On Aug. 11, one year after national white supremacist groups staged violent demonstrations on the Lawn and in downtown Charlottesville, the University of Virginia will host “The Hope that Summons Us: A Morning of Reflection and Renewal,” bringing together members of the UVA and Charlottesville communities.
The free, ticketed event will be held at 9 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium and will feature remarks by University President-elect James E. Ryan. It will also feature instrumental and community choral performances and a poetry reading. Afterward, attendees will gather for a communal breakfast. More information about tickets is available below.
Organizers hope the event will give members of the community an opportunity to come together and discuss how our shared values as a community will help guide our future actions.
“Our hope is that this program embodies the values of many who live, study and work in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties – individuals committed to equity and the challenging and important work of community-building,” said event organizer Melody Barnes, a fellow at the Miller Center and the School of Law and the recently elected vice chairman of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
“Gathering our communities on the morning of Aug. 11 is more than a symbolic gesture – it is an important step in moving forward together, knowing that there is much work to be done in the months and years ahead,” said fellow organizer Michael Suarez, professor of English, director of UVA’s Rare Book School and a Jesuit priest at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Charlottesville.
There are 650 tickets available for Old Cabell Hall. The tickets, which are free, will be distributed based on requests. Depending on demand, some ticketing may be determined from a lottery selection. University students, faculty, staff and alumni can register for the ticket lottery here. The University has also invited Charlottesville-area community leaders.
Registrations will be accepted through July 27 at noon. Tickets and additional information will be sent to those selected to receive a ticket by Aug. 3.
To allow for maximum viewing, the event will also be livestreamed on the University’s Facebook page.
The University will follow safety and security protocols put in place for major events, including both the use of the University’s clear bag policy and screening of attendees.
Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Small clutches or wallets, approximately the size of a hand and no larger than 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, are permitted. Exceptions will be made for items necessary for medical reasons.
Screening procedures will be in use at all entry gates. Walk-through and hand wand metal detectors will be the primary means of screening. For guests who are unable to utilize a walk-through metal detector for medical reasons, hand-held metal detectors will be used. Any person who does not consent to screening will be denied entry.
Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: diaper bags, purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size. Cameras will not be permitted inside Old Cabell Hall.
Ongoing University Response
The University has launched several policy changes and other initiatives over the past year, led by recommendations from the Dean’s Working Group. The group, established by President Teresa A. Sullivan last August and chaired by School of Law Dean Risa Goluboff, was charged with assessing and leading the University’s response to the rallies on Aug. 11 and 12, 2017. Measures taken include:
- Increased security: An independent review of the University’s security and safety initiatives led to several enhancements, including increased security measures and a clear bag policy for large events. MORE >
- Updated time, place and manner policy: UVA revised its time, place and manner policy governing expressive activity by groups that are unaffiliated with the University meeting outdoors on University property. The policy requires unaffiliated persons to make reservations in order to use designated locations. MORE >
- Updated policies for the Academical Village: In September, the Board of Visitors passed three resolutions classifying the Academical Village as a University facility, updating to the University’s open flame policy and reconsidering the placement of a Civil War memorial plaque on the Rotunda. MORE >
- Expanded scholarship programs supporting underrepresented populations: The Board of Visitors authorized significant expansions of two scholarship programs – the University Achievement Awards and the Blue Ridge Scholarships – supporting underrepresented and underserved populations on Grounds. The expanded programs support the University’s ongoing efforts to make UVA accessible for all talented students regardless of their ability to pay, and to bolster the diversity of the undergraduate student body. MORE >
- Pan-University climate survey: The survey, which closed June 15, gathered views and perceptions of diversity, equity and belonging among students, faculty and staff and will provide important information about additional steps the University can take to foster a welcoming, equitable and open community.
More information about the Deans Working Group, its findings and its recommendations can be found at response.virginia.edu.