Jahvonta’ is a rising third year student from St. Louis, Missouri. He is double majoring in Leadership and Public Policy & Global Studies Security and Justice. This year, Jahvonta’ is very excited about working with hisco-chair to reinvigorate the committee to become more responsive, inclusive, and facilitating of our school’s multidimensional identity. Outside of Student Council he is the President of the Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, a Black Male Initiative board member, and a member of the IFC’s Diversity Outreach Committee.
Sophia is a third-year in the College majoring in anthropology. She was a member of Diversity Initiatives last year and is excited about co-chairing the committee. Her goals include establishing a network of diversity-related organizations, and revamping the committee’s vision and outreach. Outside of Student Council, Sophia is a Career Peer Educator, volunteers for Madison House, and is involved with the Washington Literary Society.
The Diversity Initiatives Committee is responsible for promoting initiatives to improve the diversity of the University, and bringing issues pertaining to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion to the attention of the University.
Past Committee initiatives include:
- Non-Discrimination: The committee would like to see the non-discrimination policy changed to reaffirm protections for “sexual orientation” and expand the policy to include “gender identity.” The committee helped research policies of the top 50 ranked schools. The committee also has endorsed Resolution SR 10-02 which was unanimously approved by Student Council.
- Handicap-Housing: The committee has secured a $2,000 joint donation from the Office of the Dean of Students, Wade Apartments, Woodard Properties, and Grandmarc at the Corner for a fund from which students with disabilities may draw to make necessary modifications to their off-grounds apartments. The committee has also created a print database of off-grounds handicap-accessible apartments and is finalizing an online version.
- The Memorial for Enslaved Laborers: The committee has successfully passed a resolution through student council articulating support for the construction of a new, more appropriate and prominent Memorial for Enslaved Laborers. The committee completed a survey of nearly 1,000 students which indicated the need for more education about the history of slavery at UVA. A very moving and well attended forum was held on April 5th that shared expert historical research by University professors.