Dear Darden Community,
Happy New Year, and Happy Lunar New Year, for those keeping track, it is the Year of the Rabbit.
We hope the holiday season allowed opportunities for rest, rejuvenation, and connection, and hope that 2023 continues on in that spirit. This Monday, January 16th marks the annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. The day serves as an opportunity to honor and reflect on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his tireless fight for justice and equality. At UVA the occasion is celebrated with two weeks of events, lectures and engagements that create a deeper understanding of the work and legacy of Dr. King. The theme of this year’s Community Celebration is Celebrating the Dream, Continuing the Journey. The theme seems particularly apropos as the University continues to grapple with its history and takes steps to redress centuries of harm.
The Journey continues because in many respects that harm continues to be perpetuated today. In the wake of the hate crime involving the noose that was perpetuated last September, Black students stated “We are entitled to take up this space. We are deserving of genuine comfort and safety” This is what lies at the core of the dream and why that journey continues. At Darden we pledged to hear the voices of our Black students and take action. Spurred on by the eloquent messages from our EMBA cohort and our Residential club leaders, we have put actions and initiatives in place that we hope can take us down the path of creating genuine comfort and safety.
- The Darden School Foundation has funded projects led by Melissa Thomas Hunt and Martin Davidson to conduct in depth analysis of inclusion and belonging not only for students, but also for faculty and staff.
- The Office of Admissions has continued engagement with an outside agency Beloved Community for a series of trainings.
- Darden will conduct an institution wide Equity Audit to better understand how operations and policy help or hurt our most vulnerable students.
- Darden leadership is also working on standing up safety initiatives and training to benefit the community.
We acknowledge that much work still needs to be done, and we want to ensure we continue to communicate updates and progress to you as we continue, but our commitment is unwavering. The journey continues. Please see below for the schedule for the UVA Community MLK celebration.
The Darden Diversity Team
January Commemorations and Observances
Lunar New Year – January 22
Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 16th
University of Virginia Community MLK Celebration
Red Envelope Etiquette Explained
What We’re Reading/ Watching/ Listening To
The focus of director Peter Kunhardt’s HBO documentary—which includes archival footage of King and present-day interviews with more than a dozen of his intimates—is the last three years of King’s life, as he navigated hecklers, cynics, and detractors; fought for the gospel of nonviolence amid bloody uprisings in cities across America; and resisted the rising tide of the Black Power movement.
There is arguably no modern documentary that continues the legacy of Dr. King’s work more effectively than Ava DuVernay’s 13th, which takes an unflinching look at the ways in which mass incarceration has disproportionately targeted Black individuals.
About 6 percent of real estate agents and brokers in the United States are Black. Their white peers make almost three times as much, according to data and surveys. This New York Times article provides an eye-opening look at the discrimination Black real estate agents face.