Dear Members of the Darden Community,


We write to you this February, Black History Month, with complex feelings.  To be Black in the United States is to live lives that require navigating diametrically opposed states of being and feeling.  Joy co-exists with waves of deep sorrow and profound frustration. To be Black is to demonstrate resilience against forces that pull ceaselessly towards exhaustion. It is working for the betterment of the future while honoring and remembering the past. In a recent talk during UVA’s Community MLK Celebration keynote speaker Doctor Yaba Blay invoked the Sankofa bird to represent that inherent tension.


One month is not enough to contain the inherent complexity of existing while Black, indeed no theme month will serve to create the empathy and understanding for the panoply of diversity that we all engage with and hold inside ourselves.  The BBSA has chosen to uplift and elevate Black Joy as the theme for Black Business Experience Month. Those on Grounds in Charlottesville will see that joy reflected in the posters of your classmates hanging throughout Saunders. You will also see that joy in the thought and dedication of the events below.  We hope that the entire Darden community joyfully engages in the difficult and worthy work of learning during Black History Month, and throughout the year.


The journey continues, but the knowledge of the past must never be forgotten.



The Darden Diversity Team


February  Commemorations and Observances


Black History Month

Thaipusam – February 5

Masha Shivaratri – February 18

World Day of Social Justice  – February 20

Mardi Gras – February 21

Ash Wednesday – February 22





BBSA Black History Month Guide

A Black History Primer on African American’s fight for Equality

National Archives Black History Month Resources

Equity Matters: Confronting Implicit Bias

Let’s Talk – Facilitating Critical Conversations With Students


Black History Month Events


Jason Max Ferdinand Singers

Sunday, 02.05, 3:00pm – 5pm EST

Join us for a free performance from Ferdinand’s newly formed ensemble: The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers. This event is free and open to all. No tickets are required Jason Max Ferdinand serves as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Maryland, College Park. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Ferdinand received his Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Oakwood College (now Oakwood University), his Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from Morgan State University, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Maryland


Exploring the Roots of the Racial Wealth gap: Models to Address Economic Equality

Tuesday, 02.07, 4:30pm -5:30pm EST – CLA 140 (Hybrid, Zoom Link to be Added)

Racial disparities in economic security and wealth creation are the manifestation of a history of racial inequity in the United States.

Join BBSA and Dr. Gregory Fairchild, Dean and CEO of UVA Northern Virginia, in a discussion that will explore intervention models designed to address economic inequality in America.


Through the African American Lens: Afrofuturism: the Origin Story – A Smithsonian Channel Documentary

Wednesday, 02.08, 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST  (Hybrid)

In support of NMAAHC’s newest exhibition, Afrofuturism – A History of Black Futures, the public programs department will present the Afrofuturism: The Origin Story documentary produced by the Smithsonian Channel. This film features insights from renowned scholar and artist Ytasha Womack with Kevin Strait, NMAAHC curator of the Afrofuturism exhibition, and contributor to its companion collection of essays.

The panel discussion following the film will be livestreamed beginning at 8:00 PM, EST.


Exploring the Roots of the Racial Wealth Gap: Real Estate and Land Ownership

Tuesday, 02.14, 1:30pm -2:30pm EST – CLA 160 (Hybrid, Zoom Link to be Added)

A key driver of the racial wealth gap and a vestige of structural racism is the racial difference in land and home ownership in the United States.

Join BBSA and Darden’s very own Dr. Toni Irving in a discussion designed to explore the interconnectedness of racial inequality, home ownership, and wealth creation for Black Americans.


Black History Month Gospel Concert

Friday, 02.17, 6:00pm -9:00pm EST

The University of Virginia Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion presents Black History Month Gospel Concert. The concert will feature Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning artist Jonathan McReynolds, with a special performance by DOE.


BBSAXPAD Cold Call and Darden stories

Thursday, 02.23, 4:20pm EST – Pepsico Forum


Additional Events of Interest


Edie Hunt Inspiration Award – Nominations Due February 13

Nominees must be currently enrolled as an MBA student at a Forté partner school and will graduate in 2023. The winner will exhibit a track record of working to increase and/or encourage women’s interest in business school or business careers through innovation and leadership. Self- nominations are allowed!


ABCD & HoD Lunar New Year Dinner

Friday, 02.03 , 6:30 pm -8:30 pm EST
Humans of Darden is collaborating with ABCD to celebrate Lunar New Year by organizing small group dinners. ABCD members will be hosting dinners in their homes in small groups on 2/3 (Friday) – 2/4 (Saturday) from 6:30-8:30 PM. Sign up here. For more information, please contact Jaeran Lee ( or Alex Liu (

Negotiations for Women & Business Leaders of the Future
Wednesday, 02.08,  7:30pm – 8:30 pm EST
Don’t miss out on UVA alum Kathryn Valentine’s presentation Negotiations for Women & Business Leaders of the Future (open to all students). Read Kathryn’s Fast Company article and attached list of 50+ negotiable items for a sense of Kathryn’s data-driven approach to successful negotiations. DCL Signup.

Iranian Women Lead the Fight for Democracy

Tuesday, 02.14, 1:00pm EST (Hybrid)

The Islamic Republic of Iran has denied women fundamental rights for more than four decades through its religious totalitarian regime. A panel of experts discusses what this current moment in Iran might tell us about the future of women’s role in the fight for democracy worldwide. This event is part of UVA’s “Democracy Dialogues” series produced by the Karsh Institute in partnership with the Miller Center.


Training and Skill Development


That’s  the Way of the World

Monday,  02.06,  12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

Diversity, equity, and inclusion. These are words that affect many of our lives but what do they really mean? How are they defined? What can they mean to you? Join us as we provide an introductory overview of these definitions and their potential value to you. If you have any questions, please contact Sly Mata at Offered by UVA’s Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Free Your Mind: Intro to Bias

Wednesday, 02.08, 12:30 – 2:00pm EST

Join us for an introduction to implicit bias. In this session we will seek to understand a particular type of bias commonly referred to as implicit bias. We will engage and consider ways we can become more aware of our own biases (where they come from and how to notice them) and learn specific approaches we can take as individuals to mitigate negative implicit biases we may notice.


I Felt That; Microaggression and Its Impact

Monday,  02.13,  12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

This presentation will provide an overview and definition of the concept of microaggressions. Additionally, this presentation will provide examples of three distinct types of microaggressions and the impact it has on individuals. This workshop will also provide participants with an approach on how to defend themselves from microaggressions using the R.A.V.E.N. method. This method is useful in confronting microaggressions in different scenarios and situations. If you have any questions, please contact Sly Mata at Offered by UVA’s Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Can We Talk? Intro to Dialogue

Wednesday,  02.15,  12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

Ever been in a tough conversation? This workshop will explore the very concepts that make some conversations difficult and explore how to overcome them. More so, this workshop will reframe difficult conversations into essential tools for personal and professional growth. If you have any questions, please contact Sly Mata at Offered by UVA’s Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


A Change is Gonna Come

Monday, 02.20, 12:30pm — 2:00pm EST

Equity remains one of the most sought out concepts both in theory and application. But how do we define equity? Are there certain concepts of equity which are off limits? This session seeks to not only define equity but describe the potential outcomes as well. Additionally, this session will seek to introduce concepts such as equity lens which can be applied to our lived experience.


What We’re Reading/Watching/Listening To


A Letter to My Mother, Just in Case

A.D. Carson is assistant professor of Hip-Hop & the Global South in the Department of Music at the University of Virginia. In this Opinion piece for NPR Carson offers a perspective of the cognitive and practical realities that Black people in the United States face when confronted with police violence.


Say Her Name – Janelle Monae

Artist Janelle Monae uses the power of song to bring attention to the staggering number of Black women who have lost their lives to police violence, but have not been elevated in the national conversation


The Story of Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield – America’s First Black Pop Star

Adam Gustafson recounts Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield’s career and how a self-taught chanteuse shattered assumptions about artistry and race via the power of her voice