to” that will help interested employees overcome barriers from not understanding their UVA benefits to feeling uncertain about how to pick the right mix of investment options.


Please join us for Batten Hour, featuring Scott Skinner-Thompson. In his book Privacy at the Margins, Skinner-Thompson highlights why privacy is of acute importance for marginalized groups. He will speak to how examining limited privacy can enrich and enhance our lives at the margins in material ways and more. 


Whether we are discussing affordable housing, access to healthcare, racial equity, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights, forced displacement, or climate change, current and aspiring policymakers should see the private sector as a key partner, Batten professor Christine Mahoney argues. For the next installment of Batten Expert Chats, Mahoney will speak and take questions on how investments can act as an engine for positive social impact.