UVA Darden Diversity Week Celebrates Inclusion, Drives Deeper Dialogue

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business’ annual Diversity Week, held 3–7 October, celebrated inclusion at the School while also fostering deeper dialogue about issues of diversity and equality.

“Every Darden student has a unique identity and story to tell,” said Sydney Hartsock (Class of 2017), Darden Student Association (DSA) vice president of diversity. “Diversity Week was an opportunity to appreciate what each of us brings to the community and to learn more about how diversity impacts us here at Darden and in our lives and careers.”

The week kicked off Monday with Darden’s traditional First Coffee, sponsored by First Year student diversity representatives and the DSA, and was followed later in the day with a one-hour community dialogue led by Darden’s Black Business Student Forum and the DSA titled Kaepernick, the National Anthem, and Beyond.

During the discussion, about 100 students came together in an open forum discussing the broad spectrum of views on recent celebrity protests against injustice and inequality in the United States, as well as ways in which the students could take action together to make a difference.

Professor Martin Davidson led a discussion the following day guided by his research on leveraging difference, specifically focusing on how to help people talk about diversity in an authentic way without getting stuck in political correctness.

Just before Davidson’s discussion, hundreds of Darden students, faculty and staff stood together on the steps in front of Saunders Hall wearing black to show solidarity against racial injustice and inequality in the United States. Many of those students also participated in a video to explain their personal motivation for wearing black.

Other highlights of Diversity Week included sessions on managing different personal identities at home and work, a First Coffee hosted by Pride at Darden, a “fireside chat” with panelists including Professor Peter Belmi also hosted by Pride at Darden, a lunch discussion on religious views led by Darden’s religious affinity groups, and a session on women in the workplace sponsored by McKinsey & Co. and Darden’s Graduate Women in Business club.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 17,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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