In introducing the topic, Harris punctuated Ryan’s emphasis on building bridges. She then simply asked, “What does building bridges mean to you?”
She got lots of answers. One student defined bridge-building as getting to know the Charlottesville community. Another said that for him, it was important to think about the impact of his actions.
Hernandez said it was important to acknowledge spaces that need repairing and take action.
“I can speak from my own experience. I’m a third-year now. I have seen in my time here … in a lot of institutional ways, UVA has harmed my own community and other communities of color within the University,” she said. “So, I think one of the first things is just acknowledging that that harm has happened.”
Adrian Mamaril, a third-year student in the McIntire School of Commerce, responded to Hernandez’s remarks. “When you mentioned action, there is more than just the words that you say to build up that relationship. You actually have to follow up on that,” he said. “And it’s going to be a long process.”