Dear Members of the Darden Community,


Happy April!


Just as the flowers are starting to bloom outside, so too are the opportunities to learn and connect with a diverse array of learning opportunities and cultural experiences!  April also includes a number of religious holidays, and several opportunities to explore them. It should also be noted that April is Autsim Acceptance Month, and it’s worth examining the nuanced shade of distinction between awareness and acceptance, when thinking about concepts of Neurodiversity.

We hope you take advantage of the beautiful weather by celebrating Earth Day,  and taking an opportunity to connect with nature.


Be well,

The Darden Diversity Team


April Commemorations and Observances

Arab American Heritage Month

Autism Acceptance Month

Passover (Pesach) – April 5th

Easter – April 9th

Eid Al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) – April 20th  

Denim Day – April 26



How Do I Promote Neurodiversity in Employment

A Brief Introduction to NeuroDiversity

Denim Day Resources


Darden Diversity Events

Pride At Darden’s Drag Show

Thursday, 04.06,  7:00pm  – 10:30pm EST

Come Watch a member of each Section perform in PAD’s Amateur Drag Show at 7PM at Jefferson Theater on April 6. Drag is a gender-bending art form where performers challenge social conventions of masculinity and femininity through performance


Darden African Business Organization Conference:

Closing the Infrastructure Gap

Friday, 04.07 – 04.08,  

The Business Conference focuses on success in the funding, execution, or operation of infrastructural projects in Africa, showcasing contributions to the African economy. We have exciting events such as the marketplace, where we will showcase literature, goods, and food of African origin; a great lineup of speakers; an infrastructure innovation tournament; and a fun after-party.


Darden Christian Fellowship Easter Picnic

Sunday, 04.09 1:00PM – 3:00PM EST

An Easter picnic with fun activities is offered to the entire Darden Community on Sunday, April 9 from 1-3PM. Together we will have lunch, search for Easter eggs, and play ball games. For more information, please contact Katrina Li (


Affordable Housing Panel

Tuesday 04.11,  9:00am -11:00am

Professor Tony Smith, BGiA & Real Estate Club will host a panel on affordable housing in the United States, bringing together leaders from real estate development, social entrepreneurship and the Federal Housing Finance Agency


AANHPI Heritage Month: Celebration of Asian Storytelling  

Wednesday,  04.12,  12:30pm – 2:00pm EST

In honor of May’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, we are collaborating with the Office of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Darden Student Association to host an earlier celebration for Asian American Storytelling on Wednesday, April 12. We will start promptly at 6:30 pm and end at 8:30 pm.  Join us to hear stories from Darden students and faculty on what it means for them to navigate being Asian American growing up and now.

RSVP here


Darden Ramadan Dinners

4.7, 4.8, 4.14, 4.15

Join Humans of Darden, MEISA, DSAS, and over 2 billion Muslims across the world in celebrating Ramadan this year. On the 7th, 8th, 14th, and 15th of April, we’ll host 10 HoD-style Ramadan dinners. Sign up here. For more information, please contact Ahmed Farah (


Training and Development

Free Your Mind: Intro to Bias

Wednesday, 04.05, 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.


Can We Talk? Intro to Dialogue

Wednesday,  04.12,  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, 04.17 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.


University and Charlottesville Wide Events

Climate Change from the Streets

Monday , 04.24  5:00pm 

Michael Méndez’s award-winning book, Climate Change from the Streets, published by Yale University Press, provides an urgent and timely analysis of the contentious politics of incorporating environmental justice into global climate change policy. Méndez tells the auspicious story of people, place, and power in the context of climate change and inequality. He explores the perspectives and influence low-income people of color bring to their advocacy work on climate change. Arguing that environmental protection and improving public health are inextricably linked, Méndez contends that we must incorporate local knowledge, culture, and history into policymaking to fully address the global complexities of climate change and the real threats facing our local communities.


Keeping Our Enemies Closer: Political Dialogue in a Polarized Democracy

Tuesday , 04.25  9:30am – 11:00am EST

This event features UVA School of Education and Human Development Associate Professor Rachel Wahl, with an introduction from Karsh Institute of Democracy Executive Director Melody Barnes and School of Education Dean Stephanie Rowley. Wahl will focus on her empirical research examining what happens when people talk across political divides, when and how people thrive or struggle in these conversations, and what meaning, if any, these conversations hold for the effort to build a better democracy.


TomTom 2023 Festival

Wednesday  04.19 –  Sunday 04.23

During the Tom Tom Festival, we’ll be holding a pay-what-you-can conference that focuses on the future of our community through three tracks: Conscious City, Technology For Good, and Society & Justice. Engaged citizens from all sectors and neighborhoods, come together to connect, learn and get inspired to take action. Tackle some of the most important questions of our current day with leading thinkers while immersing in moments of pause, self-reflection, and connection that allow for deeper relating and collaboration. You’ll meet new friends and make lasting memories—and take steps toward lasting change.


What We’re Reading/Watching/Listening To


Caste – Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson’s central thesis is that caste, while a global occurrence, achieves its most violent manifestation in the treatment of American Blacks, set at the lowest level in society through historical and contemporary oppression, marginalization and violence — all legally maintained through systems of law and order.


American Arab

In this “coming-of-Arab” documentary, director Usama Alshaibi looks at Arab identity in a post-9/11 America through his own life story. Alshaibi immigrated to America as a child with his parents and older siblings from Iraq. Throughout the film he talks to a diverse group of other Arab-Americans including American-born Amal Abusumayah, who wears a headscarf and was a victim of a hate crime, the Jassar family who are Iraqi refugees who moved to Chicago to escape the conflict, and Marwan Kamel, a punk musician who is “forming a new, untraditional Arab-American identity without conflict”.


Female Life on the Spectrum – Insights from Jennifer Cook

Jennifer Cook was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the age of 35 and is raising three children on the spectrum. She is the author of seven bestselling, award-winning books. This lively conversation had our host, Katherine Johnson laughing and crying. Jennifer provides perspective on why diagnosis has been widely missed in girls and women and promotes her philosophy of helping others, “Move from feeling like a mistake to feeling like a miracle”.