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Diversity at Curry

The Curry School of Education values diversity in all of its complexity and richness. We engage our students with multiple perspectives to prepare them to be active agents of change in a complex global society. We intentionally seek opportunities to expand diversity at our school through recruitment, retention, teaching, research, and service. Our goal is the development of a community that promotes and values diversity and equity, engaging all individuals in our mission to “Discover. Create. Change.” 

Though many strides have been made in diversity at the Curry School, there is much more work to be done. Our quest is to create and sustain a learning community that purposefully and strategically acknowledges and values diversity and is committed to preparing educators and other professionals who will, through teaching, research, and service, contribute to a body of knowledge that will result in improved outcomes for all learners.

To accomplish this goal the Curry administration, faculty, students, and staff will work to:

* Create a safe space where faculty, students, and staff can engage in courageous conversations about cultural issues that are often not addressed openly in organizations and institutions
* Increase diversity among faculty and students
* Work with faculty to transform the curriculum so that every student will be exposed to critical aspects of diversity and equity at the national and international levels in their courses, programs, and research apprenticeships
* Encourage and support collaborative research that addresses the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students/clients
* Develop pipeline programs designed to attract students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds into education and related fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels
* Recognize and honor faculty, students, and staff who demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in their teaching, research, and/or service
*Maintain a calendar of special events and activities related to diversity and equity in education

Diversity Resources at the Curry School

SEEDS4Change

SEEDS4Change or Students in Education Engaged in Diversity Scholarship for Change, is a student-led organization committed to bridging gaps between cultural and community differences within The Curry School and surrounding Charlottesville communities.
SEEDS4Change Blog

Curry Diversity Action Committee (DAC)

The DAC is a standing committee of the Curry School’s faculty council. The DAC replaced the DDAT and Curry Diversity Committee in the fall of 2014 in order to provide a strong mechanism to advance the Curry commitment to diversity and equity.

The committee is charged with the coordination and design of diversity-related processes and programs for the school that are consistent with the Curry philosophy on diversity and also integrate principles established by the University. DAC will work closely with the Faculty Council and the Curry Administrative Team to enact Curry’s diversity mission. The key aim of the DAC will be to support interested faculty and staff eager to engage in diversity-related programs and projects, and to promote actions that lead to a culture and atmosphere where all faculty, staff, and students can reach their full potential. Examples of DAC activities and actions include but are not limited to:

* The DAC will function as a resource and planning group, examining issues related to faculty, staff, and student hiring, admission, recruitment and retention, curricular reform, program development, and recognition of diversity-related research and practice in the Curry School. The DAC will establish clear goals and measurable outcomes in these areas so progress toward those goals can be assessed.
* The DAC will meet at least two times per month. One meeting per month will function as an “assembly”, where interested faculty and staff share a meal in order to gauge the “pulse” of the Curry community and solicit ideas and feedback on diversity issues. The other meeting will be a more formal business/planning meeting.
* The DAC will serve as a safe space for “difficult dialogues” and “courageous conversations” around issues of diversity, equity, and justice. To this end, faculty and staff should know this is the group to come to with issues or concerns.
* The DAC will help coordinate diversity-related programs, workshops, and lectures, and interact with the Staff advisory group and SEEDS for Change (student group) to make sure diversity and equity issues are visible in Curry. This includes an on-line and social media presence.
* The DAC will report regularly to the Curry Faculty Council (at least twice per semester), enabling diversity to become well-integrated into the governance structure within Curry.
* The DAC will regularly interact with University diversity-related groups and stay abreast of initiatives and policies impacting diversity and equity at the University level.

Members of the 2014-15 DAC:

Antoinette Thomas (Chair) – EDHS representative

Diane Whaley (Chair-Elect) – EDLF representative

Martin Block – KINE representative

Patrice Grimes – CISE representative

Natalia Palacios – At-large Assistant Professor representative

Amanda Kibler – At-large Assistant Professor representative

John Rhea – Staff representative

Joey Carls – Staff representative

Rose Cole – Student representative

Shontell White – Student representative

Ex-Officio Members:

Catherine Brighton, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs

Ellen Missana, Director of Human Resources

The Legacy of Diversity in the Curry School Ridley, 1988

Walter N. Ridley

In 1953, Lindley Styles, the Dean of the Curry School of Education, conferred upon Walter N. Ridley the Doctor of Education degree. This was an occasion of historical magnitude because Ridley was the first African American student to earn a degree from the University of Virginia and the nation’s first African American to receive a doctoral degree from a traditionally white Southern university.

Each year, we honor Dr. Ridley with the Walter N. Ridley Distinguished Speaker Series.

The Curry Desegregation Center

Hank Allen and Jim Bash In 1964, the U.S. Federal Government authorized the funding of 27 national educational centers to address the desegregation of public schools. The mission of these sites, known as Consultative Resource Centers, was to support school districts by training teachers and administrators making this challenging transition.

Johnson & Bash, 1967 In 1967, The Curry School received one of those grants written by Professor James Bash. The Curry Desegregation Center (CDC), as it was commonly called, operated with a small staff that serviced school systems in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, DC. Bash hired Nathan Johnson, the University’s first African American faculty member, as associate director. Howard “Hank” Allen became executive director in 1973 and led center programs until it closed in 1981.  Learn more.

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