BLACK QUEER IMAGININGS A Dialogue on Masculinities, Movements & Mattering

April 14, 2016

LGBTQ Initiatives in the Division for Inclusive Excellence, and VCU Political Science, presents BLACK QUEER IMAGININGS: A Dialogue on Masculinities, Movements & Mattering, April 14, 2016 at the University Student Commons Richmond Salons, at 7:30 p.m.  Click here to live stream.

This event explores dimensions of Black queer life in the United States by deconstructing traditional conceptions of masculinity, racialized sexualities, racialized heteropatriarchy, and social justice movement politics that shape understandings of racialized sexualities. Keynote dialoguers: Kimberly N. Brown, Ph.D., VCU; Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr., Ph.D., Washington University; Activist and Scholar Darnell L. Moore, M.A., Columbia University, and Ravi K. Perry, Ph.D., VCU will address Black theories of gender and queer sexuality, and queer theoretical interrogations of blackness. Moderated by Paris Fitzgerald Prince, Special Assistant for LGBTQ Initiatives, this event is free and open to the public.  View here:  BLACK QUEER IMAGININGS  

For more information please contact: 804-828-8947 or email:

Celebrating the 2016 Presidential Awards for Community Multicultural Enrichment

April 4, 2016

Members of the university and Richmond communities, along with the 2016 PACME recipients' family and friends, joined in celebration of the honorees and their commitment to multicultural enrichment:  Read all about it  

VCU Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion

November 18, 2015

VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., held an hour-long Presidential Forum on Diversity and Inclusion on November 18, 2015, following a student rally held in support of black students at the University of Missouri to protest discrimination.

The forum allowed students, faculty, staff and administrators to share their concerns about diversity and inclusion at VCU, including a lack of black faculty, the need for cultural competency training, hiring an ombudsperson to respond to student concerns, and more financial support for cultural student organizations.

Watch the video

Students help clean up a long-neglected African-American cemetery — and uncover the past

April 13, 2016

At the overgrown, long-neglected East End Cemetery, the Richmond burial site of untold thousands of African-Americans dating back to 1880,Virginia Commonwealth University professor Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D., and her students were picking up trash and clearing brush and ivy from a grave plot on a recent Friday when Bodnar-Deren spotted something buried amid the mud and debris.

“Hey, I just found a headstone, guys,” called out Bodnar-Deren, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Josselinne Robles, a senior international studies major, brought over a jug of water to wash away the grime, revealing a small headstone marking the plot as the final resting place of Rebecca Jones, who died in May 1931.

The discovery of Jones’ lost headstone is just one of many that have been part of the East End Cemetery Clean Up Project. Volunteers, including students at VCU, the University of Richmond and Virginia State University, have worked to clear the historic cemetery of brush, ivy and years of accumulated illegally dumped trash.

“Genealogy got me into this, and visiting cemeteries,” said John Shuck, volunteer coordinator of the project. “There’s a website called Find a Grave, and I started looking for cemeteries in Richmond to photograph and I came across [East End]. I saw what it looked like, and figured I’d clear a plot or two. Now, almost eight years later, I’m still at it. Just trying to get this place in order, from chaos.”

This semester, VCU students in Bodnar-Deren’s Sociology of Aging and the Life Course service-learning class are cleaning up the cemetery as a way to serve the community, but also to gather cemetery demography data recorded on the headstones.

Read more.

VCU symposiums to explore race and policing, terrorism and radicalization

March 16, 2016

The Center for Public Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs will host symposiums this semester that explore the topics of race and policing in communities, and terrorism and radicalization in an open society.

The first symposium, “Race and Policing in Communities,” will be held on Thursday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Forum Room of the University Student Commons.

The second symposium, “Terrorism and Radicalization in Open Society,” will take place on Thursday, April 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the University Student Commons Theater.

“Each event will be an open, informative and constructive conversation with some speakers talking from their perspective as researchers, observers and expert analysts and others speaking from the perspective of their experience,” said Henry Brownstein, Ph.D., the center’s director and the Wilder School’s associate dean for research.

An audience question-and-answer session will follow each panel.

Read more.

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