Student Group Invites Community to Discuss Diversity and Education

March 22, 2007 -- A symposium devoted to talking about race, identity and educational access will be held at the University of Virginia on Sunday, March 25, from 2-5 p.m. in Clark Hall.
Presented by a new student group, Students in Education Engaged in Diversity Scholarship for Change, the free event features a panel discussion and small-group dialogue sessions with educators and students from Charlottesville.

Curry School of Education students working with assistant professor Selena Cozart started SEEDS4CHANGE about a year ago to create more opportunities for minority students to explore diversity-related topics and to network with faculty and other education professionals in the University and local communities.

SEEDS4CHANGE is particularly interested in bridging the gap between town and gown, Cozart said. The service component — like having the upcoming symposium — will help students develop their cultural competence and give them a stronger basis of real knowledge in their scholarship and research. It also serves the group’s mission of “fostering scholarly dialogue and cultivating cross-cultural connections throughout the University and Charlottesville communities,” as stated on its Web site.

“Our hope is to foster dialogue that examines the interconnection of these topics and their relevancy for our community,” said graduate student Camille Lawrence. “We believe participants will not only leave the event with an awareness of how these topics affect students, teachers, professors and administrators in the public school and university systems, but will also leave with a desire to facilitate change.”

All sessions will be held in Clark Hall. After opening remarks at 2 p.m., participants will break into small groups for discussion led by a facilitator. Those sessions are scheduled to last a little over an hour. A panel discussion follows from 4 to 5 p.m. A reception wraps up the event.
Those interested in attending can pre-register by contacting Kimberly Dean at There also will be a registration period from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, go to


• Berdell Fleming, Charlottesville City Schools’ after-school program

• Brenda Harvey, co-founder and co-director of Reach for College, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that helps high-school students prepare for postsecondary education

• Charlie Heaton, graduate student in the Curry School’s administration and supervision program

• Nick Jordan and Jonathan Intolubbe-Chmil, Charlottesville High School students
Fleming, Harvey and Heaton also will serve as facilitators for the small-group sessions focusing on the same topics of race, identity and educational access.