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The Wilder School is committed to bringing diverse voices to the school and making them accessible to students, alums, faculty and staff. We do this through our Ph.D. lecture series, monthly Lunch and Learns, and participation in numerous national and international conferences and symposiums. Below are a few of the discussions we participated in this past year.

Just as the monuments embodied a lost cause, their toppling and removal has given us a renewed hope that Richmond can realize its long, untapped potential stunted by its embrace of a racist past. Their removal represents our public disavowal of what they stand for and how they’ve come to define us. Getting there will not be easy.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams
on the subject of dismantling the legacy behind Richmond’s Confederate symbols. Williams was a featured lecturer of the Wilder School Lunch and Learn series last year.

We have to reach for the kind of society where people can flourish and belong and that depends on us...We can still make a difference and we have to make a difference. We won’t get where we had, we’ll get something much, much, better, or much, much worse.

Constitutional scholar john powell on the importance of addressing the continuing stains of separate but equal. powell is co-editor of the recently published special journal edition, “Plessy v. Ferguson and the Legacy of ‘Separate but Equal’ After 125 Years.“

Racial challenges are ingrained in our collective psyche, introduced in childhood and reinforced by longstanding patterns and behavior that are normalized and embedded in the landscape with the goal of maintaining white privilege. If we are not careful, we begin to see the environment, the way we live, work and research as normal. We are so accustomed to inequity.

Scholar June Manning Thomas, Ph.D., professor emerita at the University of Michigan in her Wilder School Doctoral Lecture Series “Racial Challenges for Ethics, Urban Professionals.”

All organizations, all institutions, governmental or otherwise, have a legacy and a historical record. I think the first place for ALL of us to start is to really take the time to understand, what is the history of our own organizations? What are the racist policies that were part of our organization’s history and what do we see as the vestiges of those policies in terms of our policies today and the long-term implications of those policies? That historical context is huge.

Dean Susan T. Gooden on “Leading and Managing Anti-Racist Organizations” at the Dean’s Forum on Race & Public Policy hosted by the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in March.

Equitable access to transportation is critical. Public transportation has to be available for people who need food, medicine and to get to their jobs. The commonwealth is committed to continuing to focus on making sure our transportation network is accessible to all Virginians.

Virginia’s Assistant Secretary of Transportation Amy Wight, speaking at the June Wilder School Lunch and Learn on the topic “On the Move: Vacations, Work, School — The Role of Transportation in a Post-COVID Virginia."

Fall 2021 / In this issue